ROSS EDWARD WILLMAN, born December 31, 1948 in Cincinnati, OH to Clifford & Georgette Willman, died Sunday, November 26, 2017 at NHRMC Wilmington, NC. Survived by his wife of 18 years, Gail Joy; brothers Kenny (Rhoda), Cliff (Angie), sister Diane (Bill), and sister-in-law Brenda; sons Michael (Kelly), Mark (Dina) & Douglas (Autumn); blended family Laura Knowles (David), Joseph Schoo (Jenny) and Jonathan Schoo (Julie), 20 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Ross was pre-deceased by his parents, his brother David and his sister Carolyn.
Ross lived a very full life and enjoyed nothing more than all the kids, grandkids, siblings, cousins and honorary family members descending upon his & Nana’s home for another great holiday dinner, fun and fellowship. An enthusiastic amateur photographer, Ross was constantly snapping pictures that no one ever saw, and this became a family joke; there must be hundreds of photos and we’re on the hunt for those camera cards. Ross proudly served his community for more than 30 years as a fire fighter, in Florida as well as in NC. He was owner and operator of Roberto’s pizza restaurant in Wilmington and he was an avid sailor.
After retiring from Wrightsville Beach Fire Department, Ross worked part-time as an insurance adjuster, traveling to wherever his services were required. He loved his automobiles! Some of his happiest moments were those when he had a wrench in hand, his head under a car hood with son Michael. He took great pride and joy in teaching his grandchildren how to make pizza and bake cookies. Ross enjoyed reggae and island music; having once lived on the island Eleuthera, he fully embraced the island culture and lifestyle.
Ross was a kind and caring man who did not know a stranger. He was always there with a sympathetic ear, good advice or a helping hand – sometimes all at once. He was a dedicated husband to Gail and they enjoyed many happy years traveling, attending concerts and trying to keep up with their grandkids & the great-grandkids. Together they blended their families into one huge and happy family. This was Ross’s proudest accomplishment and his legacy.
Memorial service will be Thursday December 7, 2017 9:00am at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, located at 6650 Carolina Beach Road, Wilmington, NC 28412. There family will gather at the church at 8:15am prior to the service to receive visitors and will also be receiving visitors at the family home after 1:00pm. There will be a private burial at a later date in Florida, the place that Ross always called home.
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403