JOHN BECKWITH ROSS
Sunnyland Chapter Past President (1997 and 1998)
Born 11/13/1931, Died 11/01/2022
John Beckwith Ross died peacefully in his sleep on November 1, 2022. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 68 years, Ann Tracy Ross. He is also survived by his loving daughter, Wendy Ross Riva (Mark), grandchildren, Tracy Spalsbury (Seth) and Christopher Helbing, and great grandson, Chase Spalsbury. John was predeceased by his wonderful daughter Tracy LeBreton Ross at age 17, in 1976.
Born in Canada, John grew up in Montreal, Ottawa and Oakville in eastern Canada. He discovered an ability to run at an early age, which propelled him to high school and university competition. He competed at the age of 16 for a birth on the Canadian Olympic Team at the 1948 Olympics in London, England, coming in third by one second with only the first and second place winners selected. Four years later, running for the University of Michigan and by that time, the Big 10 Mile Champion and captain of his team, he placed first in 1500m and 800m in the Olympic Trials in Hamilton, Ontario for the 1952 games in Helsinki, Finland. John was inducted into the University of Michigan Track & Field Hall of Fame in Ann Arbor, Michigan on May 7, 2011.
In 1954, John graduated, married Ann Tracy and brought her to Geneva, Switzerland on a post graduate scholarship to study at Le Centre D’Etudes Industrielles. For the next 17 years, John and his family lived on four continents, 11 major cities, working in three languages for Alcan International in international sales. In 1970, John and Ann and their two daughters came to Sarasota where John began a new career as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). In 1980 he established his own company, selling it in 1988 and retiring.
Life in retirement was every bit as exciting as his working career. He continued to run, competing locally, nationally and internationally in Masters Competition. An avid sailor, he raced his 37ft. Tartan sloop in the Bermuda, Havana, Cuba, Isla Mujeres, Mexico races as well as the multitude of coastal races on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida. After sailing for 55 years, he transferred his passion to the last of his big boats, a 52 ft. Midnight Lace on which he continued to cruise with Ann and friends. John and Ann also participated in many Sunnyland Chapter events with one of his most beloved boats, a 1947 20ft. Chris-Craft Custom named Anejo.
John also was active in the management of a number of organizations: member of the Metro Board of the Sarasota Family YMCA for 43 years, The 8th President of the Sunnyland, Florida Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society (ACBS) in 1997 and 1998, Member of the International Board of the ACBS, Member of the Board and Fleet Captain of The Field Club of Sarasota.
A memorial service will be held at the Church of the Redeemer, Sarasota at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Tracy Ross Memorial Trust, providing Education scholarships to foster care students at the Sarasota Family YMCA.