Natalie Bernice Ross


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)



  1. Laura and Joe Campbell on July 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Randy, Lori, and your entire family, We are so so sorry for your loss of beautiful Natalie. What a blessing she was to you and all who knew her. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with you all at this very difficult time.

  2. Liz Donnelly on July 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Dear Lori, Randy and all of Natalie’s family and friends,
    I am so sorry for your great loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you at this most difficult time.
    Aunt Liz

  3. Virginia Fatseas on July 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  4. Daleen Bybee on July 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    That sums up Natalie perfectly! Enjoy heaven sweet lady! <3

  5. Ann stern on July 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    My sympathy and love to all. Natalie sounds like such a lovely person. I know she will be missed forever. Love, Ann

  6. Amy and Win Hansen on July 15, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Lori and Family,
    Our hearts are broken for you. Losing such a special child is never easy or understandable. Please know that Natalie and your entire family have touched so many lives and she will be rewarded in heaven where she will be looking down over all of you.

  7. Heather Hayes on July 15, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I’m grateful for having to known Nat, evening talks were always enjoyable with her. Thoughts to the entire Ross family.

  8. Rosser Family on July 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Our prayers go out to your family. She is in heaven now with her father. She will be in your hearts forever.

  9. Dave and Rose Mary Coffman on July 15, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Lori and Randy we want you to know that your family has made such a difference in the lives of so many people. Cherish the life of Natalie and know Heavens Eyes are watching over her and you at this time. Rose Mary and I feel your loss and have you in our prayers.

  10. Eric and Jen Swisher on July 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    We are very sorry for you loss. The both of you have shown so much love and Nat was very blessed. We are keeping you and your family in our prayers.

  11. Meg and Tim Pivonka on July 15, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family as you begin to live without your beautiful Natalie at your side. She will always be with you in spirit. Our hearts go out to you during the difficult days ahead.

    She surely had a wonderful life with you as her parents, surrounded by a house full of love. What a loving tribute you wrote for her. It sounds as if she deeply touched everyone who met her and left an indelible print on their hearts!

    We wish we had known her. Thank you for letting us learn a bit about her, she certainly was a free spirit, now she flies with the angels.

    Love, Meg and Tim Pivonka

  12. Mary Ruth Donnelly on July 16, 2013 at 7:40 am

    What a lovely tribute to a brave and happy girl. I am sorry for your loss but hope you will find comfort in the precious memories.

  13. Sheila Morrow on July 16, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Dear Randy, Lori and Paula, I am holding you and your beloved Natalie in my heart and prayers. Though I only met Natalie a couple of times, I feel as though I have known her well through Godma Paula’s stories and from your wonderful Christmas family letter. Take good care. I know that the family will miss her dearly.

    Sheila Morrow

  14. john and ruth hughes on July 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Dear Randy and Lori, What a beautiful tribute to a lovely person. How blessed she is to have you as her guide and loving parents. Our hearts are saddened by your loss. She knows how much you loved her and her expression of love for others is a tribute to your unending love for her. We are grateful for the freedom and everlasting love that she is now experiencing. She will contribute greatly to that Band of Angels we call Heaven. Know that John and I love knowing you and we share in your great loss. Fondly, John and Ruth Hughes

  15. Carrie Martin on July 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I am blessed just to have met Natalie and then I had the incredible honor of being a part of her life. Natalie was an amazing young woman and her sense of humor made my day! My heart goes out to her amazing family and friends! “Wild and Free”…that’s Natalie.

  16. Winnie Davies on July 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Natalie had an impact on my life. Her joy was evident and consistent and constant. Thanks for the opportunity to have known her and her family. Condolences to all. She is happy and free with God!

  17. Sonja Avila Mollison on July 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    What a loving tribute to a beautiful soul. What a teacher, blessing and inspiration she is to your family and everyone she has had contact with.

    Together you have saved lives and enriched others. Whom has taught, blessed, inspired, saved and enriched more, it’s difficult to measure?

    There are no words to express my sympathy except to offer that we do not mourn as those who have no hope.

    Her life continues on in the places where no limitations exist.

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