Barbara ”Bobby” Ross, Advocate for the Deaf and Developmentally Disabled, dies at 89
“So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family that it remains the
measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty.” ...Haniel Long
Bobby Ross died peacefully at home on Monday, June 20th surrounded by her family and loved ones.
Bobby Ross created family with anyone who was lucky enough to know her. Her laugh brought joy to all around her. She was feisty but always with a sense of humor. A trademark smile and boundless enthusiasm made her a hard person to forget.
She worked unselfishly to bring love and hope to all those around her. She taught us all the meaning of grit, perseverance, and love - but was never one to sing her own praises.
When her third son, Willie was born with with deafness, she and other parents in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, mobilized to meet the needs of their children. The Willie Ross School for the Deaf was born of that effort.
Years later, and living in Pacific Palisades, California, Bobby again found an absence of services for Willie and others with Autism and Developmental Disabilities. The Willie Ross Foundation as formed in 1982 and operated 2 group homes and day programs servicing the entire San Fernando Valley. The Foundation now provides going support with living expenses
for Willie and his 5 housemates who have been together for over 25 years.
Bobby Ross was a champion of people who had no champion. She would spend hours taking phone calls from strangers who were at a loss for how to care for their disabled child. Their calls were always met with a warm, patient and
Over the years she and her late husband Gene "Bud" Ross not only nurtured their own family, but built a remarkably
eclectic, loving, and extended family. Her impromptu get-togethers were a simple testament to the love she gave to the
world. July 4th was a yearly party festival at her home. Being part of that warm and family friendly environment, no one
could wait for the next year to arrive with Bobby at the helm. She will be missed!
She is survived by her sons Michael, Robert (Rob), William (Willie) and Stevens; grandchildren Lindsy Junger, Skyler and
Zachary Ross, and Chasen Ross; Sisters Teddy Gaston and Nancy Kerner Sidenberg
Bobby is now reunited with her husband Gene, the love of her life.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, July 9th at:
Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary
1218 Glendon Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to:
The Willie Ross Foundation
22048 Sherman Way, Suite 101
Canoga Park CA, 91303