Editor Judy Blackman published an article in the March 2023 issue of the Nashua Coin Club's publication the Nashua Numismatist about ANA President Ralph Ross and his family titled "Did you know a St. Eligius Knight leads the ANA?" With permission, we're publishing an excerpt here. Thank you!
This is a personal story of Ralph W. Ross, PhD, President of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and a Knight of St. Eligius. To be a Knight, you must be a kind, generous, caring
person focused on advancing the studies of numismatics, growing the hobby, and building fellowship. Dr. Ross is a role model in this regard. I hope you will feel the same pride that I do,
when you are done reading, knowing that such as person is leading one of the largest
numismatic organizations in the world! I am thankful to Dr. Ross and his family, for affording me
time in the fall of 2022, to complete this story.
With the recent induction of Dr. Ralph W. Ross, PhD, as a Knight of St.
Eligius, as a fellow Knight, I want to celebrate his glory. Also 2022 is a
special anniversary for Ralph in terms of numismatics! Unlike, most articles
published about Ralph W. Ross, PhD, this story of Dr. Ross will lean towards
a more personal insight to the man — whose family lovingly calls him
genius — a devoted spiritualist, loving father, devoted husband, outstanding educator, renowned professional, fully-engaged hobbyist, and all-around
nice person. Ralph's daughter Jillian notes,
Our summer vacations were
planned around ANA National Conventions in cities around the United
States, at times bringing along my father's siblings and their families, and
this included attending the ANA banquets too.
Let's first get the résumé covered that most articles are focused on. It's convenient where Ralph and his lovely wife Phyllis A. Ross live in Sugar Land, Texas. Ralph spent nearly two years in the National Aeronautics Space Administration
(NASA) —Occupational Health and Human Test Support. This came after his work with GTE as Assistant Engineer and GSI
as a Seismologist. These three roles were in conjunction with his teaching career and advancing his own education. First
came his Bachelor of Science (Mathematics, Chemistry), then his Master's degree (Mathematics), and over the course of
32 years, Ralph completed his Doctorate (Environmental Toxicology). It's important to remember Ralph and Phyllis started a family going on to raise three children during this period (Jason, Jeremy, and Jillian).
Ralph's professional teaching career began in 1980 as a Graduate Teaching Assistant with the University of Michigan.
His teaching profession has spanned over 40 years, teaching Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and other subjects.
Ralph grew up in Muskegon (Michigan), and later moved to Houston (Texas) in 1982 where he met and married his wife
Phyllis and started a family. Ralph's introduction to numismatics is a bit unusual from most stories, and it may also have
triggered his interest in mathematics as well. He lived across the street from Coleman's Grocery which had candy machines out front, with the gumball machine being a favourite since his older brother Sam taught him how to use it. When
Ralph thought the gumball machine broke, the store owner Mr. Coleman showed him that the machine could not accept
Ralph's coin, as it was a 12-sided (dodecagon 1951) Canadian 5-cent piece rather than a round US Buffalo-nickel, but
Coleman offered to exchange the coin.
Ralph however, had a different idea, he ran home to his mother. To calm the disappointed 4-year-old, Ralph's mother explained to him about currency used in countries outside the USA, such as the
Canadian 5-cent piece. At his mother's urging, Ralph saved the Canadian coin. Ralph shares,
From that day on, I have
collected various things, such as bottle caps, baseball cards, marbles, stamps, spiders (live), lottery tickets, and of
course, coins of all kinds. Somewhere in his life, Ralph also became a fan of jazz music, travelling, and sports (he is the
proud great-uncle of NBA Boston Celtic All-Star Jaylen Brown).
The Honorable Phyllis A. Ross, a Presiding Municipal Court Judge in Suburban Houston, Texas is a
graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Houston Law Center. Judge
Ross grew up in Dallas, Texas and has practiced law in the Houston community since 1992.
Judge Ross is married to Dr. Ralph Ross, a mathematics professor, and they are the parents of
three children, and the grandparents of three. Judge Ross has
been instrumental in the lives of her children and others, serving
as a college prep consultant and mentor helping young people
achieve their dreams. Judge Ross shares the successes learned
in helping her children excel and encourages students and
parents to strive for excellence. Judge Ross and her husband,
the owner of Ross Family Coins and President of the American Numismatics Association, travel the country attending local, state, regional, national and international coin
shows and encouraging young numismatists. Judge Ross is active in her community
and has served as a volunteer for Girl Scouts of America, her church and other
organizations, and is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
We thank Ralph and his entire family for the wonderful impact they
have had on the hobby of numismatics, and how they continue to
embrace everybody they meet with pureness of heart. It's easy to see
why Dr. Ralph W. Ross was inducted on 11 December 2021 into the St.
Eligius Numismatists Brotherhood of USA. He is certainly a role model
for how all St. Eligius Knights lead. May St. Eligius continue to guide
2022 Royal Canadian Numismatic Association convention in
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and it shows four Knights of St.
Eligius, including (left to right) Scott E. Douglas, the Grand
Chancellor of the Brotherhood of St. Eligius Knights-Canada;
Phyllis, Ross, and Serge Pelletier, RCNA NumisNotes Editor
To read the complete issue, see:
"NCC just completed a series of interviews of NCC members of those who were willing to be interviewed. Starting with the January 2021 issued up to and including Dec. 2022 issue, 41 interviews were conducted and the resulting stories published in the Nashua Numismatist. These stories helped the club members' bond grow tighter as members discovered more common backgrounds and interests, and some surprises in the process. It may be an exercise other clubs wish to try!"
Indeed - great idea and project!
For more information on the Nashua Coin Club, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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