THOMAS JOSEPH ROSS Jr. - long time resident of Darien, CT, died peacefully at home on Sunday 25th March 2007. He was born in 1919 in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Thomas J., Ross founder of TJ Ross Associates, a pioneer public relations firm, and Marion Byrne Ross. He was educated at Brooklyn Preparatory School and graduated from Georgetown University in 1940. He served in the Third Army, rising to the rank of Captain. He commanded an Infantry Rifle Company in the European Theatre. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was awarded the Bronze Star, the American Theatre Ribbon, the Victory, the European Theatre Ribbon with 4 Stars and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Tom began his career in the advertising business, working in the mailroom of Ruth, Rauff and Ryan, and working his way up to Account Executive. He left Lennen and Newell in 1961 to head up Advertising at American Airlines. He became Executive Vice President of American Airlines, in charge of Advertising, Marketing and New York and Caribbean operations. In the late 1970's, he realized a long held dream of setting up his own business founding the corporate travel agency Chartrek Travel, based in Darien; Chartrek Travel later became Vantage Travel.
Tom moved to Darien in 1950 when he joined the Noroton Yacht Club, where he was an active member until he died. He became one of the youngest-ever Commodores of the Club in 1958. He joined New York Yacht Club and Wee Burn Country Club in the 1980s and Silvermine Golf Club in 2000. He was predeceased by his wife Andree Somers Ross, daughter of Representative (D-Brooklyn, New York) Andrew Lawrence Somers, and their daughter, Andree Ross Kiely. He is survived by Stephanie Ross Williams, Dinas Powys, Wales, UK; Joan Ross Urrata of Stamford, CT; Thomas J. Ross III of Darien, CT; Andrew Somers Ross of Bethesda, MD; Richard Thomas Ross of Killingworth, CT; and Peter Lawrence Ross of Hingham, MA. He is also survived by fifteen grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.
Friends may call at Edward Lawrence Funeral Home, 2119 Post Road, Darien on Wednesday March 28 from 5pm-8pm. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at St John R.C. Church, 1986 Post Road, Noroton, CT on Thursday March 29, at 10.30 AM followed by a private internment at Spring Grove Cemetery, Darien, CT. Father Frank McGrath will officiate.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Milford Chapter of the ALS Society of Connecticut; 4 Oxford Rd, Unit D1, Milford, CT 06460 or "Friends of Georgetown Sailing" c/o Hoyas Unlimited, Georgetown University, McDonough Arena, Washington, DC 20057.
Published in the Stamford Advocate on 3/27/2007.