A Celebration of Life
Myrtle Elsie Ross was born on September 17, 1925, in Round Top, Texas, to John and Mary Morris. She was the youngest of three sisters. Her parents, sisters Verline and Johnnie, preceded her in death.
Myrtle was reared on her parents’ farm and her formal education ended after the Tenth grade.
At the age of 18 years, Myrtle and a cousin went to the “Big City,” Dallas. They worked on several jobs until her father “Big John” went to the city to retrieve his adventurous daughter and returned her to the farm.
At the age of 21 years, Myrtle met and married Arthur C. Ross, Senior. They moved to Los Angeles, California. They were blessed with five children. After twelve years of marriage, they divorced. A few years later, Myrtle and Donald Lewis were blessed with a daughter.
As a single parent, Myrtle received State Aid for nine years while secretly working as a housekeeper cleaning the homes of others to support her six children. During those nine years, she managed to attend night school where she received her Nurses’ Aide Certification. She began working in convalescent hospitals until she was hired by Centinela Hospital in Inglewood, California, as a Nurses’ Aide. At that time, she proudly informed the State, “Thank you and good bye.” After twenty plus years of employment with Centinela Hospital, she retired.
Myrtle was an excellent cook and baker. Family members and friends remember her homemade rolls, cakes, pies, turnovers, egg custards, banana puddings, cobblers and much more. Her talent for cooking was passed on to at least one of her daughters, Elizabeth.
Myrtle loved our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and she and her children attended Second A.M.E. Zion Church of Los Angeles on a regular basis for over twenty years. She later attended and served at Bethel A.M.E. Church, also of Los Angeles, until her health declined.
At Myrtle’s 80th Birthday Celebration, she gave her usual advice. “Pray about it first,” “Love each other,” “Take care of each other,” “The Lord Jesus is the Head and not the tail,” “Put the Lord first,” and of course, “Whoopin’ a_ _ works.” Myrtle’s language became more colorful and direct in her later years.
We were blessed to have a self-sacrificing Mom who always put her children first. Even after a long hospital stay due to illness, our Mom recovered and traveled to Texas to pick us up from relatives we were living with during her illness. We all returned to Los Angeles. She made sure we had all of our needs and a few of our wants.
Mom loved her children, and she especially enjoyed and loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
We honor Mom by playing many of her favorite Gospel songs and singers, especially, Mahalia Jackson.
Myrtle leaves to cherish her memory her children: Bobbie, Arthur, Jr., Elizabeth and her husband Otis, Michael, Fredell and “our baby sister” Donna; grandchildren: Aaron and his wife Sarah, Arthur Leroy, Tom, Edward, Malinda, Anthony, Marquita, Maurice, Sheree, Jason, Lorena, Joshua, and Serena, great-grandchildren: Julia, Jessica, Zion, Sade, Aaliyah-Edna, Shirley, Diontae, Johntae, Tyran, Tanari, Tominah, Yvette, Curtis, Christopher, Nevaeh, Cencer, and Miguel; her nephews Alfred Lee and Brady, as well as a host of beloved relatives and friends.
We know and take comfort in the fact that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, promised, those who love Him will meet again in Heaven. However, Mom’s six “gray-haired” children will say with tear-filled eyes, “We will greatly miss our Mommy ‘aka Momma Honey’.”
September 06, 2013 • 11:30AM
The Reverend Dr. Edward Haygood Pastor of Agape Christian Fellowship