William A. Ross, honored by France for WWII valor - The Buffalo News

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William A. Ross, honored by France for WWII valor

Nov. 25, 1918 – Nov. 2, 2013

William A. Ross, an Army veteran of World War II honored by the French government and longtime Federal Reserve Bank employee, died Saturday in the hospice unit of Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a brief illness. He was 95.

Born in Pittsford, Mr. Ross was raised and worked for a time on a muck farm owned by his father in nearby Savannah. He later opened a billiard parlor, tavern and restaurant there.

Mr. Ross enlisted in the Army at age 24, initially joining the Western New York-based 209th National Guard Regiment. As a technical sergeant and master gunner, his regiment saw action in North Africa, Italy, Germany and France.

He was awarded the Bronze Star for saving a fellow soldier from serious burns. He participated in the “other D-Day,” Operation Dragoon, 10 weeks after Normandy, the August 1944 landings at St. Tropez and Marseille on the Riviera, which were instrumental in turning the tide for France.

On Flag Day, June 14, 2006, Mr. Ross was recognized by the French government with the “Chevalier of the Legion of Honor,” France’s highest honor awarded without regard to national origin.

After the war, he married the former Anne Marie Standish and moved to Buffalo, his wife’s hometown. He was employed by the Federal Reserve Bank until 1980, retiring after 27½ years as its chief of protection.

A longtime resident of Kenmore, Mr. Ross moved to Asbury Pointe, Getzville, following the death of his wife in 2004.

Survivors include a sister, Elizabeth “Betty” Meehan.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at noon Tuesday in St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1700 N. French Road, Getzville.

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