Mary T. Van Vleet Ross (Ma Ross, the general) passed away Sunday January 26, 2020 at Heartland House Wautoma Wisconsin at the age of 87. She was born March 9, 1932 in Milwaukee Wisconsin the daughter of William and Irene Van Vleet. She had two older brothers Bill (Lynn) Van Vleet, Paul (Martha) Van Vleet and a younger sister Ronnie (Bob) Dealey. She attended Holy Angels Academy, and a short stint at Mount Mary College. On November 28, 1950 she married Robert A. Ross Sr. They met while Mary was the summer girl in Wautoma/Silver Lake and Bob was a Wautoma Guy. They had six children. Robert Jr (Cindy), John (deceased), Paul, Christopher, Joseph (deceased) and Jennifer (Bill) along with sixteen grandchildren.
They lived most of their life in Sheboygan, (try to get a seat on the front porch during the 4th of July parade, we all came back from the lake just for that). Mary and Bob were very active in the Sheboygan community, playing golf, racket ball, tennis (her mom was a Milwaukee Tennis champ and on the first professional women’s basketball team) and Bob (brother) had a very successful office equipment business, still operating in Sheboygan. Mary loved being surrounded by family. We all remember Peaches and Dumplings, and for the grandkids to earn a Dollar so they could walk to Fessler’s to buy penny candy. Cookouts in the back yard, yes even in the winter! Many many family gatherings at the Michigan Ave home.
Silver lake was the summer home. Mary loved it so well she purchased a cottage on Silver lake without her husband’s knowledge as he had his sights on Elkhart lake. He had bought the office building without telling her, so she went and got the loan from her dad for the cottage!! Good story… She was going to have a Silver Lake home and raise her kids like she was raised come hell or high water. (We were all very blessed to have had that) Her mother was still spending summers at their cottage. The one she grew up in, and of course she wanted to have her mother’s help with her slew of kids. Silver Lake, at both cottages, is where all the family and friends gathered. This is where generations learned to fish, swim, ski, put on ski shows, have cookouts, card games galore, and lots of other celebrations. So many memories at Silver Lake, pontoon rides on the elder barge.
Mom lost her husband Bob on Jan 15, 1973 at the young age of 44. Her grandson Christopher Jr on June 7, 2005, Son Joseph (who was born on her birthday) died March 4th, 2018 and son John died January 5, 2020.
Through it all she remained an Amazing strong woman. If you had the pleasure of meeting Miss Mary, you got an ear full for sure! Mostly about her grandchildren and all her great grandchildren! Mary has left a wonderful legacy of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. You are finally with your husband, Bob, 2 kids Joe and John and grandson Christopher.
A Celebration of Life for Mary will take place on Thursday March 12, 2020 at St Clements Church with visitation at 11:00 and mass at 12:00. Then there will be a “No Tear Zone” per mothers wishes, celebration at The Sheboygan Yacht Club, 214 Pennsylvania Ave, Sheboygan, from 2 PM until 6:00 PM.
Memorials can be sent to Ross Estate planning 218 N 14th Ave PO Box 317 Sturgeon Bay WI 54235
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