Russell Draper Ross

Posted 3/15/22

Russell Draper Ross

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Russell Draper Ross


BURLINGTON, Wis. — Russell Draper Ross, beloved uncle and friend, passed away on Sunday, March 13, 2022. He was 93.

Russ was born prematurely to R.B. and Opal (Draper) Ross on September 10, 1928. The doctors thought it was unlikely he would survive and advised his parents there wasn’t much hope. But between his mother’s love and resting on the open oven door, an early form of an at-home incubator, he beat the odds and graduated from Wapella High School before spending 20 years, 20 days in the U.S. Army — and he never forgot to mention those additional 20 days. 

He was stationed around the world and the U.S. before settling in Wisconsin to be near his brother, Jim, and his sister, Eleanor. He then went to work for Surgitek, in Racine, Wis., and was tickled that they paid him more in pension than they ever did in salary.

Russell loved to fish, watch the Cubs and go out for a good breakfast. But his true passion was his nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews, and all those who called him “Uncle Russ.”

He is survived by nieces and nephews Mary Kay (Rocco) Molfese, Janet Porter, Cheryl (Larry) Winkler, Bill (Linda) Knobeloch, Taletta Watson, James (Lori) Ross, and Hilma (James) Hans; grandnieces and grandnephews Sarah Porter, Jesse Porter, Jessica Winkler, Gabe Knobeloch, Ashley Knobeloch, William (Angie) Watson, Elizabeth (Colin) Munro, James (Patti) Ross, Justin (Lori) Ross, Jon (Manda) Ross, Jamie (Brian) Anderson, Joleen Ross, Heather (Brian Strickland) Hans; and great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews Connor, Lucile and Lila Munro; Dylan, Grace and Wyatt Anderson; James and Ben Ross; Donnie, Maggie and Russell Ross; and EttaMarie, Josephine and Anneliese Ross; and many special friends.

He also is survived by his niece Joanne Ross, who was his caregiver, advocate and chauffeur over the final years of his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Geraldine (Jesse) Stone, Eleanor (Hugh) Knobeloch, and James (Helen) Ross; nephews Ralph Watson and Mike Porter; and great-grandniece Allison Anne Watson.

The family would also like to offer a special thank you to the staff at Aurora Medical Center, in Burlington, and Hospice Alliance, in Pleasant Prairie, for their care in his final days.

Funeral services will be conducted from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 16 at Schuette Daniels Funeral Home, 625 Browns Lake Dr., Burlington. The prayer service will be at 6:30 p.m. with burial in Clinton, at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Union Grove Veterans Home for Homeless Vets.