James's Story

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BOXFORD - Mr. James F. Ross, 92, of Boxford, beloved husband of Barbara J. (Poblenz) Ross, died peacefully on Sunday, February 11, 2018, at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Norwood, he was the son of the late Everett S. and Mary Shattuck Boyden Ross. He was raised and educated in Sharon, and was a graduate of Sharon High School.
Upon graduation from high school, Jim enlisted in the Navy V5 Pilot Program from 1943 to 1946. He received his wings at NAS Corpus Christie, Texas, and was commissioned a Naval Lieutenant JG in 1946. He proudly served his country as a naval aviator and was honorably discharged at the end of WWII.
Jim then continued his education at Brown University where he majored in Economics. During this time he worked at Raiders, where he met Barbara Jane Poblenz, the sister of fellow worker Freddie Poblenz. He was immediately smitten with this dazzling, attractive young lady, and soon they were married. The couple eventually settled in Boxford, Mass.
In the early 1951, Jim answered the call for pilots at the young and growing company of United Air Lines. He served with UAL as a pilot, then as captain, with distinction and excellence for over 32 years.
Jim was a passionate entrepreneur, and invested with enthusiasm in several budding young companies. One such company was Graves Skis; the first company to manufacture fiberglass skis. There, he worked from the ground up; not just as an investor, but also as factory worker, problem solver, and all-round handyman.
Upon retirement, Jim and his partner, Paul Donoghue, built and restored antique World War II-era planes, one of which won a top award at the prestigious Oshkosh Air Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Jim was instrumental in developing and building plane hangers for Lawrence airport, which also became his restoration workplace. He was a longtime member of the North Andover Hanger Association.
Most importantly, Jim will be remembered as a man who loved his family. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was extremely proud of the many accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. He took an interest in all their activities, and had a way of making each one feel special. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
Surviving Jim, in addition to Barbara, his wife of 70 years, are his daughters, Cynthia Ross of Rapid City, S.D., and Janet Bach of Marblehead; and his sons, James F. Ross Jr. and wife Patricia of Raymond, Maine, and Charles B. Ross of North Andover. Jim was the proud grandfather to nine grandchildren, Bryn Dumas and wife Carrie H., Hilary Dumas, Katye Vytal Watts and husband Alex, Jenna Bach, Brittany Bach Dodds and husband Tyler, Ryan Bach and Benjamin Bach, Patrick Ross, Amanda Ross Nowinski and husband Kyle. As well, he has four great-grandchildren, Oliver and Elliot Dumas and Wyatt James Dodds and Finley Watts. James' family also includes several nieces and nephews.
ARRANGEMENTS: His funeral service will be held in Trinity Episcopal Church, River Road, Topsfield, Saturday, March 3, at 1 p.m. Relatives and friends invited. Visiting hours in the Peterson O'Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St., (Route 62) Danvers, on Friday, March 2, from 3 to 6 p.m. Donations may be made in the name of James F. Ross to the Salvation Army, Camp Wonderland, 25 Shawmut Rd., Canton, MA 02021. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.
Published on February 27, 2018
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