Cover photo for Rawlyn Royal Ross's Obituary
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1931 Rawlyn 2021

Rawlyn Royal Ross

March 30, 1931 — January 18, 2021

ROSS, Rawlyn Royal, from Catlin, Ill., was ushered into the presence of Jesus at age 89 on Monday, January 18, 2021. He was born March 30, 1931, to the late Lilbert and Bernice (Fitzimmons) Ross of Catlin.

He went to Catlin Grade School and High School, where he graduated in 1950. He was a faithful member of Catlin Church of Christ for over 47 years. In 1944, Rawlyn met Joann Cox in high school, and they were married on September 15, 1951, at Catlin Church of Christ. Rawlyn worked at Olin and Lincoln Mercury in Danville, Ill., then started a painting business with his best friend, Floyd White. He then had a successful career in Real Estate and as an insurance salesman with AFLAC. He was on the town board, school board, church ministries, Sunday school teacher, and announced for the football team and ran clock at high school basketball games.

He and Joann freely gave of their talents traveling to churches in need, leading worship. Rawlyn would sing and Joann played the piano. They continued their travel leading music for revivals with The Christian Heralds, a gospel quartet that included Terry Waltzer, Jerry Ross, Lynn Lyons, and Ed Ross. Joann and Rawlyn raised four children in Catlin, and he and Joann lived there until they were 60. They then moved to Johnson City, Tenn, in 1991, where they were members of First Christian Church, Johnson City. He led singing along with Joann at Appalachian Village (Cornerstone), volunteered at the hospital, and played his harmonica for the patients. He coached youth sports with his son Randy, and he worked for American General. Their final move was in 2018 to Centerville, Ohio, until his passing.

He was a devoted husband and a very loving dad. He and Joann took great joy and pride in their children and allowed them to be who God created them to be. They lived their lives for their children and grandchildren. They embodied Psalm 127:3-5 as they have left an incredible legacy. Rawlyn was a faithful Cubs, Bears, and Fighting Illini fan. Anyone who knew Rawlyn will remember his joy, optimism, and his pocket full of candies. In our sorrow, we grieve with Hope, 'for we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.' 2 Corinthians 5:1

Rawlyn is preceded in death by his wife, Joann, his brother Larry and his son in law, Bill Smith. He is survived by his children, Randy (Tammy) Ross, Becky Ross, Sarah (Mark) Wright, and Rachel Smith; 9 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; 2 sisters JoAnne Blankenship, Sona Rose and 3 brothers, Jerry Ross, Danny Ross, and Ed Ross. Rawlyn always loved to bring candy and flowers to the medical staff that he would encounter to make sure they knew they were appreciated and acknowledged.

In lieu of flowers, please send a note of appreciation to any medical professional. Send candy, flowers, or gift cards in honor of Rawlyn. A gathering will be held later in Catlin, Ill., with the burial of ashes of both he and Joann at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Catlin. To leave condolences for the family, please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rawlyn Royal Ross, please visit our flower store.


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