Cherilyn Ross

Friday, December 9, 2016 7:51 pm

Cherilyn Ross, 64, passed away Monday, Dec.5, 2016, at Mercy Hospice in Johnston after a four-year battle with cancer. Memorial services are at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Meredith Drive Reformed Church, 5128 Meredith Drive, Des Moines, IA 50310. The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at Iles-Westover Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation or to the Commonweal Theatre Company in Lanesboro, Minn. Online condolences will be welcomed at

Cherilyn was born Oct. 8, 1952, in Austin, Minn., to Carrol and Dagmar Anderson. She grew up in Decorah and loved the Bluff Country of NE Iowa and SE Minnesota. Cherilyn graduated in 1970 from Decorah High School. She worked for an insurance agency in Decorah after graduating from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. in 1974. Cherilyn married Craig Ross Oct. 27, 1984, and moved to Des Moines where she continued her employment with insurance companies until her retirement in 2012 from Holmes-Murphy. Cherilyn loved traveling, spending time with her family and attending the theater. Although she never had any children of her own, she loved fawning over her nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a serious student of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War and could recite in great detail facts about every battleground. Cherilyn had a constant concern for the most vulnerable people in society and she was generous to all. She was also a generous benefactor to historical organizations and she gave liberally to theater companies in the Midwest. Road trips were in her DNA and she loved the Christmas music from Luther College.

Cherilyn is survived by her husband, Craig Ross; step-children: Natalie Sue (Paul) Walker, Andy (Eva) Ross, and Jennifer (Scott) Murphy; father, Carrol Anderson; five brothers: Craig (Deb) Anderson, Ross (Sandy) Anderson, Kerry (Tammy) Anderson, Scott (Sandy) Anderson, and Dave (Michelle) Anderson; numerous nephews, nieces, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff at Wesley Acres, the doctors, nurses, palliative care team and staff at Unity Point and the staff at Mercy Hospice for their compassionate care this last month.

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