He was born in New York, N.Y., in 1923, to Maude Strawn and Ross Ellison Keller. He grew up in Ridgewood, N.J., with his sister, Ellison. Ross graduated from Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, and then attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., prior to enlisting in the U.S. Army. He served as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. After the war, Ross graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a B.S. degree in business administration.
Ross was married for 60 years to his beloved Carolyn Martin Teeson. They lived in New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia while he was employed by the Stouffers and Sheraton corporations. In 1957, they moved to Canton, N.Y., where they raised their three children, Meredith, Susan and Gordon. While living in Canton, Ross was the director of housing and food services at St. Lawrence University.
In 1976, Ross and Carolyn moved to Williamstown, Mass., where Ross was the director of food services for Williams College. In 1982, they moved to Maine when Ross became the innkeeper of the Asticou Inn in Northeast Harbor. Ross was a Bagaduce Chorale member, and volunteered on the Brooksville Fire Department. In 2005, Ross and Carolyn moved to Newburyport, Mass., to be closer to their children and grandchildren. While in Newburyport, Ross was a member of News and Views.
Ross was an adored father to his three children, was beloved by five grandsons, and was a dear and admired friend to many. He was a master storyteller, laughed heartily, sang lustily and was inclined to occasional grand adventures. His cross-country train trips to the Iowa State Fair with young grandsons were legendary. Over the years he was a singer in chorales, an avid cyclist, a sailor of a catboat and a Pulsifer Hampton, and he took charge of many wonderful family camping trips.
In the last few years of his life, Ross was cared for by the friendship of Louise Graves and Mary Willingham, both of Newburyport, Mass.
Ross is survived by his daughter, Meredith Keller of Rochester, N.Y.; son, Gordon Keller and wife, Genevieve, of Whitefield; and son-in-law, Hugh Kelleher of Newburyport, Mass. He leaves five grandsons, Ross Keller and his fiancée Jackie Nordgren, Carl Keller, Carter and Taylor Holloran and Cameron Kelleher. He was predeceased by his wife, Carolyn, daughter, Susan, and sister, Ellison.
A funeral service will be held on Dec. 19, 2015, at 2 p.m. at the First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist Church, 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport, Mass. A reception to celebrate Ross’s life will follow the service. For those who would like to make a donation in Ross’s memory, please consider: The Fresh Air Fund, 633 3rd Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10017 (www.freshair.org).
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for the family, may be expressed by visiting www.stronghancock.com.