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Daughter of Joseph and Nellie Peelle McCracken O’Ella Louise (McCracken) Ross, age 90, former resident of Fort Scott, Kan., departed this life Sunday, Sept. 18, 2005, at the Stoneybrook Assisted Living facility in Manhattan, Kan.
She was born Dec. 17, 1914, on a farm near Hiattville, Kan., the daughter of Joseph and Nellie Peelle McCracken. As the eldest of 11 children, her siblings were her closest friends and a loving lifetime support structure.
O’Ella earned her teaching certificate at Kansas State College in Pittsburg, Kan., and taught country school for 10 years, including some of her brothers and sisters. She was well read and her expansive knowledge was extraordinary, especially history.
In 1943, she moved to Wichita where she worked for Boeing for two years doing her part by building airplanes for the war effort. She quit work to marry Everett Ross in 1945 and raised two children, Mark and Ava.
When Boeing reactivated in December 1948, she returned, holding various leadership positions until retiring in January 1977.
O’Ella’s quiet strength, humility and compassion are an inspiration for those who knew her well. Her remarkable ability to smile through adversity made a memorable impression on those whose lives she touched. She returned from Wichita to Fort Scott in 1989. She was a member of the United Methodist Church.
Survivors include her son, Joseph Mark Ross and wife Lynne, Manhattan, Kan.; a daughter, Ava Lynn Ross, Wichita, Kan.; and grandsons Kelly Sean Ross and wife, Kali, and Courtney Robertson Ross, all of San Francisco, Calif. Also surviving is a sister, Nellie Dee Burnam, Fort Scott, Kan.; two brothers, Joseph Edward McCracken, Fort Scott, Kan., and Kenneth Donald McCracken, Martin, Tenn.; nieces, nephews and a large extended family.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Howard McCracken and Dewey McCracken; and five sisters, Beth McCracken, Ruby Niemeir, Ester Fisher, Ruthe McCarty and Carol Davis.
Rev. Sky McCracken will conduct graveside services at 1 p.m. today (Thursday) in the Ava Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Cheney Witt Memorial Chapel, Fort Scott, Kan. Memorials are suggested to the March of Dimes or the American Heart Association and may be sent to Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701.
Condolences may be emailed to the family at cheneywittcondolence @cpol.net. The obituary may be viewed online at cheneywitt.com.