Cornelia Capp Ross, loving mother, grandmother (Oma) and great-grandmother, passed away Friday, May 25, 2020, at her residence in The Meth-Wick Community Manor building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She had gracefully reached the age of 100 this past March. A memorial service will be held at a later date, because of concerns about gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cornelia was born March 12, 1920, in St. Paul, Minn., to Frank W. Capp and Kitcy Helen (Roberts) Capp. Her family moved to the south side of Chicago in 1924 and then to River Forest, Ill., in 1929. She attended Washington Elementary, then Roosevelt Junior High for one year before attending Oak Park, River Forest Township High School. After graduation, she enrolled at Oak Park Junior College majoring in zoology, but with the urging of her aunt Nan Capp Crutcher, who had been her piano teacher since second grade, she applied and was accepted into Northwestern University's School of Music majoring in piano and voice. During her years at Northwestern and following graduation in 1943, she studied with the prominent voice instructors Theodore and Donna Harrison. Her professional life was busy with teaching private lessons and working in HR for Liberty Mutual Insurance in Chicago.
It was then that an old family friend called from Cedar Rapids seeking reconnection. After almost two years of courtship, traveling back and forth by train, Cornelia accepted the proposal of Donald M. Ross and they were married on Dec. 3, 1960, at First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She shared her amazing musical talents within the community, singing in the 1st Pres chancel choir, directing the church's youth choir, playing at multiple churches as their substitute organist, performing and accompanying as a member of Beethoven Club, and throughout many years teaching private piano lessons in the Amana Colonies. She was an active member of PEO Chapter FO and the Cedar Rapids Schools' "Rock and Read" program.
Cornelia will be remembered for her social grace, generosity of heart and welcoming nature backed by an unflinching strength of will, or as her loving husband fondly referred to her, as Admiral Farragut, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead." She loved to host dinner gatherings with friends, family holidays, choir parties and Coe College reunion dinners. But what she loved most were her family and her dogs.
Cornelia was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Helen Capp; her husband of 58 years, Donald M. Ross; and her brother, Thomas Capp.
Cornelia is survived by her son, John D. Ross (Diana); grandson, Andy Ross (Jodee); granddaughter, Natalie Ross (Andy Donovan); and great-grandchildren, Logan Ross, Piper Ross and Del Ross Donovan.
The Ross family would like to thank The Meth-Wick community and staff, especially the loving and ever caring nurses and caregivers on fourth floor.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Cornelia's memory may be directed to the Beethoven Club Cedar Rapids. Please leave a message or tribute to the Ross family on the website, www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.