M. G. “Barney” Ross, 97, longtime ace sales “rep” for one of the nation’s largest purveyors of agricultural commodities and service, passed away on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. He was lovingly cared for by his daughters, medical teams and the wonderful Hospice House staff. His sales territory for Tractor Implement Supply Company of South St. Paul, Minn., covered the state of Wisconsin from the Illinois state line to Lake Superior and from the Mississippi River to the shores of Lake Michigan.

Marlin Gilbert Ross was born on June 30, 1915 to the late Louis and Nora Schliep Ross on his German-Methodist immigrant grandfather’s homestead in rural Forestville in Door County.

After the early death of his father, the family moved to Algoma on the banks Lake Michigan in Kewaunee County. After graduation from Algoma High School in 1933, he worked briefly for an Algoma plywood company and then enrolled in a Milwaukee business school where he met his future wife, Florence Berkholtz, of Delavan. Their marriage took place on Sept. 6, 1941, when Textile Kraft Products Company in Milwaukee newly employed him.

In February of 1942 Marlin was inducted into the U.S. Navy and, as a shopkeeper 2C and served his country until 1945. Returning to civilian life, he joined Ford-Ferguson, Inc. in Fond du Lac and moved to Wausau when that company broke up. He joined an expanding South St. Paul enterprise where he added to its growth and remained until he was 80. By then the company had added warehouses in California, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia. Barney was a well-known caller at Marathon County dealerships until his retirement 17 years ago.

Marlin is survived by his wife of 71 years; daughters, Marlene (Roy) Podolak, Elizabeth, Ruth, Jean and Julia (Andy) Guenther; grandchildren, Bill, Jeff, Katie, Rod, Tracey, Katie (Mike) and great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. His only brother, Orville of Neenah and nieces and nephews in Algoma, Manawa, and Houston, Texas further survive him. He is also survived by his church and business friends and present and former neighbors.

His only sister, Leona Ross Eggert and her husband further preceded him in death; Clarence of Algoma; cousin, Kenneth Ross and his parents and nephews and nieces in the Green Bay area also further preceded Marlin.

Marlin’s grandfather August Ross cleared forest by hand and established the farm where Marlin was born. He also established the first German-Methodist “Schule” in Forestville and later the Methodist Church in Algoma where Marlin sang in the choir.

Marlin was especially proud of the lake home he and his brother-in-law, Bob, built in the Springstead area. Spending time at the lake was a favorite way to relax after a busy workweek. His church, coffee hour with friends and the Green Bay Packers with family were highlights of his life, which sustained him till the end.

Brainard Funeral Home is handling arrangements.  Visitation will be at First United Methodist Church, 903 Third St., Wausau, on Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. until noon. Service immediately following. Financial condolences will be sent to the Methodist Missions Ministry.



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