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Natalie Bernice Ross, 24, passed away peacefully on July 14, 2013, in the arms of her parents and surrounded by her large loving family and close friends after a sudden illness. Natalie was born seven weeks prematurely on January 7, 1989 in Kansas City, to Randy & Lori Ross.
Before she was a year old she was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. But this condition did not prevent Natalie from living fully. Natalie loved without hesitation, and her beautiful and funny personality brightened the lives of everyone who knew her. Natalie loved roller coasters and all things wild and free. She visited Worlds of Fun, Six Flags and both Disney’s during her short life, and loved being the ‘fast pass’ to the front of the roller coaster line, where her big brothers and sisters got to take turns riding with her. Natalie laughed at the antics of her family and knew everyone’s secrets. Her smile and ‘high five’ welcomed and warmed every heart. She was our precious angel who we now reluctantly return to her righteous place sailing wild and free above the streets of gold in Heaven.
Although she loved almost everyone, Natalie had a few best friends during her life. Her love for her Grandma Paula was a thing of beauty. She also loved nurses, Kristin and Lori, and nannies Susie and Rachel, and really liked her friend Mike during most of her school years. Natalie inspired her parents to adopt her little brother, Tyler, who also has cerebral palsy, and she and Ty were roommates for several years. He is missing her today. Natalie started school in the Blue Valley School District, where she attended pre-school through second grade. In third grade, the family moved to Blue Springs where Natalie went to school until she graduated from Liggett Trail Educational Center at age 21. The last few years, she attended Rainbow Options. For many years, Natalie enjoyed playing softball in the summer with the Exceptional’s league. We are grateful for all of the wonderful teachers and helpers she had in her life.
Natalie was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Richard L. Ross and Naomi R. Ross. She will be deeply missed by her parents, Randall W. (Randy) and Loretta A. (Lori) Ross; her siblings, Robin Ross, Vincent Ross, Elizabeth Ross, Kenneth (Sarah) Ross, Jessica Ross, Catina Ross, Nathan (Alex) Ross, Nick Ross, Christian Ross, Emily Ross, Damion Ross, Keyonna Ross, Nicole Ross, Caroline Ross, Jacob Ross, James Ross, David Ross, Tyler Ross, Hunter Ross, Shianne Ross, Matthew Ross, Katherine Ross, Molly Ross, Brianna Ross and Lauren Ross; her grandparents, Paula (Schmidt) Duke and Dr. Thomas (Kathy) Duke; her nieces and nephews, Ethan, BreAnna and Alyssa Huerta, Ryder Ross Huff, Peyton James and Miles Ross; her aunts and uncles, Karen Duke, Michael (Cindy) Ross, Pat (Joanie) Ross, Carolyn (Dan) Cahill and close extended family members Ralph Anderson and Jeff (Karen) Anderson and many cousins. Finally, Natalie taught dozens of foster siblings about love and compassion during her life, many of whom are still part of our family and join us in grieving her today.
A visitation will be held, 8:30-10AM, Thursday, July 18 at Woods Chapel United Methodist Church, 4725 NE Lakewood Way, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064. A Celebration of Life will follow at 10AM. Following the graveside services, the family would like to invite you to return to the church for lunch. Memorial contributions in Natalie’s honor may be made to Midwest Foster Care and Adoption Association, 18600 E 37th Terr, Box 11, Independence, MO 64057. (arr. Heartland Cremation & Burial Society, 816-313-1677)