Hal Ross peacefully passed on August 29, 2023 into his eternal home to be united with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He was born in Galveston, Texas at John Sealy Hospital where his father was a practicing physician, and his mother was an admissions clerk. Following his life in Galveston he lived in LaJolla, California with his mother, older sister and grandmother while his father served in the Navy as the ship’s doctor on the USS Cavalier during the Korean War. Hal spent a short time in Corpus Christi, Texas after his father returned home.
Hal’s life in Port Arthur, Texas began when he and his family moved there in 1953. Soon after his baby brother arrived. Hal attended Robert E. Lee Elementary School, Thomas Edison Junior High School, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1968. By that time he had acquired many lifelong friendships.
After graduation he wanted to become independent so he worked briefly for the Texas Highway Department. During that time he made the decision to enroll in classes at Lamar College. While attending classes at Lamar he pledged to Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. After graduating from Lamar College he accepted a job from Arthur Anderson in Houston, one of the Big 5 accounting firms at that time. While employed there he earned his license as a Certified Public Accountant.
After five years at Arthur Anderson he accepted a job at Mazur and Vernon, Certified Public Accounts in his hometown, Port Arthur. Having many interests, he eventually enrolled in South Texas College of Law in Houston from which he graduated. After passing the bar exam, he became employed as a probate, criminal, civil and business law attorney.
In 2003 County Judge Carl Griffith appointed Hal to probate mental health hearings for Jefferson County and to manage the Jefferson County Airport. He will always be remembered for his 2005 role in orchestrating the civilian airlift of 8,500 senior citizens from nursing homes to safe locations prior to the arrival of Hurricane Rita.
When Hal became aware that Rita’s devastation was imminent, he called President George W. Bush in order to request military assistance for the evacuation of senior citizens. President Bush sent C-17s and C-130s to assist. Bush arrived at the Jefferson County Airport in Air Force One and stepped off to shake hands with Hal during the operation which aired on various news networks.
Hal retired in 2011. Throughout his lifetime he preferred to be active outdoors rather than stay indoors. He and his younger brother learned the love of hunting from their dad with whom they hunted in their early years. When he had the opportunity he became a guide for dove hunters in George West, Texas. He was a Lifetime NRA member and a member of the American Sportsman Club.
Hal loved his family, friends and community. He made time for all and gave much to all. The members of Wesley Methodist Church of Nederland, of which he was an active member, will surely miss his presence. In addition, Hal always rose to the occasion to be with his daughter and grandchildren whom he loved and cherished so much.
During his illness, Hal never complained. Instead, he spoke of his thankfulness for all his blessings. Furthermore, he couldn’t have imagined how many would grieve for their loss of him.
Hal was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Olivia Ross and his father, Oliver Harold Ross.
He is survived by his daughter, Lindsey Ross Lefort, three grandchildren: Ross, Kate and Lucas Lefort, Glynda McCuller, a very significant woman in his life, his sister Mary Ellen Ross Cox and husband Richard, his brother, Don L. Ross, nieces and nephews: Brigitte Cox, Ellanda Hutchinson, Brian Cox, Lauren Jones, and Nathan Ross, and his faithful yellow Labrador, Elsa.