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39th Bomb Group (VH)
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Flight Surgeon

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Unit Citation
and Awards

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with
Oak Leaf Cluster

Service Awards

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with

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Capt John R. Ross
Flight Surgeon

Dr.John R. Ross Jr., known as Bob to all who knew him, was born in Dannemora, New York on Oct. 14, 1913 to the late Dr. John R. Ross Sr. and Martha (MacConnell) Ross.
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Bob graduated from Dartmouth College in 1935 and continued to study two years at Dartmouth Medical School before obtaining his Doctor of Medicine degree from Columbia University. During WWII Bob served as a Medical Officer for the 39th Bomb Group, flying on B-29 missions in the Pacific.

After the war he moved to Syracuse, New York where he and wife Marion raised their two children, Bonnie and Robert. Bob and Marion were married until her passing in 1965.  Bob established a private practice in child psychiatry. He later joined the staff of the State University of New York’s Upstate Medical Center, where he was a professor of psychiatry.

In 1962 Bob was appointed director of the Fairmont Children’s Center, a residential home in a rural setting outside of Syracuse. Starting up a program to help emotionally disturbed blind children, the facility never had more than twenty or so children, the purpose being to give as much individual attention to each resident as possible. Bob led the staff in innovative programs with a special emphasis on music, drama, educational outings and a great amount of time outdoors, under which the children flourished.

In 1975 Bob became Director of Rutland Mental Health Services in Rutland, Vermont. He and his wife Ruth made their home in Chittenden. He retired in 1983 but continued to be very active in the Rutland area, particularly in his own community.

In Chittenden, Bob helped establish the small Chittenden Public Library in the Barstow Memorial School and served as chair of the library board. He was a lay leader and became a beloved elder in the Church of the Wildwood, (Methodist affiliation). He and his wife Ruth hosted a discussion group in their house every week, which focused on increased self-awareness and peace. Over the years, they also opened their home to families or single people in transition, who needed a place to live before moving on with their lives.

In the early eighties, Bob became involved in Habitat for Humanity. He and Ruth co-chaired the Family Selection and Nurture Committee until Bob became President of the Board of the Rutland Regional Habitat for Humanity. Also, for many, many years, he and Ruth traveled to the Weston Priory in Weston, Vermont once a week, where they prepared the main meal of the day, then stayed to eat with the Brothers, who became very special to them.

Bob loved the outdoors and was an active sportsman. He also, at different times in his life, sailed his own boat, rode his own motorcycle and learned to fly an airplane. His favorite spectator sport was high school football and Bob could be found on many a Saturday morning, attending games in the little towns near Rutland. In his later years he took to gardening with Ruth at their home in Chittenden. Besides sports, Bob loved the arts and went to innumerable concerts, plays, festivals, art fairs and museums, taking advantage of the cultural climate of Vermont. He also attended many events at his alma mater, Dartmouth in Hanover, NH.

Besides his wife Ruth, Bob leaves behind a son, John R. Ross III and his wife Christine, of Carlsbad, CA; a daughter, Anne K. Ross and her partner James Totin, of Norwich, VT, both of whom have tended to Bob and Ruth with love and devotion before and since their move from Chittenden; a stepson, Neil Chaput and his wife Jeanne of Missoula, MT; two stepdaughters, Susan Theriault and her husband Philip of Plainville, CT; Carol Hart and her husband Charles of Carpinteria, CA; a son-in-law, Robert Casper of Shrewsbury, NJ; a stepdaughter-in-law Barbara Reinhold of Easthampton, MA; two grandsons, Jeffrey and Scott Casper; a granddaughter Kristy Ross (?); four step-grandchildren, Molly, David and Paul Theriault and Forest Chaput; two great grandsons, other extended family members and many, many friends near and far.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 16th at 11:00 a.m.

Capt John R. Ross passed away 15 January 2007 in Norwich, Vermont at the age of 93 yrs.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 16th at 11:00 a.m.

62nd Squadron Ground Index
Source: Susan Theriault, Stepdaughter