For more than 40 years, Ross DeJohn Jr has been helping families to honor their loved ones as a funeral director. While he cannot take away the pain of losing a loved one, Ross knows he makes a difference by making the situation easier for a family by guiding them during the decision process.
“Working with a family has its ups and downs but overall its rewarding for people to put their trust in my experience. I often make suggestions and give advice that I know helps ease their burden during a very emotional and stressful time of their life.”
He most enjoys the dynamics of caring for each family and finding a personal connection with them. As a funeral director, Ross is able to use his strong faith and spirituality to guide families into making the best decisions for planning a funeral for their loved one. Most important to him is being able to make a difference by planning a meaningful service or celebration of life. “A family has one time to do this right and make it meaningful. Its most gratifying for me that a family is happy with the outcome and being an instrumental part of that life celebration.”
The funeral industry has always been a part of his life beginning in his childhood where he remembers going to the funeral home to visit his father, Ross DeJohn Sr. As an adult, he began by assisting Ross Sr as a funeral director in 1977 and then becoming an integral leader in the funeral home by transitioning to DeJohn-Flynn-Mylott Funeral Homes in 1986. After serving in the Army during the Vietnam War and working in corporate America, Ross started rethinking his career path. His experience in the corporate world helped his decision and by 1983 he made the commitment to return to the funeral industry to serve families with his faith and hospitality.
He has continued to position DeJohn-Flynn-Mylott for growth and development through the years with his innovative ideas as the industry endures cultural and social changes. Ross kept the funeral home ahead of the curve by developing its community room and catering services to better serve families. He coordinated with his wife, Patty DeJohn, to care for families beyond the service through bereavement care and be the funeral homes on staff therapist.
Then 11 years ago, he brought the first funeral home Therapy Dog, Magic to Cleveland. As the primary handler of therapy dogs Magic and Coco, Ross helps provide comfort to grieving families during the funeral service as well as brighten spirits by visiting local hospitals, hospices, and schools throughout the year. His experience with the therapy dogs influenced his decision to extend funeral care to all members of the family and developed DeJohn Pet Services, private pet cremation and memorialization.
He expanded the business twice in recent years by adding locations in Chardon, taking over the Ritondaro Funeral Home, and building the DeJohn Funeral Homes & Celebrations Center in Chesterland. The Celebrations Center features a spacious modern foyer and gathering area with an adjoining café room, outdoor patio with fireplace and serves as a state-of-the-art facility for many types of life celebrations. His innovation continues to drive the future of the funeral home by expanding how DeJohn-Flynn-Mylott can better serve families.
DeJohn Funeral Homes has truly become a family business by not only having Ross’s wife Patty on staff as a grief therapist but also guiding his son, Ross DeJohn III and daughter, Melissa DeJohn Capretta into the business as funeral directors.
A die-hard Cleveland sports fan, Ross can often be found on the sidelines of Cleveland Browns games and in the stands of the Cleveland Indians stadium during the summertime. He sees sports as a “wonderful tool in teaching life activities like teamwork. Life is about a team, taking the psychology of sports and applying it to life.” As the eternal optimist, he looks forward to the future of the Browns – win or lose – he always shows his support.
He also continues to secure a strong leadership position within his community as an active member at his alma mater St Joseph High School and Bowling Green University campus where he supports local Sigma Chi chapter events. Nine DeJohn family members have committed to Sigma Chi and proudly support the Cleveland community.