Mark Ross, 94, died peacefully at home in Santa Barbara, California on the evening of April 21, 2021 after living in Storrs, CT for many years. Born in New York City on July 29, 1926 to Isidore and Rose (Steinberg) Rosenblatt, Mark was the youngest of six brothers who grew up in a small apartment on the Lower East Side. He proudly served the country in WWII with all five of his brothers, and despite suffering substantial damage to his hearing, eagerly enlisted to serve in Korea. Following his discharge he explored various career options and studied auto mechanics at the urging of his brothers, but decided to take a different path. As his hearing deteriorated due to a combination of war injuries and an inherited condition, he became determined to help people like himself and pursued a career in audiology. After graduating from Brooklyn College, he moved across the country to further his studies at Stanford. While there, he met Helen Rubin, a young girl from Brooklyn studying speech therapy. Mark received his PhD in Audiology in 1962 and married Helen the same year. They moved back East to raise their family while Mark launched a long and stellar career in audiology. He taught at UCONN for many years, educating and inspiring an entire generation of future audiologists. He advocated for children with hearing impairment and their families, and was on the forefront of how audiology is practiced today. Known as the “father of aural rehabilitation,” he received the highest honors in the field, authored countless articles over the years and was active in numerous organizations devoted to advocating for people with hearing impairment. Perhaps his greatest professional asset was his sensitivity to individual needs and holistic approach to working with people. His various interests over the years included vegetable gardening and history, Jewish history in particular. Mark was an avid reader with a thirst for knowledge and enjoyed attending lectures with Helen. He followed world events closely and was passionate about Israel, making annual trips with his wife for some time. In addition to an archaeological dig and climbing Mt. Masada, his travels also took him to such places as Australia, Japan and Austria. He treasured every experience and the people he met along the way. Mark was a one-of-a-kind soul who balanced intelligence, humor, and extreme generosity, always quick to lend a hand or crack a joke. Among his many passions in life, his greatest by far was his family. He was a devoted husband to Helen until her sudden death in November, ten days shy of their 58th wedding anniversary. After that, Mark’s health deteriorated although he continued putting others before himself. He spent the last 5 months of his life in a senior facility in Santa Barbara, where he had just started making friends and playing Bingo. He will be missed by all who knew him, whether recently or many years in the past. Left to grieve are his daughter Paula and son-in-law Patrick Guice; son Joel and daughter-in-law Lee Naftali; beloved grandson Ben Naftali; goddaughter Ramona Bailey; and many nieces and nephews whom he adored. In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by his parents Rose and Isidore Rosenblatt and five brothers: Bill, Don, Sidney, Al and Sam. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mark’s name may be made to the Hearing Loss Association of America (https://www.hearingloss.org) or the food pantry of your choice.
A Graveside Service will be live-streamed at 3:00pm on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.
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