John “Red” Ross
John Ross, known as Red, a nickname from his youth attributable to his full head of red hair, passed away on Monday November 25, aged 87.
Red was born on October 16, 1932 in the South Village, a neighborhood he called home his entire life. An active youth, well known in the neighborhood, Red attended St. Anthony’s school on Sullivan Street.
As a young man, Red trained as a boxer, competing in the New York Golden Gloves. He also worked as a longshoreman before he entered the military.
Red proudly served his country in Korea as a Senior Radio Operator in the Air Force. Knowledgeable in Morse code, his handle was Triple Nickel Five. Red earned the Korea Service Medal, the UN Service Medal, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation and the National Defense Service Medal. He remained active in the American Legion for years.
Upon his honorable discharge, Red resettled in the South Village, in an apartment on Sullivan Street, his home for over 60 years. Red worked as a Senior Telecomm Technician until his retirement.
Red was a fixture in the neighborhood and could be found during the week sitting in his seat at the end of the bar at Villa Mosconi on MacDougal Street. He was well known to the Mosconi family, locals and visitors, developing many cherished friendships through the years. He was loyal to his friends and to the New York Mets and Jets.
Red was also competitive in nature; playing sports as young man or playing cards or dominoes with friends. Regularly one would find him playing a game called cork which involved flipping a wine cork to get it to stand upright on its end.
Red was devoted to his faith; he attended Mass every Sunday where he nurtured his love of singing. His wonderful singing voice was an inspiration to all. Although his memory was affected by the disease he battled, he could still recall song lyrics.
Red was predeceased by his mother, father, stepfather and a stepbrother. He is survived by his many friends who loved him and will miss him dearly.
His passing saddens all who knew him. While we mourn his loss, we are grateful for every moment we spent with him. We were blessed to have him in our lives. We will miss his wisdom, compassion and generosity. We will miss the sight of him walking on the streets of the South Village; forever his neighborhood and home.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Red’s honor may be made to either the St. Jude’s Children Hospital, the ASPCA or the Alzheimer’s Association.
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