Obituary: Stephen Ross, 1948-2023 | Seven Days Vermont

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Obituary: Stephen Ross, 1948-2023 

Burlington social worker loved helping others and had an indomitable spirit

Published May 30, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated May 30, 2023 at 3:44 p.m.

click to enlarge Stephen Ross - COURTESY
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  • Stephen Ross

Stephen Sewell Ross passed on to meet the Buddha on May 28, 2023. He was born on August 12, 1948, in Cincinnati, Ohio. His parents, Tipton S. Ross and Martha L. Ross, moved the family to Burlington, Vt., in 1960, when Tipton was transferred by GE to the plant there.

Steve graduated from South Burlington High School in 1967. He then attended the University of Vermont and graduated with a degree in political science.

Bartending was something Steve enjoyed for many years — at the Radisson, Hotel Vermont and the infamous Tuts. He had many faithful customers, and the place was always a party!

Steve was always passionate about antiques and for many years had a side business selling “smalls.” As a local history buff, he was a member of the Chittenden County Historical Society. He seemed to know the history of just about every house in Burlington.

Steve then found the passion that would take him to retirement, as a social worker in the state’s Reach Up Program. He worked with single moms who were putting their lives back together, and he loved being a part of that process. When his mom decided to stop driving, he asked if she would give her car to one of his clients, which she was happy to do.

For much of Steve’s adult life, he suffered from several illnesses, including treatment-resistant depression. No matter how badly he was feeling, he would always say, “But I’ll be OK.” That was his spirit. And despite all he went through, he maintained a wonderful sense of humor. His laugh made his eyes twinkle.

Steve was grateful to have had some wonderful longtime friends: Jamie Balch, Rick (Hac) Bono, Terry Pitts and Shawn Nolan.

Steve is survived by his brother David Ross and sister Sally Ross. He also leaves his nieces and nephews, Katie Ross, Evan Ross, Tipton Ross Nolan and Bryn Ross Nolan.

In tribute to Steve, please reach out to someone, particularly someone suffering from a mental illness, with a visit or a kind word. A small gesture can mean so much.

The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers at the Converse Home and Bayada Hospice, as well as Karen Sokol, MD, for the many years of providing medical care and kindness to Steve.

There will be a small celebration of Steve’s life in October. If you would like to be notified, please email Sally at [email protected].

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