James L. "Jim" "JR" Ross, died Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 at the Solvay Hospice House in Duluth following a lengthy illness. His family was with him during his final hours sharing many memories and stories, surrounding Jim with love.
Jim was born on Nov. 2, 1952 to Lawrence and Ruth Ross. He was proud of his Finnish heritage and of growing up in Superior's North End. Jim's father passed away when Jim was a child. He was very devoted to his mother. He helped pay the mortgage while in college and visited his mother almost every day during her retirement.
Jim attended John Ericsson School, Central Junior High and Superior Senior High Schools. Jim was part of a group of students expelled from SSHS for refusing to follow a strict dress code. Their protest, expulsion and subsequent lawsuit (with help from the ACLU) led to a revision of the dress code at SSHS. He was proud of this achievement through civil disobedience. Jim returned to SSHS and graduated.
Jim attended WITI and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Drafting and Technical Illustration. He was briefly employed at Globe Elevator before beginning his career at Tri-State Auto Electric. Jim retired in 2012 after 38 years of service as a parts man and office manager. He was well known to area motorheads for his encyclopedic knowledge and his willingness to go the extra mile for his customers.
Jim "JR" loved to ride his Harley. He was a member of the Lost Race MC and loved the camaraderie of being in a club. Jim was also a member of ABATE of Wisconsin and had served as Region 6B rep. Jim and his girlfriend Sue shared many miles on runs with his club brothers and ABATE brethren. Ride free, brother, ORAR.
Jim had recently joined the Cathedral parish. As he was fond of saying "Sue got me in the church and Fr. Andy kept me there." He attended daily mass and was part of the RCIA group.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents; Sue's brother-in-law Loren Nelson, a fellow Finn and North End boy; and Joe and Lorraine Penney, his former employers whom he considered his second parents.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Andrea (Michael) Busche; two brothers, Dean (Helen) Ross and Donald (Kam) Ross; two nephews, Keith and Kevin (Nyyia) and a niece, Nancy; his girlfriend of 13 years, Sue Roberts-Passero and her children, Katrina (Matt Anderson) Roberts, Maria Roberts, Michael (Hailee Meisner) and Sue's granddaughters, Kylee and Teagyn and Sue's extended family.
Jim was blessed with many friends including Bill Gordon, Dean Nelson and the crew at the Home for Unwed Skydivers; his faithful Indian companion Walter Marlton, the Penney brothers (Joey, Steve and Tom) and their families; the Penney clan; the Zinmer family; Brian Laverdiere and suomalainen tytt Polly Anderson; his Lost Race Brothers and friends with ABATE.
Many thanks to family and friends who helped during Jim's illness; the hospice team at Essentia Health and Solvay Hospice House; the oncology team at Essentia Health, especially Dr. Sande and Jim's favorite schedulers Sherry and Julie who always made us smile; and the Cathedral family including Fr. Andy and Dick and Judy Lyons.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec.r 26, 2013 at the Downs-LeSage Funeral Home, 1304 Hammond Avenue, Superior.
A private family service will be held at a later date.
Leave an online condolence or to sign the guestbook at www.downs-lesage.com.