Ross Luke Cambiano, born Jan. 29, 1923, in Kansas City, Mo., passed away April 29, 2013, at 90 years of age in Muskogee, after a courageous battle with Myelodysplasia.
Rosary will be Thursday, May 2, 2013, at 7 p.m., in the Green Country Funeral Home Chapel. Mass will be held at 2 p.m., Friday May 3, 2013, at St. Brigid Catholic Church, with Father Jeff Polasek officiating. Interment will follow in the Tahlequah City Cemetery under the care of Green Country Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at tahlequahfuneral.com
At age 8, after the death of his mother, he lived in a Catholic orphanage through his primary years. Because of this experience, he was a humanitarian who never let anyone go hungry and created an environment where everyone was welcome at the table. He never met a stranger and helped many along the way. A man of principles, he had strong family values that he passed on to his children by continually saying, “family comes first.”
At 16, he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corp, fighting fires until he joined the Army Air Force. He served in World War II in the European Theater for five years, during which he was the only survivor of a plane crash and a jeep wreck. A buzz bomb also exploded so close that it took his hearing but not his life.
After the war, he married his sweetheart and love of his life, Rose Torchia, on June 22, 1946. Out of this marriage came three children, Ron, Rhonda and Renée.
Ross was a natural problem-solver and mathematician with a quest for knowledge. This led him to Finley Engineering College in Kansas City, Mo., where he become an engineer after World War II. This profession led him to do a series of jobs. First, he worked as a structural engineer in White Sands, N.M. Next, he designed missile silos in Abilene, Texas. Then, he became an aeronautical engineer for Convair Engineering group in Pomona, Calif., where he designed panels for missiles and airplanes. Later, he worked for Boeing and McDonnell Douglas as an Aeronautical engineer designing engine blocks and protecting many airline passengers as a quality control engineer. He always said, “once an engineer, always an engineer,” and lived his life according to those principles. After his retirement, he continued his education by attending Northeastern State University, where he obtained two degrees; one in accounting and the other in criminal justice.
He enjoyed working in the yard and constantly kept busy tending to his fig trees and other fruit trees. He was a gifted athlete, an avid reader, and an artist. He loved to dance the jitterbug, and his passionate curiosity drove his lifelong learning. He believed that if a day went by without learning something new then the day was wasted.
Ross was preceded in death by his mother, Isabel Luke Cambiano, father, Melchiorre Cambiano, brother, Joe Cambiano and brother-in-law, Anthony Ingolia.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Rose Torchia Cambiano; his son, Ron Cambiano; Ron’s wife, Judy, of Tahlequah; and daughters Rhonda Cambiano of Tahlequah and Renée Cambiano of Tahlequah. Surviving grandchildren include Cassi (Cambiano) Manion and her husband, Jeff, of Edmond, Chase Cambiano of Tahlequah, Mike Cambiano of Tahlequah; and a great-grandchild, Cade Manion of Edmond. Surviving sisters-in-law include Lee Ingolia of Pomona, Calif., and June Cambiano of Morrilton, Ark. Also surviving are his brother-in-law Thomas (Muriel) Torchia of South Easton, Mass., and many nieces, nephews and loved ones.
Pallbearers include Randy Ingolia, Mark Cambiano, Jeff Manion, Chase Cambiano, Mike Cambiano and Cade Manion. Honorary pallbearers include David Cambiano, Doug Cambiano, Brad Cambiano, Dan Cambiano.
A heartfelt thank-you goes to everyone at the VA Medical Center in Muskogee, Yellow Team, Silver Team, Carter Home Health, and VA Homebound Team. These individuals provided exceptional care for Daddy for 40 years and he faithfully believed in them and their abilities. A special thank-you goes to the team on 4 West for their kind hearts and medical care that helped him gracefully and respectfully live out his final days with dignity.
Green Country Funeral Home, 203 S. Commercial Road, (918) 458-5055.