August 10, 1930 – July 29, 2017
Sandy Douglas “Doug” Ross, 86 of Mint Hill and Holden Beach, NC, went to live with Jesus on July 29, 2017. Born August 10, 1930, in Indian Trail, Doug was the son of the late S. Pernay Ross and Sarah Holmes Ross and brother to the late Jack Holmes Ross and Nell Ross Eudy. He grew up in Mint Hill and graduated from Bain Academy in 1948. He was a lifelong member of Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Mint Hill.
Doug attended NC State College prior to enlisting in the Air Force where he became a Sergeant and served as an SA 16 Aircraft Radioman with the 39th Air Rescue Squadron in the Korean War.
In 1951 he married his wife of 51 years, the late Julia Scott Ross. During the early years of their marriage, Doug was stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi where their son, the late Sandy Douglas Ross Jr., was born in 1952. After leaving the service, Doug and Julia moved back to Mint Hill where their daughter Kim Ross McCall was born in 1957. That same year, Doug went to work for Eugene Dietzgen Company selling drafting equipment. During this time he was transferred to Daytona Beach, FL where their daughter Lisa Ross Nance was born in 1962. His niece Vannessa Ross Rawlings moved in with the family following the death of her mother and, in his heart, became his third daughter.
In 1964 Doug and his family returned to Mint Hill and he started Carolina Fire Equipment, which he built into a very successful business. He sat on the Board of Directors of numerous national fire equipment committees and was well known and respected in the fire equipment industry.
Doug was a lifetime member of the Mint Hill VFW and a Thirty-Second Degree Mason at the Mint Hill Masonic Lodge. He was also a member Scottish Rites and the Oasis Shrine Temple where one of his greatest accomplishments was helping to start the Oasis Dune Cats 3-wheel and 4-wheel parade units. He served as Captain of both for many years and led in many parades.
While Doug was proud of his professional and community accomplishments, he was most proud of his children and grandchildren. “PawPaw” always said if the Lord took him today, he would have no regrets because he was blessed with a wife who loved him for 51 years, three wonderful children, and grandchildren who truly loved him and wanted to spend time with him.
After the death of his wife Julia in 2002 and his son Sandy in 2003, Doug officially retired and relocated to Holden Beach to “live the good life” as he called it. There he made many new friends, including his special friend Judy Rhodes and his partner-in-mischief Lee Roy Coombs.
Survivors include daughter Kim and husband Stuart McCall (Lake Wylie, SC), daughter Lisa and her husband Randy Nance (Indian Trail, NC), and grandchildren Zack Kessell (Charlotte, NC), Cole Kessell and his wife Kari and daughter Ellis (Charlotte, NC), Jessica Wood and her husband Garrett and son Merritt (Mint Hill, NC), and Jerrod Nance (Mint Hill, NC). He was also blessed with a close-knit family of nieces and nephews.
Doug fully lived every single day of his life and encouraged his friends and family to do the same. Doug never met a stranger and he always made you feel welcome. As a result, he leaves behind many professional and personal friends.
A graveside service will be held at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, August 2nd at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Mint Hill. A celebration of Doug’s life will follow immediately in the Philadelphia Presbyterian Church Kerr Building. Those who knew Doug knew his fondness for breakfast. The family is inviting everyone to please come and help celebrate his life with a “Doug Style Breakfast.” Everyone is asked to dress casually at the service, per Doug’s orders.
In lieu of flowers, Doug requested memorials be made to Shriners Hospital for Children, 950 West Faris Road Greenville, SC 29605, or to the Historic Bain Restoration, 7427 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Suite 105-155, Mint Hill, NC 28227.