Posted: Mon 3:56 PM, Oct 29, 2012
Funeral Home: Brainard
M. G. “Barney” Ross, 97, longtime ace sales “rep” for one of the nation’s largest purveyors of agricultural commodities and service, passed away on Saturday, October 27, 2012, having been lovingly cared for by his daughters, medical teams and wonderful Hospice House staff. His sales territory for Tractor Implement Supply Co. of South St. Paul, MN, covered the state of Wisconsin from the Illinois state line to Lake Superior and from the Mississippi River to the shores of Lake Michigan.
Marlin Gilbert Ross was born on June 30, 1915, to Louis and Nora Schliep Ross on his German-Methodist immigrant grandfather’s homestead in rural Forestville, Door County. After the early death of his father, the family moved to Algoma, WI, on the banks Lake Michigan in Kewaunee County. After graduation from Algoma High School in 1933, he worked briefly for an Algoma plywood company and then enrolled in a Milwaukee business school where he met his future wife Florence Berkholtz of Delavan. Their marriage took place on September 6, 1941, when he was newly employed by Textile Kraft Products Co., Milwaukee. In February of 1942 Marlin was inducted into the U.S. Navy and, as a Shopkeeper 2C, served his country until 1945. Returning to civilian life, he joined Ford-Ferguson, Inc. in Fond du Lac and moved to Wausau, WI, when that company broke up. He joined an expanding South St. Paul enterprise where he added to its growth and remained until he was 80. By then the company had added warehouses in California, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia. Barney was a well-known caller at Marathon County dealerships until his retirement seventeen years ago.
Marlin is survived by his wife of 71 years, their daughters Marlene (Roy Podolak), Elizabeth, Ruth, Jean and Julia (Andy Guenther), grandchildren Bill, Jeff, Katie, Rod, Tracey, Katie (Mike), and great- and great-great grandchildren. He is further survived by his only brother Orville of Neenah and his family and nieces and nephews in Algoma, Manawa, and Houston, TX and their families. He is also survived by church and business friends and present and former neighbors.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his only sister Leona Ross Eggert and her husband Clarence of Algoma, a cousin Kenneth Ross and his parents, nephews and nieces in the Green Bay area.
Marlin’s grandfather August Ross cleared forest by hand and established the farm where Marlin was born. He also established the first German-Methodist “Schule” in Forestville and later the Methodist Church in Algoma, WI, where Marlin sang in the choir.
Marlin was especially proud of the of the lake home he and his brother-in-law Bob built in the Springstead area. Spending time at the lake was a favorite way to relax after a busy workweek. His church and coffee hour with friends and the Green Bay Packers with family were highlights of his life which sustained him till the end.
Arrangements are being handled by Brainard Funeral Home. Visitation will be at First United Methodist Church, 903 Third St., Wausau, WI, on Wednesday, October 31, from 10 a.m. until noon. Service immediately following. Financial condolences will be sent to the Methodist Missions Ministry.