Patrick Ross

Obituary of Patrick C. Ross

Patrick C. “Pat” Ross, 94, of Port Charlotte, Florida, passed away peacefully on Thursday, 28 March 2024 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  


Pat was born on 27 August 1929 in Iron River, Michigan to the late William Daniel Ross and Elsie (Thompson) Ross. The family of six lived in Stambaugh until the start of World War II when they moved to Southern California. During the war years, his mother and father worked in San Diego building military aircraft while Pat’s three older siblings enlisted in the armed forces. In the summer of 1944, Pat and his parents moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where he enrolled at University High School on the campus of the University of Michigan. He was very talented and sang the lead in several operettas, including the “Mikado.” Pat was elected president of the student council and met his future wife, Ann Groves. (As a sophomore, Ann pointed to Pat and told her best friend, “That’s the boy I’m going to marry.”) After graduating from high school in 1947, Pat enrolled at the University of Michigan while Ann attended Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. While at U-M, Pat joined the Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) fraternity and participated in various campus musicals. After graduating with a degree in Speech (today, Communications), Pat enlisted in the Air Force and left for Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. There, he was chosen for the Chinese Language School at Yale University for the purpose of monitoring Chinese radio transmissions (the Korean conflict had started the year before he enlisted). On 2 February 1952, Pat and Ann were married in New Haven, Connecticut and in July 1955, Pat was honorably discharged. They returned to Ann Arbor (with a new-born son) where Pat started working on his master’s degree while working odd jobs including the U-M television station. Abandoning his scholarly efforts, Pat joined WWJ Radio-TV in Detroit where he worked for the Ralph Edwards’s telecast, “This is Your Life” and as the station promotion manager. Pat was recruited by Argus Cameras in 1957 for the position of merchandising manager. Deciding he did not want to follow Argus to Chicago in early 1962, Pat took a job with the B.F. Goodrich Company (BFG) in Akron, Ohio. Quickly moving up the corporate management ladder, Pat became president of BFG’s international division and moved the family to Europe in early 1965 where they remained until late 1968 when he was recalled to Akron. Returning to the United States, Pat attended Harvard University’s executive management program and was put on BFG’s management “fast track” culminating with his appointment as president of the tire company and then chairman and chief executive officer for Uniroyal-Goodrich. (Pat was the first senior corporate executive to be featured in national television commercials.) He and his BFG team were responsible for introducing the first radial tire (the “Advantage T/A”) and the hugely successful advertising campaign “The Goodrich Blimp.” In the early 1970s, Pat decided to sponsor several racing teams using the T/A tires. Another marketing first was sponsoring the thirty-minute pre-game show for the early Super Bowl games (total cost for thirty-minutes was $100,000). After BFG sold its fifty-percent interest in the tire company, Pat retired in 1988 and eventually left Akron for six months in Naples, Florida and six months in Petoskey, Michigan where he and Ann spent their retirement years. 


Pat participated on the boards of many philanthropic and community organizations in Akron, and he was an active member of the Portage Country Club. His favorite past-time was following all University of Michigan sports and in particular, football, basketball, and softball. One of his proudest accomplishments was establishing the “William D. Ross Family Memorial Scholarship” to benefit students in the West Iron County High School where his father had taught history. Every year since 1995, eight students attend college each year because of the scholarship established by Ann and Pat Ross. In 2015, Pat authored a book, Slippery Slope, consisting of a compilation of his speeches from the 1970s warning about the consequences of excessive government regulation and loss of personal freedoms 


Pat is survived by his son, Stewart (Sandra) of Punta Gorda, Florida and daughter, Nancy Ross of Akron, Ohio. Pat’s legacy will be continued through his five grandchildren: Jason Ross (Corinne), Nicholas Ross (Tiffany), Michelle Schmitt (Curtis), Dan Owen (Sydney), and Lauren Braude (Zach) as well as his eight great-grandchildren. Pat is also survived by many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife and mother of their children, Ann Groves Ross, his son, Charles, second wife, Margaret, his brothers, William and Peter, and sister, Marjorie. Pat Ross was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and a friend to many. He will be dearly missed. 


A service and interment will be held at a later date in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan.  


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ross Family Scholarship Fund, c/o The Foundation for Educational Opportunity at West Iron County Schools, P.O. Box 71, Stambough, MI 49964. 


The family would like to thank the men and women at South Port Senior Living, Tidewell Hospice, and Dad’s personal physician, Dr. Timothy Janz. Their devotion was dedicated to Dad’s health and comfort. 


Friends and family may visit online at to extend their condolences. Arrangements by Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory, Venice, Florida. 


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Patrick Ross, please visit Tribute Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Patrick
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory - Venice
Share Your Memory of