Former Mt. Pleasant Sub ’n Pub owner kept upbeat attitude during cancer fight
Mary D. “Lou” Ross of Scottdale beat the odds in her 13-year battle against a rare cancer of the salivary glands, and did it with a smile on her face and positive attitude that spread to other patients undergoing treatment, according to her daughter.
“She was called a miracle by her doctors. She would come out of major surgery with a smile. She would have radiation (treatments) and tell the other patients (in the waiting room) not to go home and feel sorry for yourself. It was just amazing,” Jennifer Banks of Scottdale said.
Doctors didn’t expect Mrs. Ross to live long after her diagnosis, Banks said. But her mother lived to see the birth of three more grandchildren.
Mrs. Ross, 66, died Monday, March 4, 2019, in Twin Lakes Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, Unity.
She was born Nov. 1, 1952, in Mt. Pleasant, a daughter of Helen Marie (Hendricks) Deluka of Galloway, N.J., and the late Chris D. Deluka, who died in 2008.
Mrs. Ross graduated from Greater Latrobe High School in 1970. She met her future husband, John A. “Tony” Ross Jr., while working at her father’s Winky’s restaurant in Connellsville.
The couple married in April 1972.
“They were seriously the loves of each other’s lives,” Banks said.
Mrs. Ross became the manager of the Mt. Pleasant Sub ’n Pub when her father purchased the business in 1984, then became the owner in 2004. Along with help from her family, they continued to operate the restaurant until last year.
It was a great job for a person who loved people. “She loved to waitress because she loved to meet people,” said Banks, who worked at the restaurant with her mother.
Mrs. Ross was well known for the different varieties of cheesecakes she made. Customers would call the restaurant not to find out the special of the day but the variety of available cheesecakes, Banks said.
Banks recalled that her mother once worked for more than 30 hours making cheesecakes for a holiday.
Mrs. Ross also was an active fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation through its Understandable Generous Lovable You, or U.G.L.Y., bartender contest. The Mt. Pleasant Sub ’n Pub would consistently place in the Top 10 in fundraising among taverns in the region.
After her cancer diagnosis, she spearheaded the Relay for Life in Mt. Pleasant in 2007, helping to raise more than $10,000 a year. She had fundraisers at the restaurant as well, Banks said.
In addition to her husband and daughter, she is survived by a son, Michael Ross of Catonsville, Md., and another daughter, Elizabeth Jackson of Bethel Park; and four grandchildren.
Friends and family will be received at the Robert B. Ferguson Funeral Home, 105 Spring St., Scottdale, from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the hour of parting prayers in the funeral home chapel.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Partner Parish of St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, Scottdale, with the Rev. Andrew Kawicki as celebrant.
Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society at 724-834-5116.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .