Donald Thomas Ross

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sept. 30, 1955 – Jan. 16, 2014

Donald Thomas Ross, 58, of Buchanan, Mich., died Jan. 16 in his home at 9:28 a.m. after battling ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease.



He was born in South Bend, Ind. on Sept. 30, 1955, to Thomas and Shirley (Butt) Ross. Don graduated from Niles-Brandywine High School in 1973 and Ferris State College. He was married to Dianne Florey on Nov. 30, 1985.

Don worked as a mechanical design engineer with his last job being at Hess Industries. He was heavily involved in both the Buchanan and Niles communities. He coached numerous softball teams in both towns. In addition, he coached basketball and floor hockey. He was instrumental in reestablishing the Buchanan Athletic Boosters Club. He was the scorekeeper for the Buchanan High Schools boys’ and girls’ basketball teams as well as the softball team for numerous years. He was recently inducted into the Buchanan High School Hall of Fame in January 2013 for his contributions to the community. Don loved watching all sports, but especially Alma College Softball where is daughter Emily played for four years. Don’s battle with ALS did not slow down his devotion to watching her play. He missed only one game in her four-year career.

He is survived by his wife Dianne, daughters Linsey and Emily, mother Shirley, mother-in-law Esther Florey, sisters-in-law Daleen (Larry) Granger, Debbie (Brian) Mummaw, Becky (Dale Kurt) Florey, many nieces and nephews and his best friend and brother Jeff Zimmerman. He was preceded in death by his father Thomas Ross, father-in-law Dale Florey and brother-in-law Dale Kurt Florey.

Visitation will be held at Swem’s Funeral Home in Buchanan, Michigan on Monday, Jan. 20th from 4 to 8 p.m. The funeral will be Tuesday, Jan. 21st at 10:30 a.m. at Swem’s. Burial will be at Mission Hills in Niles, Mich.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Buchanan Athletic Booster Club Scholarship, P.O. 143 Buchanan, Mich 49107, Brandywine Class of 1973 Scholarship Fund. Alma College Softball and/or Hospice at Home.1234 Napier Ave. St. Joseph, Michigan 49085

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