It is with sorrow that we, the family of James Barrett Ross Jr. of Kingston, Rhode Island announce his passing on July, 18, 2020at the age of 90. James (Jim) leaves behind his wife of 70 years, Ann Penney Ross, and their 11 children: James B. Ross III, Scott Ross, Alison Hunt, Andrea Ames, Alan Ross, Dana Kenney, Betsy Zink, Randy Ross, Mary Ellen Ross, Marjorie Vorhaben, and Wendy
Schultz. Jim also leaves his beloved 31 grandchildren, and 11 greatgrandchildren.
Though we feel tremendous grief over this loss we celebrate his wonderful life full of family, friends, and community. Jim was born in Perrysburg, Ohio on April 25, 1930 to Marjorie Stutsman Ross and James Barrett Ross. In his youth he spent time with his only brother Richard (deceased) at the local library and developed a love of reading which enriched his entire life.
In high school he moved to Elmira, New York where he met Ann Kimball Penney, his future wife. Jim graduated with a degree in mathematics from Harvard in 1951, becoming the youngest actuary in the country at that time. He married Ann and they began a life together which was rich with work, travel, church, hobbies and many children. Jim had a long and distinguished career spanning several decades in the insurance industry. When he retired he pursued with passion his love of academics. He first earned a PhD in Finance and taught at the collegiate level for several years. At the age of 80, Jim was the oldest graduate of the University of Rhode Island when he walked to the podium to accept a diploma for the eighth and final time for a degree in Classical Studies. Jim’s insatiable curiosity and love of learning and life was not limited to the classroom. At various times he attempted to learn Spanish, play piano and ride a unicycle - none of which were met with much success but not for lack of trying!
For several decades he was an active and integral part of the Kingston Congregational Church, contributing as a member of the choir and the Finance Board. An avid sports fan, he was a huge supporter of athletics at URI, often attending a full season of football games and both men and women’s basketball tournaments. Jim enjoyed many activities over his 90 years: basketball, tennis, boating, swimming, musical concerts, fishing and picnicking with his family. He especially loved golf, playing regularly with friends until the age of 88. He adored taking long Sunday drives in the country, often combining them with family spelling bees when his children were young, thereby sharing his fascination with words and language. Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner and Mother’s Day Brunch each year was of particular importance to Jim as he was able to honor Ann as well as demonstrate his love for his whole family - and receive it in kind.
While we mourn the passing of Jim we are all the better for having had him as a loving husband, brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. He was a role model for hard work, generosity, sense of humor, and love of learning. He will be greatly missed. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.