Stuart Ross was born to Louis Donald Ross and Katharine Hamilton Tryon on November 12, 1937, in Bakersfield, California.
The family moved to the Los Angeles area for a short time before locating to Paso Robles in 1942. Stuart started the 1st grade in Paso Robles and graduated from Paso Robles High School with the class of 1956. After a year at Antelope Valley Junior College, he joined the United States Air Force. That tour took him to assignments in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Fort Worth, Texas; Sondestrom, Greenland; and Panama City, Florida.
In 1960 Stu married Jean Watkins, and after getting out of the service, they moved back to Paso Robles and began their family. The family consisted of three wonderful children: Robert, Susan, and Nancy. That marriage ended after thirteen years. Stu worked for Jean’s father in the highway construction business for ten years before leaving to work for a company in Bakersfield that was involved in the construction of Interstate 5.
In 1972, Stu was invited to apply for the position of Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Paso Robles. Stu spent nearly thirty years in that position. During his tenure, many new programs were introduced, such as T-ball, youth soccer and football, Co-Ed softball, Senior Citizen programs, and many more. Many new facilities were built during his time, including building Pioneer and Larry Moore Park, completing Sherwood Park with help from the Kiwanis Club, and refurbishing the downtown City Park. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment was the building of Centennial Park and the raising of funds needed to complete the grant from the state to fund the project. The help from Dee Lacey and the late Jerry Reneau was overwhelming. Finally, Stu worked hard with the Chandler Ranch family to acquire the forty acres now known as Barney Schwartz Park.
In 1961, at the request of friend Bob Lewin, Stu started officiating high school sports, including football, basketball, and baseball. That request led to a career that lasted for over 40 years. Stu started in football doing 6- man games in Shandon, Templeton, Cambria, and many more. After officiating high school, small college, and junior college games, he was elevated to Division 1 football in 1978 at the University of Oregon. He worked many college games, including Penn State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and many more. In 1983 Stu was invited to work in the new United States Football League. He worked in that league for the three years it existed and was assigned to work the 1983 Championship game at Mile High Stadium in Denver. His career allowed him to work eight bowl games, including the Citrus Bowl in Orlando between Penn State and Tennessee. He finished his career in officiating by working 13 years as a scout for the National Football League.
Stu cherished giving back to the city that he loved. He was a thirty-year member of Rotary (president 1992-93), volunteered ten years on the Paso Robles Fire Department, was a member of the Paso Robles Trailriders, was chairman of a committee that did an upgrade on Barney Barnhart baseball field at Flamson Middle School, was a member of PR Youth Guidance Council which gave troubled youth help, and was a member of Paso Robles Hall of Fame Committee. Stu coached youth baseball, Babe Ruth baseball, and American Legion baseball.
Thirty years ago in Tracy, California, while attending a funeral, Stu found the love of his life in a girl by the name of Sharon Nealon. It was definitely love at first sight. Their life together has allowed them to travel to many places, especially Italy, where Sharon has many family members. Their travels have also taken them to Cabo San Lucas, Hawaii, Alaska, and many places in the USA.
Stu was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Cynthia, and his beloved son Bob. He is survived by his daughters Susan Rowe (Mitch), and Nancy Williams (Arn), grandchildren Justin and Parker Rowe, Quinn and Kel Williams, Maria, Olivia, and Michael Ross, nephew Eric Twisselman (Judy), niece Kate Twisselman, and his wonderful wife, Sharon.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Bearcat Boosters or The Pioneer Museum.
Graveside services will be held on January 20, 2023, at 11 am at the Paso Robles Cemetery reception to follow.
Arrangements were entrusted to Eddington Funeral Services, 429 Bassett St., King City, (831) 385-5400, www.EFS-Cares.com .