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Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 at 05:09:59 :

Marin Independent Journal
Thursday, December 20, 2001

Jean Rouff Ross

Age 90, passed away December 16, 2001 at the Meadows Care Center in Napa. She was born October 14, 1911 in Chicago, the eldest of three daughters born to Benjamin and Esther Rouff of Chicago. Jean received high marks in high school and her wish was to go to college to study law, but she was needed to help support the family during the Depression Era. She became a legal secretary, at which she excelled. Jean had a very adventurous spirit and, as a lone single woman, traveled across country in 1939 to visit a cousin in San Francisco; and she attended the World's Fair on Treasure Island. In 1941, she married Maurice B. Ross and had two children. Jean was never cut out to be a homemaker. As soon as her son Ben and her daughter Bonna were old enough, she worked side by side with her husband "Ross" in the downtown Chicago parking lot business. Jean discovered and purchased the beloved "Miami" cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan starting a long tradition of happy family summers. In the 1950's, while other women were playing cards and shopping, Jean took oil painting and ceramic classes. She was a member of an investment group, a Cub Scout den mother and a Brownie and Girl Scout leader. She was also a founding member of the women's choral group, the Nortones. She took school children to performances of the Chicago Symphony and dragged her husband to every possible musical theater performance. She was always trying to instill culture into her family. She had an incredible desire for gaining knowledge and trying new things. In the 1970's, she was the first to have a microwave (then called a radar range) and embrace its features. All of her friends were afraid of it, but Jean was enthralled with its capabilities. She loved to cook and always was trying to do so as efficiently as possible, and the microwave was the answer. Jean moved to California in the 1980s to be near her daughter and son. She taught classes in Marin for seniors on how to use the microwave and wrote the accompanying cookbook. She sang in choirs in Marin. Her feisty independent spirit will be greatly missed. Jean was predeceased by her husband Ross. She is survived by her daughter, Bonna Ross and granddaughter Anya Elidi-Stubbs of Napa, her son Ben Ross and wife Debbie of San Rafael and grandchildren Gillian, Megan, Maurika and Jordan. She is also survived by her sisters Norma Glassner and Naomi Levine and her nieces Ellen Small, Jane Dugan, Laurie Phillips and nephew Perry Kanlan of Chicago. A private service will be held. Cremation arrangements were cared for by Treadway & Wigger Funeral Chapel and Crematorium. Contributions may be made to Hospice of Napa Valley, 3299 Claremont Way, Napa, CA 94558.

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