Thomas Edward Ross December 26, 1955 - May 30, 2021

Thomas, “Tom” Edward Ross, age 65, of Coon Rapids, MN went to his eternal home in heaven to be with Jesus on May 30, 2021.  Tom passed away unexpectedly from a sudden complication that occurred after a bypass surgery.  Tom both loved deeply and was deeply loved by his wife, Kathy Ross, and children, Amy Barnard (Joshua Barnard), David Ross (Cassaundra Ross) and Julie Knight (Jonathan Knight).  Tom was grandpa to Isaiah, Amariah, Halo, Katie, Isabell, Jonas and Theo. Tom saw his greatest achievement as being a grandpa and his grandchildren experienced gentle love, guidance in faith and mentorship through his devotion to them. Tom was known for being loving, compassionate and kind.  He saw those who were unseen and sought opportunities to demonstrate love to the people in his life.  Tom had a deep faith that was founded in his personal walk with Jesus.  He genuinely integrated his faith into all parts of his life. Tom was the son of a career Air Force vertern.  The experience of being raised abroad (Florida, Montana, Turkey, Germany, Italy, and Minnesota) shaped his worldview and ability to demonstrate compassion to all kinds of people.  Tom met his wife, Kathy (Valo) Ross, at a prayer group.  They were married in February of 1977 and celebrated 44 years of marriage.  Tom was preceded in death by his loving mother (Katherine Ross), father (Thomas Ross) and sister Maria Ross (maiden).

Tom retired in 2018 from a 38-year teaching career as a Library Media Specialist.  Tom was actively involved in coaching speech, theater, debate and student congress.  Tom’s coaching and teaching were influential in the lives of so many students, including his own children.

Tom enjoyed researching and learning about his personal history.  He spent years developing a foundation in his Anishinaabe roots through active involvement in tribal meetings, teaching Ojibwe classes in the public school, and participating in personal interests surrounding Anishinaabe history and traditions.  Tom outwardly expressed his Anishinaabe roots by not cutting his hair and wearing it braided.  The last time he cut his hair was at the time of the passing of his mother.

Tom was known to always have a song in his heart.  He would whistle or burst into song throughout the day. He loved listening to and singing songs from The Beatles.  Tom loved birds, in particular the chickadee and cardinal.  He enjoyed spending time near his bird feeders watching, whistling and talking to the birds. Tom had a silly, lighthearted, joyful spirit that lifted the mood of people who were near him.  Tom was an amazing orator and will be most remembered for his stories about his life and family history.

Visitation with a Time of Remembrance followed by a Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11:30am on Friday, June 4th, 2021 at Church of St. Paul at 1740 Bunker Lake Blvd NE, Ham Lake, MN 55304.  A procession to the burial site at Roselawn Cemetery for a graveside service will follow.  All in attendance are asked to wear masks and a luncheon will not be provided

The service can be live streamed at Church of Saint Paul’s facebook page.

Visitation with a Time of Remembrance followed by a Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11:30am on Friday, June 4th, 2021 at Church of St. Paul at 1740 Bunker Lake Blvd NE, Ham Lake, MN 55304.  A procession to the burial site at Roselawn Cemetery for a graveside service will follow.  All in attendance are asked to wear masks and a luncheon will not be provided


  1. REPLY
    Valerie Amundsen says

    Kathy & Family – we so enjoyed meeting you and Tom at the Church Valentines Dances, and want to send you our heartfelt condolences on Tom’s sudden and unexpected passing. Know that we will keep you and your family in our prayers. May our Lord give you comfort at this sad time. Valerie & Brian Amundsen

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    Jim and Paulette Kostick says

    We are saddened by the passing of this man of faith and love. We would see him at Mass at St. Paul’s. Praying for all who loved him. God bless you all.

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    Nancy Kelly says

    Tom was always a kind and spiritual soul. We knew him in high school and were lucky enough to reconnect and spend time with Tom and Kathy over the past few years. We will miss his gentle strength and kindness, and of course, his sense of humor. We will miss him at our Wildcat mini reunions…but Kathy, we won’t let you sneak out of them! Tom, the world will be less beautiful without you, but we look forward to seeing you on the other side.

    Barry and Nancy

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    Peter Eckhoff says

    Tom was always a positive and engaged teacher! He was also a valued building steward for the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers. I had many a great visit with Tom through the years both at work and conventions. So sorry to hear this sad news. Sending love to his family!
    Peter Eckhoff

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    Chantelle and Kip says

    Kathy, Kip and I are extremely saddened by Tom’s sudden passing. We always loved our mini reunions and Tom was such a joy to know. Though I didn’t know him well in school (he was a few years behind me), I am so glad we were able to reconnect at the 2001 reunion in Naples and again at the mini reunions around Minneapolis over the past few years. And like Nancy said, we won’t let you skip out when we get together again. You are now an Honorary Wildcat! Hugs. Chantelle and Kip

    • REPLY
      Kathy says

      Thank you Chantelle and Kip. Our gatherings were such a highlight for tTom and myself. You welcomed me in as one of you and that was sweet.

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    Jeane Mounce says

    Tom you will be sorely missed. A friendship forged in high school and cemented through all our medical ailments. I am desolate. Kathy I give you all a virtual hug and know that y’all stay in my prayers. Always.

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    Kathy Dornbusch says

    Oh Kathy, I am so very sorry to hear this. I’m truly at a loss for words to express my deep sorrow for you and your family. But I also rejoice knowing that Tom is with the Lord he so openly professed. Sending you much love.

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    Deb Calvert says

    Kathy – My family and I moved to Minnetonka in 2003 and I became paid staff for John Kerry within the year – and active in the Senate District. Tom was one of the first people I met in SD44 (the SD43) and he was unfailingly kind, welcoming, committed, and principled. His generous, gentle spirit belied his strength and will. I was so hoping for the outcome we all deserved – more time with Tom. But I am just honored to have known him, and he left his mark on all those with whom he came in contact. He is already missed. Sending you all virtual hugs and loving, peaceful thoughts. May his memory be a blessing. It is for me.

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    Ernie Castelo says

    I’m so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. Tom and I were classmates in high school in Italy. He was always a positive person and a positive influence. He was also encouraging. We lost touch after high school. Luckily, I found him on Facebook 35 years later. He was still the same positive and encouraging person. He was interested in my life and would leave a “like” or an encouraging comment. He was always the mentor. We haven’t seen each other since high school but I will miss communicating with him. RIP Tom.

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    Jim Shuda says

    My bond with Tom was so very special. He amplified how to lead a dignified life. So, so courageous and inspirational. Our lengthy conversations were a joy to me and will not be forgotten.

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    Heidi Blakeman says

    We were sorry to hear about your dad, grandpa, and husbands passing. We will be keeping you in prayer for God to be with you thru this time. People have always said I look like my dad but when I saw Tom at grandpas funeral I decided it was him I actually go my looks from with my moms narrow face. Thank you for the pictures you sent Maya! We really appreciated it! Sending love and prayers your way, Heidi (Muonio) Blakeman with my family

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    Deborah M Rachey says

    “My” Tommy. My parents met through Tom and Kathy Sr’s parents back in the 50’s. My mom, Ardelle, was actually living with Kathy Sr, while my dad Richard John Mareck and Tom Ross Sr. were in the Korean war. The men found out they were both from Minneapolis. They decided to meet when they both came back from the war. My mom and dad got married, Thanks to Tommy’s parents. They are all in heaven now, dancing up a storm!, which they loved to do. So I have know Tommy since before we were both born, because Kathy and my mom were both pregnant together. Tommy is only 4 months older than me. We were best friends all of our lives! Even when they were overseas, cuz Tommy’s dad was in the Air Force, Tommy and I would write each other back and forth every month. I believe we have a soul connection. We had the best times when we were young. on of my favorite memories was when Kathy Sr. babysat me and brother Rick, while my mom worked during the summer. They lived in So. Mpls, off hwy 55. They had a huge oak tree in the front yard. Tommy and I made that our time machine. We both had great imagination! Star Trek had just come out on TV, so that helped. One day we would be fighting cowboys and Indians, the next day we would be running away from dinosaurs! We even time traveled to the future! We always kept in touch, even when we got married (to others), we were always family! I remember visiting Tom and Kathy when they lived in Aitkin, MN when all of our children were little. I still can’t believe he is gone.

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    Judy Kirk says

    Kathy & Family: I will be praying for you tomorrow and hope all goes well. My prayers will continue as well as positive energy to help you through the difficult days ahead. I never had the chance to meet Tom but from everything I’ve heard he was a kind-gentle-loving man, who wore many hats and filled the lives of many with caring love. Ancestry and genealogy have become one of my passions and would have enjoyed discussing this with him. Remember that friends -family-faith will help you through this very difficult time. Heartfelt Condolences to all of you.

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    Jean Plested says

    Kathy, I am so saddened to hear of Tom’s unexpected passing. Even though I have not seen you two since you moved, I have such fond memories of both of you. I cherish the memories and prayers and Bible study we did at Wednesday night’s small group. Tom was an inspiration, he had such a deep faith and shared his Bible knowledge and understanding of it so well. He is now rejoicing with his Lord and Savior. Kathy, you and your family are in my prayers as you grieve his passing. May the Lord wrap His loving arms around you and sustain and comfort you.

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    Dave & Carolyn Valo says

    Dear Kathy and Family,
    We extend our sincerest condolences and prayers for each of you in this tremendous loss — loss to each of you, loss to our family, loss to this world. Tom was an incredible man. He clearly put his wife and family first along with his spiritual faith in God. Our years with him will be forever treasured memories. Tom was always more interested in how others were doing and how he could make a difference in one’s life. He offered a gentle, kind, compassionate spirit, but he also had a great sense of humor, and his laughter and smile will be everlasting in our hearts. We just cannot express how much he will be missed from our lives, too. As family, we want you to know we are here for each of you, and we will continue our prayers for Tom and his family. He clearly enriched so many lives by his time with us here and we know his soul and spirit, through his strong faith, will provide for eternal rest with our loving God.
    With our love, Dave & Carolyn Valo

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