Anthony M. "Buster" Ross, 96, of Girard, passed away November 28, 2021 at Shepherd of the Valley. Chief Ross was born on February 23, 1925 to John and Mary (Ferrick) Ross. He attended St. Rose elementary school and Girard High School and had achievements in sports in his curriculum. Chief Ross excelled in football as a star running back and played catcher's position in the AA Mahoning County baseball league for many years. He received his draft notice at the age of 18 while being a senior at Girard High School; he opted to serve his country over deferment in May of 1943. On his return home in 1946 he was awarded his high school diploma. Chief Anthony M. Ross served in the Second World War in General George Patton's third army, sixth armored division, and fifth infantry. During his enlistment he received the following honors: Infantry combat badge, 4 bronze battle stars awarded for meritorious service in ground combat against the armed enemy, Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Ardennes, Central Europe, Rhine Land, Good conduct medal, Victory medal, Sharp shooter's medal, and Honorable discharge. After Crossing over the Our River from Luxemburg into Germany and crossing the Siedfried Line, Chief Ross spent 12 hours in a foxhole manning a .30 caliber air cooled machine gun. After being relieved in the morning he returned back to camp. While cleaning his weapon and trying to change his socks, a medic spotted his feet, which were dark blue and swollen. Chief Ross was ordered off of his feet and on to a litter. He was later air lifted out of Luxemburg to the 92 general hospitals in Paris, France. He was later sent to Hereford, England and spent one month recuperating from a severe case of frostbite and trench foot. When he returned to his unit in Germany the war in Europe had ended. Buster was proud to be a member of General Patton's third army where he attained the rank of corporal at discharge.
The Chief met Marie Ciminero and made her his loving wife on June 16, 1951 at Saint Stephen's Catholic Church in Niles, Ohio. They were married for 68 years. In 1954 Chief Ross was appointed to the Girard Police Department. He was Girard's first Juvenile Officer, where he not only organized the juvenile program but contributed to area communities by giving talks to high school students and organizations, concerning drugs and juvenile delinquency; he was promoted to Captain of the Girard Police Department in 1960 and became Chief in 1973, until his retirement in 2005. While a police officer, he served the community in other areas by coaching various baseball and football teams, which were very successful. Even more importantly, he was instrumental in saving the life of a young girl. Along with his speeches, he put on various singing shows for charitable and fund raising organizations, free of charge, and donated all proceeds in his name to the Crippled Children's Home. In the mid 70's Pittsburgh's KDKA channel 2 did a half hour show profiling his career. On April 26, 2004, Chief Ross was presented a resolution from Girard City Council stating the following, "This council both personally and collectively, and behalf of the good citizens of Girard, express their deep appreciation and thanks to police Chief Anthony "Buster" Ross for his 50 years of faithful and devoted services to the City of Girard as a police officer and as a citizen."
Chief Ross was a life member of the third and fourth degree Knights of Columbus, St. Rose Church, VFW, American Legion, International Chief's Association, Ohio Chief's Association, and local Fraternal Order of Police. Buster had many passions and talents throughout his life. He was an outstanding athlete, a good soldier and good entertainer for over 60 years, including doing Minstrels at Girard High auditorium, and a caring police officer for over 50 years. Chief Ross's favorite quote, which hung on the wall behind his desk was, "When it's all over, it's not who you were, what you did or how much money you had, it's whether you touched anyone and made a difference." Anthony Michael always had a special place in his heart for the O'Blate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Ursuline Sisters. Time spent with them was so precious and rewarding; he always appreciated their "love" and "prayers." Buster is survived by his sisters, Virginia Zalac, and Suzanne Coates; brother in law Fred Coates; sister in law Stephanie Ross- John's wife; as well as several nieces and nephews. Buster is preceded in death by his parents; his wife Marie, who passed on October 14, 2020; brother John Ross; and his nephew Mark Zalac. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, December 4th, 11:00 AM at St. Rose Church, where the family will receive relatives and friends from 10:30 AM until the time of service. Buster will be laid to rest at Girard City Cemetery immediately following the service with military honors. A very special thank-you to all the staff at Shepherd of The Valley, Dr. Bhargava Ravi and his exceptional staff, the "Help Me Monica" organization, who went over and above their daily responsibilities. And lastly, the R.N. who gave of herself unselfishly, and never failed to bring a smile to Anthony's face... He was surrounded by loving caregivers, and a family who gave as much love and care as possible. God Bless Anthony, and may he sing forever.
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