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Obituary: Thomas L. Ross

As received from the Reid Funeral Service and Chapel:

Thomas L. “Tom” Ross, age 89 of Alston, MI passed away in his usual chair at his kitchen table on Tuesday, February 6, 2024. Also known as “Roscoe,” Tom was born in Baraga, MI on September 4, 1934, the eldest son of the late Thomas D. and Dorothy A. (Rock) Ross. Tom graduated from Baraga High School in 1952 and served in the National Guard. He married the former Verna A. Saari on April 30, 1955 at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Catholic Church in Detroit, MI. In their 69 years of marriage, Tom and Verna were blessed with eight children. Tom began work as a tool and die maker at Mold-A-Matic in Madison Heights, MI. From 1964 – 1968, Tom and Verna owned and operated Tommy’s Bar in Alston (currently the Church in the Valley Bar). In 1972, Tom and Verna established U.P. Plastics, Inc. in Baraga. The first plastic injection molding business in the U.P., it provided employment and community support for over 35 years. Tom retired in 2008. He was a member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Baraga, where he served as an usher and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He also enjoyed membership in the Ottawa Sportsmen’s Club and served on the Board of Directors of the L’Anse Golf Club. Volunteer work included admissions at the Baraga County Fair, serving holiday meals with Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, and distributing food for St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. He played high school basketball, softball with the Alston Old Timers, and bowled and golfed in a number of leagues, with bragging rights of two “holes in one.” Tom was well-traveled with several trips to Las Vegas, golf vacations with his cronies, and visits to family living away from the Upper Peninsula. His favorite Detroit sports teams provided him many hours of entertainment and a common bond with family and friends. He attended the Superbowl at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1982. Tom appreciated Country Western music (the oldies), collected coins, was an avid hunter and skilled fisherman, and enjoyed rides in the woods. He was a frequent traveler of the “Cemetery Road” in Alston; whether by truck, car, four-wheeler, motorcycle, snowmobile, bicycle, or on foot, he often visited his final resting place, near his home of 50 years. Tom especially loved “making wood” for the sauna and basement wood stove; although he could not claim Finnish heritage, he appreciated a good, hot sauna. Tom was meticulous with their expansive yard, spending countless hours on his John Deere (green) lawn mower. When Tom gave “the wink,” it felt good. He was a loving husband and a wonderful father and provider.

Tom is survived by his loving wife Verna, children Arlene Ross of L’Anse, MI, Cindy (Scott) Collins of L’Anse, Karen (Dan) DeKleyn of Baraga, MI, Amy Ross (Bill Trowbridge) of Glendale, AZ, Tom Ross of Baraga, Dianne (Craig) Koskinen of Baraga, and Tony Ross (Larry Lewandowski) of Wittenberg, WI; grandchildren Michael (Vanessa) Collins of Benton, LA, Casey Trowbridge (Brian Ulrich) of Phoenix, AZ, Jordan Koskinen (Breanna Gauthier) of L’Anse, and Carter Koskinen (Alyssa Robillard) of South Range, MI; great-grandchildren Tatum, Kingston, and Conrad Ulrich, Maria Collins, and Journee Koskinen; brothers Robert “Bob” Ross of Baraga and Steve (Terry) Ross of L’Anse; sister-in-law Shirley Tollefson, and brother-in-law Arni Dunathan. Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins also survive. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, son James, grandson Jesse Collins, brother Mickey Ross, sister Sherry Dunathan, and sister-in-law Darlene Ross.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Baraga with Father Jins Joseph, celebrant. The family will receive friends at church on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 10:50 a.m. A Knights of Columbus prayer service will be held at 10:50 a.m. Immediately following Mass, the family invites friends to join them for fellowship and a luncheon in the church hall.

Spring interment will take place in the Alston Cemetery.

Tom’s obituary may also be viewed and condolences sent to the family at www.reidfuneralservicechapel.com. The Reid Funeral Service and Chapel, L’Anse has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements.

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