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Ross C. DeJohn Sr.

REV. MR. MAYOR ROSS C. DeJOHN, SR. age 88, died peacefully, spiritually and with grace on November 19, 2016 at Hospice House surrounded by his family; together again with his beloved and devoted wife of 67 years Carmella “Mell” (nee Liuzzo), who died July 28, 2016; cherished father of Ross C., Jr (wife Patricia), Michael A. (wife Mary Alice and the late Catherine), Robert J. (wife Lori), Carla M. Prusak (husband Michael) and Christine A. D’Alessandro (husband James); adored grandfather “Papa” of Ross C. III, Melissa Capretta (Riccardo), Mark, Christopher (Sarah), Daniel, Christina Chianese (A.J.), Michael J., James D’Alessandro, Michael Prusak, Teresa, twins Thomas and Michael D’Alessandro, Bobby and great-grandfather “Papa Ross” of Lola, Stella, Georgia, Charlie, Owen, Olive, Henry, Benjamin, and soon-to-be baby girl Chianese; devoted son of the late Carl and Teresa (nee Piscitello); dearest brother of the late Dominica “Minnie” Patti (Tony, dec), Col. Ben USAF (Peggy, dec), Joseph (Josephine, dec), and Anthony (Algean, dec); dear brother-in-law of Mary Liuzzo and Mario (JoAnn) Liuzzo, dearest uncle, great-uncle, cousin and friend of many. U.S. Marine Corps Veteran. Member of the Knights of Columbus Gilmour Council #310 and 4th Degree Moses Cleveland #800 and the Order of Alhambra Carmona Caravan #75.

Ross Charles DeJohn was born June 11, 1928, to the late Carl and Teresa (nee Piscitello) in Cleveland.  He attended South High School and graduated in 1946.  He served in the United States Marine Corps and upon discharge entered the Marine Corps and Navy Reserve while attending John Carroll University. DeJohn married his wife of 67 years, Carmella (nee Liuzzo) in 1949.  He graduated from the former Cleveland College of Mortuary Science and became a licensed embalmer and funeral director in 1952.  He began his career at the McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home in Middletown, Ohio, before moving back to Cleveland and working for the Nosek Funeral Home and later the Flynn-Froelk Funeral Home.

In 1956, due to a series of back surgeries, DeJohn left the funeral home and began employment with the General Electric Company in the Lamp Division, working as a technician in the photo lamp department.  He moved on to the Human Resources Department and later retired as a Health Care Administrator in 1983, when he chose to devote his time to the city of Mayfield Heights.

In 1986, with his son Ross, Jr., DeJohn bought the Flynn Mylott Funeral Home, which later became DeJohn-Flynn-Mylott, and continued to serve the Cleveland community.  In 1993, DeJohn was appointed to the Ohio State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors by Governor George V. Voinovich and eventually served as President until retirement in 2008.

A Mayfield Heights resident since 1953, Mayor DeJohn’s interest in city structure awarded him an appointment to City Council in 1960.  He won the mayoral race in 1965 against many odds, including a popular incumbent.  DeJohn remained mayor for 28 years.  He served Mayfield Heights in its most formative years and raised funds through donations for the city civic center which now bears his name.  He presided over the 1968 groundbreaking of Hillcrest Hospital, where he served as a board member.  Mayor DeJohn was instrumental in developing the city’s corporate center, which provides valuable tax dollars to the city today.

Rev. Mr. DeJohn served the Church of St. Clare in Lyndhurst, Ohio, and the Cleveland Catholic Diocese as a Deacon since his ordination on June 4, 1983. One of DeJohn’s first official acts as deacon was to perform the marriage of his son Robert and daughter-in-law Lori on his own anniversary October 29, 1983.  DeJohn presided over many baptisms, first communions, funerals, and weddings, as well as assisting in Catholic Masses. His service to the community also included devoted membership in the Knights of Columbus Gilmour Council #310 and 4th Degree Moses Cleaveland #800 and the Order of Alhambra Carmona Caravan #75.

Ross’ many hobbies included his love of all Cleveland sports teams and attending games with his family, bowling, golfing, and traveling with his wife Carmella. He will be greatly missed by his family, the many friends and those he ministered to and served in all parts of his life over the years.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Ross’s memory to Hospice of the Western Reserve 17876 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44110, Ursuline Sisters Ministry Fund 2600 Lander Rd., Pepper Pike, OH 44124 or Sisters of Notre Dame 13000 Auburn Rd., Munson Twp., OH 44024.

Please join us to pay tribute to and celebrate the life of Ross at THE DeJOHN FUNERAL HOME & CELEBRATIONS CENTER OF CHESTERLAND 12811 CHILLICOTHE ROAD (Rt. 306, just south of Mayfield Rd.) SUNDAY 1-7 PM. Prayer and Eulogy Service SUNDAY 7:30 PM. All are welcome to attend Vespers on MONDAY, November 28, at 3 PM at St. Clare Catholic Church 5659 Mayfield Rd., Lyndhurst, with Visitation following until 7 PM. Relatives and friends are invited to meet for the Mass of Christian Burial TUESDAY November 29, at St. Clare Church at 11 AM, The Most Reverend Roger W. Gries, O.S.B., Presiding. Entombment following with Military Honors at All Souls Mausoleum.

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Together Again

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Charity Name: HOSPICE OF THE WESTERN RESERVE INC, SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME

Charity EIN: 341256377, 340714382

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Condolence Messages

  1. Dear De John Family,
    Our deepest sympathy to you all.
    Your Dad was such a special person.
    He was always helping other people.
    May he rest in peace.
    Love, the Baldner Family <3

  2. Thomas LaGatta :

    Our deepest sympathies to the entire DeJohn family at this time. Tom and Barbara LaGatta, San Antonlo, Texas

  3. Lawrence M. Brazie :

    I served with the Mayfield Hts. Police Dept from 1977 till 2011, most of that time under Mayor DeJohn. He was a great mayor and safety director. I served on the wage negotiations committee occasionally, and I recall what he said at my first experience there. He opened with the statement “you are not going to get everything you want, and neither am I. But we will come to a fair agreement for both sides, I promise you that.” And he always did.

  4. My condolences to the DeJohn family. My dad worked was a supervisor in the Mayfield Hts. service department and was good friends with your dad. He even came out to our house on several occasions when my dad would have the guys from work over for a steak fry. Your dad was an extemely nice guy.

  5. victor carcioppolo :

    My deepest sympathies to the entire DeJohn family. Thank you all for being such wonderful role models and servants in your churches and communities as well as to my family in losing my mother just last week. After reading Mr. DeJohn’s life story and I am sure this only the cliff note version, I am not surprised by your servanthood having such an amazing role model as Mayor DeJohn. He served his family better than no other, his country with courage, his state with pride, his church with love and his community with passion. I am most certain he heard The Lord God say “Well done My good and faithful servant.” My father Vito knew Mayor DeJohn well and respected him for being a man of integrity and character.

    Agape love. <

  6. Jacquie Krause :

    Hard for me to believe, both Ross and Carmella are gone! I’m sure they were thrilled to be reunited in God’s Kingdom! What a celebration that had to be! Ross was truly a very special man, he did so much for so many! He meant a lot to Chester and myself! So very sorry for your loss! God bless you all with peace in your hearts and strength to get thru this difficult time! Thanks for that very informative obituary! I enjoyed reading about Ross’s life! Love to all!

  7. Andy, Rhonda and Bobby Fornaro :

    Our deepest sympathy to the DeJohn Family. What a wonderful man your father was. Always keep the wonderful memories of him alive so that he may live in your hearts forever. God bless you all during this holiday season.

  8. Our most sincere condolences to the entire DeJohn family. From reading Mr. DeJohn’s obituary, it is evident that he lived a very full life and impacted many people in a positive manner. We should all aspire to a life of service such as his. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on him.
    Sincerely,
    Paul and Cyndee White
    Sarasota, FL

  9. Diane (Manfrey) Geremia :

    To the entire DeJohn family, my deepest sympathy on the loss of your father. Having grown up in Mayfield Hts, your dad was always welcoming with the his smile and hugs. Your parents will always have a special place in my heart.

  10. Chris DiFranco :

    My deepest condolences to the DeJohn family. I was hired by Mayor DeJohn back in 1989 for the Police Dept. and I always had great respect for him. I just saw him a couple months ago and we had a very nice talk. He will be missed, and now he is with the love of his life. Thoughts and prayers for the family

  11. To the DeJohn family;
    Your dad was a terrific man , love of God ,his family ,and his community will always be his legacy.
    I am proud to have worked under him as Mayor of Mayfield Heights, He will always be The Mayor.

    God Bless You All,
    Bernie Samac

  12. Donnie Rapposelli :

    God bless you all at this time of need. Your Dad will surely be missed but he is back with his love for the holidays! Our deepest sympathy to a wonderful family. Peace and love to you all.

    Donnie and Darlene

  13. Ross and Patty I have no words for the loss of both of your parents. Sorry we couldn’t be there, but know we are keeping you and your family in our prayers

  14. David & Mary Anderson :

    Our sincere sympathy to the DeJohn family. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this difficult time. May he rest in peace.

  15. Marilyn Goudas :

    Dear Ross and family, I am so very sorry to hear of your dad’s loss. Such a burden God has given you to bear the loss of both parents within such a short time. I pray God gives you the strength you need in this difficult time….May his memory be eternal.

  16. A great man and great friend of mine and the Mayfield Schools. We had a wonderful relationship
    while he was Mayor and I was Superintendent of Schools. His support was a big factor in the success of the school system.
    Regards to the wonderful family he and Carmella gave to us.

  17. As the former inspector with the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, i had the honor to serve under the leadership of Ross. I considered Ross to be very fair and understanding but more important he was my friend. So sad to learn of his passing. My prayers to all the family.

  18. Michael,

    I was so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. I will be praying for you at this time and during the holidays. Keep good thoughts of all the fun and happy times with both of your parents.

  19. Jack and Cornelia Juron :

    To the entire DeJohn family: May Ross and Carmella be examples to all who knew them; a devoted couple, fantastic parents and grandparents, servants to the community and church, and two people who offered smiles to all of us so often. May they rest in God’s hands.

  20. Thomas & Gloria Principe :

    Our sincere condolences are extended to the entire DeJohn family for their loss.
    Ross was our mayor, our deacon, my boss, but mostly our friend.
    May he Rest In Peace.
    The Principe Family

  21. Theresa Ritondaro :

    My sincere Sympathy to you all. A true loss to the Community. They are together again

  22. Dear Corky and Patty,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your Uncle Ross. I remember him very well during the years we were growing up. I saw his obituary on Facebook, what a great man.
    With love, Donna DeFazio

  23. Dear Ross and Patty. We are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers our with you and your entire family. Linda and Jeff Harris.

  24. Laura & Ve Syracuse :

    To all of the DeJohn families – we lost a great person this past week. He was so dedicated to his family and friends and also the city of Mayfield Heights. We will truly miss him and his warm smile. We were so honored to have known him and his lovely wife.

  25. Joseph and Janice Soukenik :

    Our deepest sympathy to each member of the DeJohn family. Ross was dedicated to the Church, his family, the community and to his many friends. Ross was a wonderful person and a dear friend for over sixty years. He and his beloved recently departed wife, Carmella, will be much missed.
    The DeJohn family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  26. Dianne Comella Strah :

    To the DeJohn family. Our deepest sympathies in the loss of a wonderful man. Growing up in Mayfield Hts he always welcomed all with an open heart and a smile. Prayers and thoughts to your family from Dianne Comella Strah & family.

  27. Annamarie Kachurek :

    Deepest sympathy to the DeJohn family in the recent loss of your dear father. Though I did not know your father personally, I grew up hearing and seeing his name everywhere as a lifelong resident of Lyndhurst. He was a pillar in the community. As my family was navigating thru the grief of the recent loss of my mother, the DeJohn Funeral Home offered personal and professional care to me and my brothers, while dealing with their own grief. Trust that the entire Carcioppolo family is praying for you in the wake of this great loss.

  28. Ross Jr., Bob, Ross III, Melissa & families,

    We are sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad, Grandpa and Great-Grandpa. His obituary is a great tribute to a truley unique gentleman with a very diverse history and built a great legacy for his family to follow. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the DeJohns.

    Robin, Cindy, Haleigh & Noah Heppell

  29. John Dalessandro :

    My deepest sympathy to the Dejohn family. It was a honor to have known Ross. A true family man. Rest in peace.

    John Dalessandro

  30. Michael D'Alessandro :

    Sending our love and condolences to the Dejohn family. Love and prayers,

    Mike and Jackie D’Alessandro and family

  31. August Quattrochi :

    My thoughts are with you and family in this time of sorrow and in rememberance of your Dad — a former colleague and long time good friend. He was a genuine humanitarian.
    Love and peace. — Gus Quattrochi

  32. Deeply saddened to learn of Ross DeJohn’s death. My condolences to the entire family.MARTHA TRIPI

  33. David and Bernadette Stefancin :

    Truly the end of an era. Bernadette and I wish the family peace thru this difficult time. Your family always made us feel welcome and a part of the your family. Some of our happiest moments were with you. My heart goes out to you. We love you like family. David and Bernadette

  34. Betsy (Dawson) McIntire :

    Dear Bobby, Ross, Michael, Carla, Christine, and your loving families,
    Please know my husband, Paul, and I offer our deepest sympathy to each of you in the most recent passing of your Dad–as well as your Mom in July. I remember your folks quite fondly. Both were extraordinary individuals–and together they offered strength, hope, and most importantly–LOVE to the lives they touched simply by being who they were. Your Mom was a lovely woman and it was obvious how much she adored her family in everything she did. Your Dad made a difference in my life–which I so appreciated, yet never expressed to anyone. I still have very vivid memories of his graciousness and concern for my well being. Thank you ALL for sharing the joy of what you all created in the being the epitome of what FAMILY means. Always remember, where there is love–there is GOD–ALWAYS. When you each begin to feel that sorrow building up–look at the legacy they left behind–in each of you, your spouses, your children, and grandchildren. Smile, and thank God you were each so blessed to have Ross and Carmella as your parents. With continued prayers, blessings and love, Betsy (Dawson) McIntire

  35. Chuck and Terry Lentini :

    Sending our love and most sincere condolences to all the DeJohn families.. Such a great loss in such a short time. Ross and Carm were very special to us. xoxo-

  36. Matt and Kathy Ulepic :

    My earliest memories of Ross and Carmella was when I was in elementary school. They were grandparents to about 1000 kids that didn’t have the DeJohn last name but you always felt like one of their own. I will never forget when all the kids passed out election pamphlets to the whole neighborhood of Mayfield and afterwords Ross Sr. bought hamburgers for all the kids at McDonald’s. It’s a memory of community, friendship, and family I will cherish

    Ross and Carmela were always welcoming and you never went away hungry. Even 35yrs later I grave their cooking and so my family makes it a center piece of the holiday season to cook some of their traditional recipes we remember them by.

    As a child and now an adult you admire Ross Sr. for the life of service he led. For me and my family, there are very few people to look up to like Ross as examples of hospitality, service, and family he exemplified. We are glad Ross is now reunited with Carmella but there is no denying his memory and spirit will live on.

  37. To the DeJohn family. Our deepest sympathy and prayers go out to you.

    Nick and Trish DiDonato.

  38. Diana M. Vitale :

    To All of the DeJohn Family,
    I am so very sorry for your loss of your wonderful dad, and also your mom earlier this year. My heart and soul is sad and in pain for your loss as well. I have been born and raised in Mayfield Hts. (70 years) and knew your dad and mom almost my whole lifetime, through my childhood days. The family has always been in different parts of my life. He was always a gentleman, I knew them both from St.Clair and St. Francis. I had the honor of having served him dinners, that I made for speciall events at St.Francis. He was always a pleasure, grateful, thankful and smiling.The last time that I saw him was for The opening and celebration of the Mayfield High School Alumni Pavilion. I greeted and kissed him. He and my dad were good friends also. He will be surely missed by all of us that knew him. He was one of the “ROCKS” of our community of Mayfield Hts., May He Rest In Peace in the Kingdom of Heaven and keeping them in my prayers.

  39. Joseph and Carole Vigliotti :

    To the DeJohn family,
    Our deepest sympathy on the loss of your beloved father. His many kindnesses and service to the community will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Joe and Carole Vigliotti

  40. Ron & Pat Minor :

    Sorry we won’t be able to be there for any of the services as we are out of town. We send our sincere condolences.

  41. Dear Carla and siblings,
    My sincere and deepest sympathy to all of you for the loss of your precious Dad. My heart breaks knowing how difficult this is with the loss of parents who were incredible in every imaginable way. Loving, genuine, funny, generous, supportive and caring. You are lucky and blessed to have had them in your lives. Who could ask for anyone better? May the memories you shared live forever in your hearts. I wish I was there for you Carla but I’m with you in spirit.
    With love and blessings, Rose

  42. Bishop Roger W. Gries, O.S.B. :

    The news of Ross’ death came on the vigil of the Feast of Christ the King, the final day of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Throughout his life, Rose and Carmella brought the Mercy of God to the families of the departed they served. Everyone could feel God’s Mercy come through their kindness and comfort they offered the bereaved. It was a blessing me to celebrate Carmella’s funeral Mass and I am blessed to celebrate Ross’ Mass and commendation to Christ the King. He was loved by many and has been a long time friend of mine. He and Carmella will be in my prayers. May they rest in peace!

  43. Our deepest sympathies go out to the DeJohn family. Your dad was a wonderful mentor to us during the Renewal days at St. Clare. He concellabrated our wedding and also the baptism of our oldest daughter. He has always held a very special place in our hearts and will be missed.
    With love and Prayers,
    Michael and Nancy Rufo

  44. Ross was such a kind and caring person. No matter where you saw him he always had a smile and made you feel like part of the family. He devoted his life to helping others and this will be his lasting legacy. His family will mourn his passing but they will always carry a part of Ross with them. We are all richer for having known him!

  45. My most sincere condolences to the entire DeJohn family. Gods blessings.

    Bonnie V.

  46. Rosanne Madeja :

    My condolences to each member of the DeJohn family. Your father was special. I remember the Christmas he sent the snow plowers home for a few hours so they could have a little time with their families after plowing all night. That was your Dad. He was at 7AM Mass for many years & visited many people at Hillcrest Hospital. Until a few months ago he would make an appearance at the funeral home. I don’t think your Dad ever officially retired. He was a good Christian man & may God bless him & hold him close.

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