Connie Ross, (nee Pannitto) went to see her lord on Saturday the 7th of December. She is survived by her husband of 70 years Greg Ross, her daughter Cindy Trotter (nee Ross) and her son in law Larry Trotter. Sister to Lena Martino (deceased) and brother Nicky Pannitto (deceased).
Connie emigrated to the US in 1940 and lived with her aunt in Moravia in upstate New York. Her father Carmen Pannitto, sent her to live with his sister because he didn’t think it would be appropriate to have a single girl live with him in Collinwood Ohio. Connie was the only Italian speaking person in the town except for her aunt. She went back through school, kindergarten through high school,, in just over one year to learn to speak fluent English, with just a hint of an accent. What an accomplishment!
After World War II she came back to Collinwood Ohio and reconnected with her family after they were able to emigrate after the war. This is when she met her husband to be Gregory Ross at a dance at the Aragon Ballroom in Cleveland and they finally married in 1950. Greg was the love of her life and he took her on many adventures together. They would have been married 70 years in February, that’s devotion.
Connie and Greg settled into life but faced her first medical challenge. She had to have a kidney removed and was told she couldn’t have children. She defied the doctors, a Connie trademark, and a few years later had the joy of their life when their daughter Cindy was born in 1955. They soon moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio into a home they lived in for 50 years. That home became the hearthstone of both family and friends with Connie always at the core of every event. Soon after Connie, with direction from Greg, took up boating which was quite the challenge since Connie never learned to swim. They joined Mentor Harbor Yachting Club in 1960 and are still members to this day. Their boat “Cindy” became the family’s summer home with Connie as the social director. Connie made the most delicious meals out of that small galley kitchen and the parties were legendary.
Connie never met a stranger, her beautiful smile, the twinkle in her eye, made everyone feel like they had known her forever. She always asked how you were , sincerely, even when she was suffering from her own afflictions. In Connie’s later years she faced many medical challenges, including having to go on dialysis in her mid nineties. No matter what those challenges were she met them head on with a smile and a grace that few could. She would not let anything keep her down, not the dialysis, the loss of her vision, her arthritis, she simply continued to see the beauty in everyone and everything.
Connie never met a joke she didn’t like or want to steal from someone else. Her story telling and ability to spin out joke after joke was her most entertaining quality. She was legendary, she was the life of every party and everyone gravitated to her to just hear one more story or joke. And boy did she deliver! How she kept everyone entertained right up until the end was Connie’s essence. While being wheeled down to CT scan during her last days she was telling jokes to the transport people. Amazing!
If she could Connie would tell you the the secret to a long and happy life is simply to find JOY in everything and everyone. And maybe just a glass or two of wine.
The world has lost a truly amazing woman.
The family will receive friends, Thursday, December 12th, from 4:00 p.m.-7:00p.m., at Baird Case Jordan Fannin Funeral Home, 4343 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308.
Funeral Service will be Friday, December 13th, at 11:00 a.m., at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Mausoleum 1500 South State Road 7, North Lauderdale, Florida 33068.
The family suggests memorial gifts to in her name to The Cleveland Clinic, Weston, Florida