Thelma Phillips Ross was born in Sledge, Quitman County Mississippi on April 28, 1924. She was the middle child of three, to include Earl and Lydia, born to William Henderson Phillips and Elnora Avant Phillips.
Thelma worked on a farm with her family and attended school until the 8th grade. She attended church at Orange Grove in Mississippi and was baptized. As a young adult, she and her brother sang in a small group touring the local area. She was a member of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, of Cleveland, OH for many years then joined Christ The King, in East Cleveland, OH in 1983.
In 1941, she married Ulysses Hill, Jr. She gave birth to her first child, Pearl Lee Hill on November 24, 1942. On September 10, 1945, she gave birth to her second child, Annie Pearl Hill. Thelma moved from Mississippi to Cleveland, Ohio in 1946. She worked at several jobs, including Mt. Sinai hospital and the Bond Court Hotel. She married Jonathan Ross, also from Mississippi, in 1948. They raised four additional children, JoAnn, Larry, Carlton, and Rita. The couple purchased their first home in 1951. As a result of working hard and strategically managing her money, Thelma owned a restaurant, on the corner of East 79th and Kinsman. Following that initial investment, she owned three other stores and opened Mother Braintree, a concert hall and lounge, on the corner of Euclid Avenue and East. 71st Street. Along the way, she purchased several personal homes, some rental properties and her final family home in Cleveland Heights, OH.
When not being an awesome business woman and mother, Thelma enjoyed embroidery, Bingo, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards, playing the Monopoly Game, watching endless hours of News TV, playing the piano, sketching portraits and figures, planting flowers, and making her family laugh with impromptu dance moves. She did all of this while taking care of her first born daughter who became handicapped at age 21 and her elderly father who passed at age 102. Truly she was a phenomenal woman.
Thelma is preceded in death by her parents, William H. Phillips, Elnora Doyle Phillips, her brother Earl Phillips, and Lydia Phillips who died at the age of 2, her husbands, Ulysses Hill Jr., and Jonathan Ross, her daughter Pearl Lee Hill, her son Carlton Ross and grandson Myron Evans. She is survived by her daughter Annie Pearl Scott, of Cleveland, Ohio, JoAnn Holly (DeLord), of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, son Larry Ross, daughter, Rita Ross of South Euclid, Ohio, granddaughter Andrea Hill (Hammond Ford), of South Euclid, Ohio, grandsons Damian Evans (Lovey) of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, Carita Darden Fields (Michael), of Euclid, OH, Emerson Holly, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, great granddaughters Andreanna and Amber Ford, of South Euclid, Ohio, Destiny and Danielle Evans, of Warrensville Hts., OH, a host of relatives young and old, and many friends, and friends of the family.
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