The University Record, June 10, 1998


Richard John Ross

Richard John Ross, professor emeritus of English in the College of Engineering, died May 29 at University Hospital. A specialist in the poetry of Robert Herrick, Ross retired from the University in 1984 after 37 years of service.

Born Nov. 6, 1918, in Ludhiana, Punjab, India, Ross was a graduate of Sterling College (Kan). In 1945, he married Barbara Naftel Grut. He joined the U-M faculty in 1946 after receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University. In 1952 he took a position as instructor. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1959 and associate professor in 1965.

His published works include a 1958 book on Herrick, and work published by the Oxford University Press in 1965. For brief periods, he also was a newspaper reporter and a personnel assistant for the Kaiser-Frazer Corp.

Upon his retirement in 1984, the Regents’ noted of Ross: “His first love was teaching literature to undergraduate students. He particularly enjoyed teaching poetry classes for engineering students, and frequently served as a mentor and critic for students who were interested in the writing of poetry.

“In all of his professional roles, Prof. Ross was regarded by his students and colleagues as someone who took the time to listen carefully and to deal with people and problems in a warm, concerned way. His students will no doubt remember him as someone who really cared about them as individuals.”

Preceding him in death were Barbara in 1969, and brother Theodore in March 1998. Surviving are two sons, John H. (Amy) Ross of Okemos and Charles T. of Ann Arbor; daughter Kathleen M. of Hackettstown, New Jersey; granddaughter Karen; brother-in-law Harvey Naftel Grut of Salisbury, Conn.; dear friend H. Lucille Cooper of Ann Arbor; and several cousins.

Memorial tributes may be made to a charity of choice.

Submitted by the Department of Humanities,

College of Engineering


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