Born in Durham, NC to Martin Nathaniel Brigman and Mabel Jones Brigman, Ross was the oldest of two children and brother to Daniel K Brigman. He is preceded in death by his mother, father, brother, daughter Lynn, grandson Russell, and niece Joanna. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Lewis Brigman "Mickey", and his two daughters, Teresa Ann Brigman Leonhardt "Teri" (h. David Michael Leonhardt) and Mary Jacqueline Brigman Groome "Jacky" (h. Barry Alexander Groome). In addition Ross leaves behind his grandchildren; Amy Dawn Leonhardt Crawley (h. Chad Crawley), Matthew Martin Groome (w. Monica McCoy Groome), Joshua David Leonhardt, Alan Burton Groome (w. Jessica Olsen Groome), Kelly Elizabeth Leonhardt Phoenix (h. Robert Phoenix) and Margaret Carol Leonhardt. As wells as his great grandchildren, Conner Andrew Crawley and Brock William Groome, and nephews, Martin Brigman "Nat" of Salisbury and Danny Brigman of New Salem. Ross was an extremely hard-working and humble man who succeeded in his career, with his family, and in his community. Ross attended Sharon High School in Charlotte, NC and grew up to marry Mickey Lewis, whom he would remain committed to in marriage for 66 years. He served proudly in the United States Army during the Korean War. His private sector career was devoted to 37 years of employment with Exxon as a senior leader of the propane gas division where he proudly retired at age 55. Throughout his life, but especially in retirement he was devoted to family. As a proud patriarch, he taught many lessons to his children, grandchildren, and extended family, such as teaching them hard work, the value of a dollar, and how to be self sufficient. He taught his children and grandchildren much about outdoor survival, camping, hunting and fishing as well as other important life skills. He loved his role in life as mentor, father, father-in law, and friend. Ross was a maintenance master. He took care of his vehicles, his house, his equipment, and any property entrusted to him by his employer. He could fix anything, and he squeezed every cent out of every dollar that he earned, investing consistently, wisely and conservatively. He taught many of these lessons to his family both as an example and as a teacher. Ross was an extremely disciplined man who instilled discipline in his family. Most of all, Ross was a God fearing man. After moving to Union County, NC he became active in his church Union United Methodist. He tried every day to follow "The Golden Rule" and treat every person he met with respect and hospitality. He treated others the way he wanted to be treated. He loved animals, especially dogs and fed the deer in his backyard daily. And in his community, he supported the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America as a Scout Leader and supported the Red Cross as a volunteer driver. He remained a champion of the special olympics and special populations for many decades, even after the passing of his daughter Lynn, who had Down's Syndrome. Ross loved camping and traveled throughout the country before buying an RV to share the beauty of this great country with his family. Unfortunately, due to his health decline, he missed his anticipated annual beach trip last week. He stayed active throughout his life until the final month of his life. He always considered himself lucky to be able to be active in the outdoors and in his garden and remain physically strong. He was mentally sharp to the end and worked hard to take care of his daughter Lynn before she passed, and wife Mickey with her health. In Ross's final breaths, he said, "I love you all", and he truly did. Visitation and Services will be Thursday, October 20 at 11:00 am and 12:00 pm respectively at Heritage Funeral Home (3700 Forest Lawn Dr, Matthews, NC) with graveside burial to follow at Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte, NC. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Union United Methodist Church (6315 Newtown Rd, Waxhaw, NC 28173). Heritage Funeral Home - Weddington Chapel is assisting the family.
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