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.

Please use this page to share photos, fun stories and memories of Onie with us.

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Arnie,Jessica and family, I am so sorry to hear about Onie, she was one of a kind, I enjoyed seeing her and chatting at the Lake..she will be missed.
- Kare and Bill
We were so sorry to hear of Onie's passing. She was one of a kind ... funny, friendly and full of life. Rob and I met Onie at Lily Lake and she always had the most fantastic stories to tell about her life. She'll be missed. Our deepest condolences to Arnie, Jessica, Ayden and family. Hugs to you all.
- Sharon Hendrie
Our sincere sympathies to all the family from Susan, and I. I remember Onie as a unique, bigger than life character. She will be missed by all. R.I.P.
- Tim Wile
Arnie,Bunky and family So sorry to hear of Onie's passing.Always enjoyed chatting with her she was always smiling.She was a spunky lady and will be missed by many.I am sure she is surrounded by many family members and they will have a great time together.Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Melodee Boyd
- Melodee Boyd
Bunky and family; Sorry to read of Onie`s passing. I remember her from when I was young and going to the Klip N`Kurl. My Aunts Aggie and Josie owned the Hair Salon and they all along with Glenna N had a great time working together. Seen her different times throughout the years and she was always cheerful. Lovely lady
- Cheryl Palmer
Bunky and family so sorry to hear of Onie's passing i hope god is ready for a new sidekick. On behalf of my parents Jim and Ruth Wile and myself Brian Wile are thoughts and prayers are with you all
- Brian Wile
Bunky, Arnie and family, So sorry for your loss. I will always remember cousin Onie's beautiful smile and quick wit. She will be remembered and missed by so many. May she now rest in peace. Sincerely, Joyce & Ron
- Joyce Reynolds
Deepest condolences to Arnie, Jessica and family. I have fond memories of Onie over the years, always kind and caring to me. Hope you can find comfort in the wonderful memories you have of her.
- Susan Simpson
To the Family ,when I think of Onie ,I can only smile ,as that was the thing about her ,smiles and laughter,and a heart of gold,such great times shared over the years,only one Onie.Elizabeth Curry and Stewart Lyon
- elizabethcurry
so sorry for your loss. Onie will be missed by many and remembered for her charm and love of life.
- Roy and Gillian
Our deepest sympathy to all of Onie's family. She was a truly unique woman and we are all the better for having known her. She touched so many lives and will always be remembered with love . Anne and Bill Lake.
- Anne Lake
sending condolences to all .of Onie's family
- roberta lawrence
My thoughts and prayers are with Onie's family. I only met her back in August she was a joy and we had great many chats when I was able to visit. Always always asked how my daughter was feeling she knew she was very sick with her pregnancy. Onie I appreciate you always asking me about my daughter and I am very glad I got to see you 2 weeks ago to tell you the baby arrived and you got to see some pictures of her. Before I left you gave me a big hug. Rest easy my friend. Til we met again some day
- Holly MacDonald
Wherever Onie went, smiles and laughter followed. Deepest sympathies to the entire family.
- Shaun Lake
My condolences to Onie's family. I only knew her from her frequent visits to Beacon House, but enjoyed talking to her when we met at other places. Always a smile to light up the day and great conservation.
- Donna Crandall
Armies and family, we were sad to read of Obie's passing, a wonderful person she was, sending our condolences
- Lawrence &Pat
Hi onie .I know you are having a hot cup of tea with Brenda and your mum. To one's family you have been so blessed to have Onie in your lives. You knew you were LOVED. Kevin verlie and I soo enjoyed our visits with Onie during her illness had many laughs reminiscing the past and present. Hugs to all family. Oh yes onie I do hope that your fireworks are the biggest and brightest. Love from cousin Wanda
- Wanda Sheehy
Thelma [Fahmie], Anne and Jeannie - The Porter gals of Taylor Road want to extend our condolences to Arnie, Bunky and family. Onie always had a big smile, hug and chat whenever we met.
- Jean Newcombe
Sending sincere sympathy and love to all of Onie's family. My thought and prayers are with you all. Onie was a friend to all, regardless of age ! We have lost a Special Lady and she will truly be missed by all who knew her. May the comfort of friends and family help you through this very sad time. Much love, Saundra and family
- Saundra Bain
Sending our sincere condolences to Onie's entire family.It had been a while since we seen each other,but when every we would chance to meet we always enjoyed taking the time to have a good chat and laugh together. Leah [Eldridge] & Stewart Boutilier Raymond Eldridge Wally & Ronnie Eldridge
- Leah Boutilier
Vernon and I send our condolences to you Arnie, Jessica, Ayden and family. There was never a dull moment at the campground when Onie was around, whether it be trying her alcohol soaked veggies, sitting on the deck laughing or watching her and Onie going on the boat as she would say "for a sunset cruise" on Lily Lake and knowing the boat would break down and Arnie would have to paddle back in with Onie just laughing and watching him. She will be sadly missed.
- Kim Carvery
I first met Onie when I began work in Windsor and she worked at Klip and Curl. Many good conversations with the coffee crew at Ruddocks.
- Joy Morash
Arnie and sorry to hear of Onies passing.She was a great support to Susan and I When we spent a week in Halifax for Busters heart value operation.we had a nice visit every time we met over the years.She well be remembered.
- Lalia Long
Our sincere condolences to Onie's family. I well remember her while growing up in Falmouth and have always admired her fearless attitude and compassion for the "underdog". She was certainly a woman to be reckoned with - you never knew what to expect but it was usually hilarious. R.I.P. Onie. David and Carolyn Mcleod
- David McLeod
Jessica, Cassia, Jasmine and families. I am so sorry to read of your grandmothers passing. I haven't seen Onie in years, but whenever I would run into her she always went out of her way to have a great conversation. Sincere condolences to you and your families. Laura and Jeff Leopold
- Laura Leopold
Sending my condolences to Arnie an family got to Know Onie when they lived in Hopewell RIP Onie
- Joanne MacHardy

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