Pauline Ross

Obituary of Pauline Ross

Pauline Ross passed away peacefully in Great Falls, Virginia, on March 21, 2018, a few days before her 94th birthday.

Pauline was born in Monocacy, Pennsylvania, on March 31, 1924.  She was the fifth of eight children of Stanley and Mary Rogosky, Polish immigrants.  Stanley supported his family working in Pennsylvania’s aggregate industry.  Raising their family during the Great Depression, the Rogosky parents imbued in their children integrity, compassion and faith, values they expressed throughout their lives.

Upon high school graduation, Pauline put aside her dream of higher education to help the U.S. effort in World War II.  She was recruited to work in a clerical position at nearby Valley Forge Hospital which served wounded veterans.  While there she gave her free time to visit with wounded soldiers on the wards and on outings, listening with care, to the stories they needed to tell – often multiple times - of how they were wounded.  Pauline appreciated this experience for the rest of her life.  She was a wonderful listener, and throughout her life was the individual sought out by all of her family and community to hear what must be told.  

After the war, Pauline’s work with the military led her to the Washington, D.C. area.  There she met and married Robert Burns Ross, a WWII veteran, and settled in northern Virginia, where they raised their four children.  In Great Falls, Pauline opened her own successful real estate company, Great Falls Country Properties.  She was active in her community, co-founding or joining many civic organizations, including the Great Falls Historical Society, the Home and Community Club, and the Lions Auxiliary.

In the 40 years since Robert’s early passing in 1977, Pauline was an unassuming and steadfast matriarch in the best sense to her immediate and extended family. Her unwavering love for and devotion to her children was their touchstone as they grew into adults with families of their own.  A nexus for her siblings, Pauline treasured the annual family reunions that she unfailingly organized for half a century, always trying to accommodate every member of their burgeoning families.

Pauline had a special ability throughout her years to make and retain friends of all ages and from all walks of life.  Her singular grace, dignity, elegance, independence, kindness and moral core were cherished by those fortunate to know her.  

Pauline is survived by her beloved children Daniel Ross (Tamara Mitchel), Bruce Ross (Margaret), David Ross, and Jennifer Gildee (Craig Gildee), and grandchildren Jacob (Reena), Jacqueline, Owen, Hugh, Buckley, Delaney, Michael, Matthew and Bradley, her cherished siblings Leon and Marie and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

The Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, April 14, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church (1020 Springvale Rd, Great Falls, VA 22066).  She will be buried at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Pauline’s memory to St. Jude’s Shrine at http://www.stjudeshrine.org or the Great Falls Historical Society at https://gfhs.org/Individual-Donation .