Former Riverhead School Superintendent Kenneth Ross, 89

Former Riverhead School Superintendent Kenneth Ross died Friday at the age of 89.

Mr. Ross served as Riverhead Superintendent from 1965 to 1978. Prior to that he was assistant district principal from 1962 to 1965.  He started his education career teaching in the Montauk School in 1948, and then taught at the Aquebogue School, which was then a K-8 school, from 1953 to 1955. He was the principal of that school from 1955 to 1962.

“He was one of the best, if not the best, superintendents we ever had,” said former Riverhead school board member Nancy Gassert, who said it was Mr. Ross who convinced her to run for the school board in 1996.

“Even after he retired, he still stayed interested in the schools and was at all the sporting events,” Ms. Gassert said. “This is a man that was totally dedicated to the children of this town.”

Her husband, Howard, had Mr. Ross as a teacher at the old Aquebogue school, she said.

The obituary submitted by Mr. Ross’s family reads as follows:

“Kenneth W. Ross of Riverhead, NY, died June 29, 2012 at the age of 89. He was born in Southampton, NY on October 10, 1922 and raised in East Hampton, NY. He was the son of Charles B. and Dorothy (Robinson) Ross. He graudated from East Hampton High School, Maryville College (TN) and Columbia University (NY).

“While attending Maryville, he met his loving wife of over 50 years, Rhoda (Hollar) Ross. One of his first jobs was lifeguarding in Montauk, which led to his lifelong love the beach. Over the years he was dubbed by his friends as “mayor” of his favorite beach.

“After serving in the Coast Guard during World War II, Kenneth began his educational career teaching history in Montauk. In the early 1950s, his family moved to Aquebogue (NY) where he was a teacher at, and the principal of Aquebogue Elementary School. He served as superintendent of Riverhead Central School District for the remainder of his career, retiring in 1977.

“Some of his favorite activities included golfing, boating, fishing, playing cards and socializing with friends. He was an avid supporter of Riverhead sports and was inducted into the RHS Athletic Hall of Fame. Above all, he was proud of and generous to his children and grandchildren.

“Ken was predeceased by his wife, Rhoda, in 1995. He is survived by his son Stephen K. Ross, and his wife Debbie of Greenville, PA; his daughter Cherie Wines and her husband Roger of Jamesport, NY; and his daughter Jennfier Fecteau and her husband Mark of Hooksett, NH; six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.”

Visiting hours at the Reginald H. Tuthill Funeral Home will be held from 4-7 p.m. tonight, and a funeral service will be held there at 7 p.m. with Rev. Fred Moore officiating. Interment will be in Calverton National Cemetery.

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