Leona (Onie) Irene Ross
Obituary for Leona (Onie) Irene Ross
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Onie Ross of Lower Sackville, NS. She died peacefully at home, surrounded by her loved ones.
Born in Stirling Brook NS, Onie was the daughter of Gordon and Myrtle (Ettinger) Eldridge. She was the second of 11 children, and grew up in Falmouth on the Dyke Road.
Onie did not live an average life. Born with a quick wit, the gift of gab, and an unquenchable sense of curiosity and adventure, she was a force of nature. She travelled where she wanted to travel, laughed inappropriately at every chance, and found a way to make every single moment fun.
A natural beauty and a born entertainer, Onie had a superpower of commanding the attention of an entire room full of people while simultaneously connecting one-on-one with each individual, fostering close friendships wherever she went. She was equally strong in her convictions, and you always knew where you stood with her. She didn’t take herself (or anyone else!) too seriously, and her fearless, funny and authentic attitude toward life touched the lives of many people.
She loved small dogs, glamorous tracksuits and Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Oil. Onie saw leopard print as a neutral colour. Scattered among the lipsticks and Lee Press-on Nails in her purse, she always kept a handful of small plastic toy animals in to cheer up or distract small, disobedient children in public who were “giving their parents a hard time.”
“Never look down on anyone, unless you're helping them up.”
Over the years she held many very unique jobs. She worked at the Windmill Canteen in Falmouth where she served the community tasty food and personality. She enjoyed her work as a savvy security guard for Towers Department Store where she once, after finding many thousands of dollars of inventory missing week after week without explanation, orchestrated a solo, all night stake-out. She finally caught the respected manager and an accomplice redhanded! “There they were, two o’clock in the morning with the big bay door in the back wide open. It was an inside job!”
She worked for many years at a beauty parlour as a hairdresser, and did a stint as a mortuary beautician, she always said “The best clients were at the funeral home, they never complained!”.
“It's better to walk alone, than with the crowd going the wrong way!”
She was a sun worshipper and a snow bird, and spent most winters in Florida with her husband Arnie. Her favourite tropical place to visit was Cuba, where she loved the beach, the culture, the people.
Onie enjoyed spending her summers in Nova Scotia relaxing and entertaining at Lilly Lake with her family and friends. You could find her on the patio at her camper, or out on the boat watching the sunset with her favourite drink in hand: Boones Fruit Wine or her home-made Tia Maria.
Onies Good Tia Maria
2 Cups Boiling Water
3 Cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
6 Tablespoons Instant Coffee
*Mix until sugar and coffee completely dissolve, let cool.
Add 26oz of ‘shine
“Best served with good friends over ice with a splash of milk.”
At the end of August, Onie was unexpectedly diagnosed with an aggressive form of Plasma Cell Leukaemia. It came with a grim prognosis, ‘no cure, no treatment, 2 to 4 months max.’ but she never once let her cancer diagnosis get the best of her positive outlook. She walked forward into this new reality with courage and humour and often reflected back on her life as someone who lived to the fullest, and repeatedly proclaimed that she didn’t want to hear any “Snottin’ or Blattin’!”. She bravely helped her family accept the fact that she was going to die by doing what she did best, making them laugh. In mid-October during dinner with her adult grandchildren, the casual conversation of what everyone had planned to dress up as for halloween was being discussed. Costume ideas floated around the table; her grandson Ayden planned to be Freddy Mercury, her Granddaughter Mallorie had wanted to be a mermaid. When it came to Onie, with a cheeky smile and a wink she said, “Ohhh, I don’t know.. I might just be.. a ghost!”
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Onie will be lovingly remembered by Arnie Ross, her husband of 36 years, son, Bunky, (Cathy) Lawrence and her grand daughters Jessica (Colin), Cassia, and Jasmine (Ken) Lawrence. She had a deep love for her great grandchildren, Mallorie, Ayden, Frejya, Kaitlyne, Mason and Sawyer, no matter the distance between them.
Survived by Aunts Mayme (Al) Wile and Aleen Green. Siblings, Ricky (Barb), Bobby (Christine) and Randy (Carol) Eldridge, Marlene (Larry) Patterson, Barbie (Al) Morrison, Stepson Randy Ross, step-grandsons Corey and Cody Ross and their families.
Besides her parents she was predeceased by, sister Brenda Boyd, brothers Herbie, Terry and Donnie, stepson Kevin (Carol) Ross and step granddaughter Crystal Marie Ross.
The family will hold a celebration of life when restrictions are lifted and plan to honour her last wishes by having her ashes shot over Lilly Lake in a bright, colourful and loud fireworks display. She said she wanted to go out with a bang.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Onie’s memory can be made to the Beacon House Interfaith Society, Lower Sackville.
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