Charles S. Ross died May 22, 2021. He was born in Carbondale, IL, April 22, 1941. He was the son of Art and Harriet Ross. Charlie is survived by one sister, Nancy Gaffney (Tim) of Morris, IL.
He married Lana Economides June 13, 1964 in Alton, Illinois. She survives as well as their two children and 6 grandchildren. Their daughter, Jennifer lives in Elkhart, In. Jennifer has a daughter, Alexa, of Dallas TX and two sons, Andy and Aiden of Elkhart, IN. Their son, Jonathan, and his wife, Erika, live in Mahomet, IL. Their son A.J. lives in Michigan; a daughter Maria, of Bloomington, IL and Olivia of Mahomet, IL.
Charlie attended University School in Carbondale where he deepened his love for baseball by playing on the University School baseball team. He was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan and honorary bat boy for the team. He attended many games and several spring training sessions in Florida. He had an extensive baseball card collection including 2 signed letters from Harry Caray, the Cardinals announcer in the 1950s, and a signed letter from August Busch acknowledging Charlie’s letter protesting the rumored release of Harry Caray as the Cardinal’s announcer. Caray went on to be the Cardinal’s announcer until 1969, and Charlie liked to believe his 1954 letter to the Cardinal owners saved Mr. Caray’s job.
As a high school and college student, Charlie was active in the Baptist Youth Fellowship, a state organization, and the Baptist Youth World Alliance, an international organization. Charlie served as the BYF president for Illinois and attended the BWA conference in Toronto in 1959. It was on this bus trip to Toronto where Charlie and Lana met. Charlie continued his work with the BWA when he attended a meeting in Beirut, Lebanon in 1963. That meeting was followed by a “globe circling” trip to Baptist mission fields in India and the far East aimed at developing skills for future church leaders. Even into adulthood, Charlie was still connected to the BWA organization. He organized a youth choir to travel to the International BWA Meeting in Glasgow, Scotland in 1988.
He graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor’s degree in history and Master’s degree in education. He started his teaching career as a Social Studies teacher in Shelbyville, IL. He then took a job at Monticello High School as part of a unique high school humanities program where history and the arts were taught in an integrated course. While at MHS, Charlie spent many years as the student council sponsor where he helped students develop leadership skills. Before retiring, Charlie continued his love of travel and passion for developing student leaders in the People to People student travel organization. He took several groups of students on trips to Europe including trips to the Soviet Union in 1980 and 1986.
Charlie retired from teaching high school and continued his career in education as a supervisor for student teachers from Illinois State University. He later worked as an advisor in the history department at ISU helping students navigate degrees in history and history education.
After his retirement from the ISU history department, Charlie enjoyed genealogy research and documented the family history with Library of Congress accuracy. He also spent time traveling with Lana and his grandchildren, forcing them to see all the historical monuments that their parents had to visit years earlier.
Charlie’s Baptist roots held strong throughout his life. He was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church in Monticello for over 40 years serving as a deacon and Sunday School Director.
Services for Charlie will be held at Calvary Baptist Church, 738 W Bridge St, Monticello, IL on June 1, 2021. Visitation will be held from 5:00-6:30 p.m. followed by a Memorial service at 6:30 p.m. Mackey-Wright Funeral home in Monticello is handling arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.mackey-wrightfuneralhome.com.