Teacher, mother was picture of compassion

Elicia Ross She taught medical biology at Bellevue West High School until 2013.


Whether it was in the classroom, at church or at home with her 3-year-old daughter, Elicia Ross cared for children.

The former Bellevue West High School teacher volunteered as a high school ministry leader at Dundee Presbyterian Church with her husband, Ken Ross. They attended high school mission trips and mentored confirmation classes.

Ken said the two wanted to embody a godly marriage.

"We dedicated ourselves to being an example for others," Ken Ross said. "A lot of couples would say that we persevered through so much. We never wavered, we continued to love each other."

Elicia Ross died Feb. 20 at Josie Harper Hospice House in Omaha after suffering adrenal gland failure. She was 30.

Ross was born Aug. 1, 1985, in Iowa City to Michael and Rhonda Gleason. Ross earned her bachelor's degree in biology from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. It was at Buena Vista that she met her husband. The two were married on May 16, 2009, in Omaha.

Ross worked for Schering-Plough Corp. and then taught medical biology at Bellevue West. She left the school in 2013 to stay home with her daughter, Lydia.

Bellevue West principal Kevin Rohlfs said Ross made a lasting impact at the school.

"Students gravitated to her," Rohlfs said. "She was truly compassionate and cared about every student that she worked with."

Elicia's love is what Ken said will leave an impression on those who knew her.

"She loved God and loved people," Ross said. "She would have so much outpouring of love whether it was toward a student she had or when she volunteered at the church.

"We just need to love people, because that's what she would be doing if she was here."

She was preceded in death by two daughters in infancy, Olivia Beth and Elliana Ross; her maternal grandfather, Joseph Caldwell and her father-in-law, Kenneth Ross Sr.

Survivors include her husband and her daughter; her parents Michael and Rhonda Gleason of La Porte City, Iowa; a brother, Nathan (Jessica) Gleason of Bellevue; her maternal grandmother, Shirley Caldwell of La Porte City, Iowa; her paternal grandparents, Richard and JoAnn Gleason of Gilbertville, Iowa; her mother-in-law, Michele Ross of Omaha; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and special friends.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1304, news@owh.com

"She loved God and loved people. She would have so much outpouring of love whether it was toward a student she had or when she volunteered at the church."

Elicia Ross' husband, Ken

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