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Ann L. Ross, active with Albright-Knox, United Way; tried to stop UB Amherst campus

March 27, 1930 – Sept. 15, 2016

Nearly half a century ago, Ann L. Ross and her husband thought their alma mater, the University at Buffalo, was making a mistake in building its new campus in Amherst.

In the late 1960s, they founded a committee of community members that tried unsuccessfully to persuade decision-makers to have the new campus constructed in downtown Buffalo.

“We started this huge campaign, and people thought we were really crazy,” she told The Buffalo News in 1999. “Now these same people are the ones who often say to us that we should have built it downtown.”

Mrs. Ross, who also taught in the Buffalo Public Schools and was active in a volunteer capacity at the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, died Thursday in Brookdale Williamsville, a senior living community, after battling Alzheimer’s disease for more than five years. She was 86.

Mrs. Ross was born Ann Sidoni in Buffalo and graduated from Holy Angels Academy. She earned a degree in history and government from UB in 1951, and that year married one of her classmates, Donald A. Ross, who later was a co-founder and president of Rand Capital Corp. He died in 1999.

Mrs. Ross’ son, Adam, said his mother taught at Bennett High School for two or three years in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

She was the co-chairwoman of numerous United Way committees during the 1970s, and later volunteered at the Albright-Knox, chiefly in its now-discontinued rental wing. Mrs. Ross made some trips to New York City to check out works in SoHo galleries that were chosen for exhibition there.

Mrs. Ross loved to knit and was a member of the Knitting Guild of Buffalo, and also enjoyed book clubs.

In addition to her son, survivors include a brother, Louis Sidoni, and two grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in Amigone Funeral Home, 1132 Delaware Ave.

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