ForeverMissed
Donald Lewis Ross, 77, of Johns Creek, Georgia died on September 24, 2020 after a five-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  

Don was born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan, the son of the late Archie Freeman Ross and Helen Marjorie Ross. As a youth, Don was a proud Boy Scout and achieved the rank of an Eagle Scout. Don was a member of the 1960 National High School All American Football Team and graduated from East Lansing High School in 1961. He was heavily recruited by universities across the country but chose to stay green and play football from 1961-1964 for the Michigan State University Spartans, just as his father did. Don was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and graduated with a degree in Marketing in 1965. After college, Don was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves for six years, being honorably discharged in 1971.

After graduation in 1966, Don joined IBM, where he remained until his retirement 39 years later.  He began his career as a sales representative and five years later moved into management with a variety of assignments that transferred his family to six different states and then overseas to Frankfurt, Germany and Brussels, Belgium. The move to Europe provided Don with many opportunities to travel and take his family around the world, providing unforgettable life experiences that will always be remembered. 

Don is survived by his wife, Lynn (Randall)  whom he met on a blind date in 1968 and they were married for 51 years. Don is also survived by his two daughters Michelle Schnakenberg (David) of Johns Creek, Georgia and Amy Vota (Wayan) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; grandchildren Owen and Olivia Schnakenberg, Hanalei and Archer Vota and his brother James Ross of Saginaw, Michigan. He was preceded in death by his brother Richard “Dickie” Ross.  

Don was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, loved by all who met him. His smile would brighten up any room and he loved to talk to people. After retirement, Don and Lynn continued to travel and see the world. When at home, he spent his time babysitting and shuttling his grandchildren, playing pickleball in his neighborhood, volunteering at North Fulton Charities and worshipping at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Roswell, Georgia.  

A celebration of life is planned when it becomes safer to gather together. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Donald Ross to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org, Peachtree Christian Health at www.pchlec.org/giving/ or to Michigan State University Football Players Association at https://msufpa.com/donate/.



Posted by Nancy Forbes on October 11, 2020
When I think of Don, I think KIND and CONSIDERATE. I always enjoyed stopping by his desk for a chat when walking by. He was so sweet to think to ask if I too would like a picture taken with Colin Powell. Rest In Peace dear Don
Posted by Chris Reynolds on October 10, 2020
I met Don professionally almost 20 years ago and we became fast friends. His smile, his uplifting attitude - his ability to brighten any room just by walking into it -that was who Don was!! He will be greatly missed by all, including myself. I truly loved this man - what a kind soul. Blessings to you Lynn and the girls and their families. My thoughts and prayers are with you all!
Posted by Sharon Schnakenberg on October 10, 2020
The loss of Don Ross to the family is also felt by many folks that have spent time with him to celebrate Holiday functions held for the entire family. Don added a special feeling with his warmth to the functions as he mixed in with all who gathered together. Always remembered, that sweet smile!
Posted by Ann Jensen on October 4, 2020
We met Don and Mary Lynn a few years ago when they became our neighbors. Don had a vitality about him – whether he was playing pickle ball, walking through the neighborhood, or at a dinner party. He always seemed to be enjoying life. We will remember him as this spirited and energetic man who loved his family. With deepest sympathy as you remember Don. 
Ann and Peter Jensen
Posted by Ronald Altman on October 4, 2020

Don will always be within your heart along with many others that loved him.Our thoughts any prayers are with you at this different time.
Sincerely,
Ron and Judy Altman
Posted by James Marosek on October 2, 2020
I had the good fortune of meeting Don and Lynn back in 2014. Although my time spent time with Don was brief, my memories of him make me smile.  My heart goes out to family and friends in this time or sorrow.
Posted by Patric Zwolenski on October 2, 2020
I was so sorry to hear of Don's passing from Alzheimer's. My father also had Alzheimer's and it is so sad to see such vibrant people end this way. I remember Don when I was a Delt pledge in the fall of 64. He was always a gentleman and a great brother. I saw him at one of our reunions and we spoke as if it was just yesterday. I was unaware that Don was an Eagle Scout, but I know those values carried with him thru life. He touched everyone around and will be truly missed. Prayers for the family.
Posted by Jerry Gross on October 1, 2020
Dear Lynn,
It was very special having an opportunity to talk to you about our shared interest on the impacts of this terrible disease; Alzheimers. We know of the incredible way it changes your life and the way your love, devotion and caring for your spouse bears you through the challenging times. I am so very sorry for your loss. I remember seeing Don in front of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Manhattan's Park Avenue as we were waiting for a taxi in circa 1980. His smile was just as bright and infectious then as it was in our days in the Delt House. What a coincidence to happen to see each other!  That is the face I see today; full of life, confidence and good cheer. That will be my lasting memory or our brother Don.  Please take care of yourself and stay safe Lynn. Jerry Gross
Posted by Jack Follett on October 1, 2020
Don’s spirit and vitality were contagious, and he shall continue as an uplifting example to so many. The scourge of Alzheimer’s must be overtaken.
With love and sorrow,
Posted by Carolyn Sullivan on October 1, 2020
Please know you are in our thoughts and in our hearts at this difficult time. Dennis and I always enjoyed chatting with Don. He was a scholar and a gentleman.
Posted by Byron Treaster on October 1, 2020
Lynn,
I am so sorry about Don's illness and his passing. I have special memories of my long friendship with him, especially on the track teams. He had integrity and a wonderful spirit. May you cherish many wonderful memories during your grieving. RIP
Posted by A Friend on September 30, 2020
I was so sad to hear of Don's passing. I have fond memories of Mr and Mrs Ross from time in Frankfurt. They were always so welcoming, kind and caring people. They went above and beyond and their warmth has never been forgotten. I know that legacy has been passed down to Michelle and Amy and will continue to make a difference. Thinking of you all while sending love and prayers xxx
Posted by Bev Santillo on September 30, 2020
Dear Lynn,
I send you and your family my deep sympathy in the loss of your dear husband Don. Although I did not know Don, you have provided a wonderful tribute to him here.

No matter the time or circumstances, the loss of a loved one is always hard to bear. May the many wonderful memories you have of Don bring you peace. 
I send you love and prayers for comfort
Bev
Posted by George Sacco on September 30, 2020
To: Lynn, Michelle and Amy
Gloria and I write this tribute with great sadness over the unimaginable loss of our very very close friend Don.
Don and Lynn were one of the first people we met when we moved to Atlanta 38 years ago. Our family will always remember the wonderful times we had getting together at each others homes, two houses away for holidays and casual times sipping a glass of wine and talking about life.
Our friend Don was a loving, entertaining, very close friend and a down to earth real man with a deep love for God and his family.
Now my hope is that Don rest in peace with God knowing he did all he could for his family.
When we love people like Don, its so comforting to know that they will always be with us in our hearts.
We will always miss and pray for Don.
Our Deepest Sympathy,

George and Gloria Sacco
Posted by Inez And John Tanzola on September 30, 2020
We feel privileged to have known Don.   "Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen."

Mary Lynn and family: May your faith and your memories sustain you in the coming days. 

Inez and John
Posted by Judy Thompson on September 30, 2020
We will always remember Don for his smile, his tenderness and his wonderful spirit. I loved watching him sing at community events, seeing him enjoy eating, but most of all playing pickleball. As his partner you could always expect a high five after a good play. He was a champion on the courts, and also in our hearts.
We will all miss him.
Posted by Lillia Sargent on September 30, 2020
It was my pleasure to meet and take care of Don. It was easy to see how kind a person he was. He had the biggest smile and laughed with the staff. He was truly amazing how his personality shined threw without a spoken word. I will miss him. I would like to give thanks and blessings to his family for sharing him with me and my staff. 
Sincerely Lillia
Posted by Tina Vernier on September 30, 2020
Dear Lynn, Michelle and Amy,

Roger and I were so sorry to hear of Don's passing. He was always charming and interesting to be with. I know you have many wonderful memories due to the wonderful life he provided for you these past years. These memories will keep his spirit close to you forever.
Posted by Jill De Vallette on September 29, 2020
Lynn, so very sorry to learn that Don has passed away. You both fought a valiant fight. Loved the pictorial of your life together. Many prayers for you and your family. 
Posted by Archer Vota on September 29, 2020
My grandpa was awesome. He was one of the best people that I have ever met. My favorite thing to do with him was help him with a puzzle. I know everyone will miss him.
Posted by Olivia Schnakenberg on September 29, 2020
My Grandfather was a great man. He will be missed greatly and was an all around amazing man, father, and grandfather. We all love him. Forever and always.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Nancy Forbes on October 11, 2020
When I think of Don, I think KIND and CONSIDERATE. I always enjoyed stopping by his desk for a chat when walking by. He was so sweet to think to ask if I too would like a picture taken with Colin Powell. Rest In Peace dear Don
Posted by Chris Reynolds on October 10, 2020
I met Don professionally almost 20 years ago and we became fast friends. His smile, his uplifting attitude - his ability to brighten any room just by walking into it -that was who Don was!! He will be greatly missed by all, including myself. I truly loved this man - what a kind soul. Blessings to you Lynn and the girls and their families. My thoughts and prayers are with you all!
Posted by Sharon Schnakenberg on October 10, 2020
The loss of Don Ross to the family is also felt by many folks that have spent time with him to celebrate Holiday functions held for the entire family. Don added a special feeling with his warmth to the functions as he mixed in with all who gathered together. Always remembered, that sweet smile!
Recent stories
Shared by Pamela Roobaert on October 1, 2020
Don was born on my father’s birthday.  His parents named him after my father.  Lewis Donald Ross.  As children the Ross clan got together for family gatherings.  It was always fun.  As adults we all scattered over the country and the globe.  May Don Rest In Peace.
Pam Ross Roobaer

Tribute to Don

Shared by Kelly Wheeler on September 29, 2020
I use this accolade sparingly, but Don was a class act and a true gentleman.  It was my pleasure to know him.  Go Green ‘72