Family Login:

Share This Obituary

Arrangements made by

Bayliff & Son Funeral Home

311 W Main St
Cridersville, OH 45806
Get Directions

Profile of Bayliff & Son Funeral Home

View Phone Number

Memories & Candles

“So sorry to hear of the passing of Ross. He was always so kind and cheerful, just a wonderful person. I treasure the memories of the times we spent...Read More »
1 of 27 | Posted by: Susan Ohl - Lima, OH

“What a wonderful tribute to Ross in your obituary.Your family has always held a special place in my heart and the hearts of my parents, Everett and...Read More »
2 of 27 | Posted by: Janice Dahlke Reed - Venice, FL

“So many fond memories I have of the many fishing trips that we shared together. Dad and I were so thankful for the visit that we had a few weeks...Read More »
3 of 27 | Posted by: Steve Clapper - Lima

“Esther I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing. You and your family are in our prayers. We did not know Ross but what a wonderful story of...Read More »
4 of 27 | Posted by: Nanci and Allen Carroll - Lima, OH

“Bill and Lois,Our deepest sympathy in the loss of your father. Sending hugs and prayers to you and family. ”
5 of 27 | Posted by: Glenn & Kelly Layman - OH

“So sad to hear a great American, wonderful husband & father, dear friend, skilled fisherman and teacher has passed. He is with his loved ones in a...Read More »
6 of 27 | Posted by: Mary Kay Fleck - Bluffton, OH

“So sorry for the loss of your father Bill. ”
7 of 27 | Posted by: Brian (Tim) & Jackie Bush - Lima, OH

“Sorry for your loss Bill.God bless. ”
8 of 27 | Posted by: Tom Burkholder - Lima, OH

“Dear Esther, Bill, Sue and families.Please accept my deepest sympathies at the loss of Ross. I have seen him a few times lately and he was always the...Read More »
9 of 27 | Posted by: Rick Musser - Lima, OH

“While I am so sorry for your loss of such an amazing man, I am more thankful to have been given the privilege to have been a part of the team that...Read More »
10 of 27 | Posted by: Cheryl Whitehead - Lima, OH

“So sorry for your loss. ”
11 of 27 | Posted by: Carol Ann Cook - Wapakoneta, OH

“I want to thank your family for sharing your dad with us. He showed me so much love and concern for our family, I feel like I have lost a true friend...Read More »
12 of 27 | Posted by: Linda and Mark Billingsley - Lima, OH

“Always loved talking with Ross. He always treated people like he had known them for years, even though you may have only seen him once in a while. ...Read More »
13 of 27 | Posted by: Lenore Myers - Lima, OH

“To Smokey's family. My father Art Frick worked with your Dad at Standard Oil. He was a true gentleman and a joy to be with.He was very special to our...Read More »
14 of 27 | Posted by: A friend

“Ross "Smokie" Stober will be missed by the entire Brown Family. He was a cherished part of our extended fisherman family. I could not begin to...Read More »
15 of 27 | Posted by: Terry Brown - Allison Park, PA

“Bill and Lois,My heartfelt sympathy to you and your entire family. Although I only knew your father for a short time I enjoyed every minute my dog...Read More »
16 of 27 | Posted by: Sue Ann & Tease Graff - Lima, OH

“Bill & Lois & family,We didn't know your Dad but we know the loss of losing our parents. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.Steve &...Read More »
17 of 27 | Posted by: Steve & Sharon Snider - OH

“What a beautiful story of a dear man. I did not know any of you or your father, but you have his gift of story-telling.....he was so fortunate to...Read More »
18 of 27 | Posted by: Faith Cummings

“I'd like to believe that Smokey and my Dad (Stub Miller) are catching the biggest large-mouth bass ever caught anywhere! What a wonderful tribute to...Read More »
19 of 27 | Posted by: - Lima, OH

“Sue,Our Prayers and Thoughts are with you and your Family. It was nice to meet Ross for the brief time that Art was with him at Primrose.Bob & Kathy ”
20 of 27 | Posted by: Bob & Kathy Christian - Lima, OH

“To the Family Members of Smokey Stober,A bunch of us pilots have lunch once a week and Smokey was a member of that group. I occasionally would pick...Read More »
21 of 27 | Posted by: Richard Ross Morrisey - Lima, OH

“Esther and Joe, This is one of the nicest tributes I've ever read. I wish I had known your father. What a positive influence he was on the world. ...Read More »
22 of 27 | Posted by: A friend

“Smokie and Ellen was the reason we moved to Florida. I was in the bass club with Smokie. He was a speci/al person. Talked with him at the assisted...Read More »
23 of 27 | Posted by: Don Gudakunst - Summerfield, FL

“Sue and Keith, So sorry to see of Ross's passing. He was a great man to be around. He enjoyed all that was around him. His smile will not be...Read More »
24 of 27 | Posted by: A friend

“Esther, I agree that the Tribute was awesome. So sorry for your loss, we will be thinking of you and your family today as you move through this time...Read More »
25 of 27 | Posted by: Nancy and Joe - Kalida, OH

“I never met your father, but this is one of the most beautiful obituaries I have ever read. What a wonderful tribute to a life well lived. May you...Read More »
26 of 27 | Posted by: Janet Clark - Wapakoneta, OH

“What a wonderful Tribute to Ross, Esther and Joe I am praying for your comfort and peace. ”
27 of 27 | Posted by: Sharon Daniels - Lima, OH

Air Force Emblem

Our father Ross Edward (Smokey) Stober died today May 2, 2017 at Primrose Retirement Center where he has lived for the past five years. He will be sorely missed by all who have known him as he was enjoyed and loved by everyone he met. He taught us by example great love, respect, and hard work. Our greatest tribute to him will be by continuing to honor him each and every day with the wonderful life lessons he showed us.

He was born on November 1, 1921. When his mother began labor they traveled by horse and buggy from Ada, Ohio to the Lima Hospital. She died from complications of that birth which could have begun a series of negative chapters in his life. Instead, he inspired us all by working hard for all that he cherished and never making excuses for any barriers he found in his way.

He spent his early years living with numerous family members, several years in the Allen County Children's Home, and his high school years working as a foster child on a farm in northern Ohio. He graduated from high school while living in Cleveland and as soon as he turned 18 he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps. He spent five years in WWII combat as part of the 308th Fighter Group working as a mechanic on the British Spitfires and P51 Mustangs. He traveled to England, Sicily, Italy, Africa, Malta and Morocco during the European Campaign. He continued to host and attend those 308Th reunions until almost every member had passed on. He flew a flag in our front yard every day until he moved into assisted living care. His great love of country was never far from his mind and nothing made him prouder than his service during WWII.

He retired after 38years from Standard Oil Refinery. His love of all things aeronautical after the war encouraged him to get his private pilots license and he enjoyed flying from the Lima Airport for many years. He was a member of the VFW, American Legion, Elks, and Lima Bassmaster's Association. He was an active fisherman until his vision no longer allowed him to cast a pole, but he never lost his love for being on a boat and looking at the water. He enjoyed many trips with cherished family and friends across the US and Canada chasing that joy of fishing. He was a long time member of Epworth Methodist Church and in later years Shawnee Methodist Church. He was a gifted storyteller with a sharp mind until the day he left this earth. His joy of life, positive attitude, and love of family continues to inspire all of us as we grieve his passing.

In 1947 he married Eileen Frances Martin and they remained happily married until she passed away in 2009. They raised three children: Esther Ballard (Joe) of Laurel, MD, Sue Briem (Keith) of Stigler, OK and Bill (Lois) Stober of Lima in the house they purchased with his WWII discharge money. He will be greatly missed by eight grandchildren, Kevin (Trina) Ballard, Nick (Josephine) Ballard, Brad Ballard, Heather (Keith) Chauret, Keith Briem, Jr., Josiah (Shana) Stober, Abbey (Josh) Miller, and Hannah (Josh) Vaughan. In addition, he will be missed by 11 great grandchildren: Josh Ballard, Brittany Ballard, Makayla Ballard, Bryce Ballard, Ethan (Ross) Ballard, Alexandria Chauret, Keith (Trip) Chauret, Colin (Ross) Chauret, Noah Miller, Adalyn Miller, Eli (Ross) Miller, Savannah Briem, Kaeleigh Briem and lastly, soon to be born McKenzie (Eileen) Ballard. He also leaves behind three cherished half sisters: Jean (Dale) Osborn, Carol Wilson, and Dottie (Ray) Bailey.

We wish to thank his treasured family of employees and friends at Primrose Retirement Center where he thoroughly enjoyed spending the final chapters of his life. They put many smiles on his face during his five year stay there. We also wish to thank all the nurses and employees of the Veteran's Association and St. Rita's hospice who took such wonderful care of him in his final days. But most importantly, we wish to thank God above for the gift of such a wonderful man. We were blessed to be included in his journey.

Per his wishes there will be no public visitation. A family graveside service will be held at a later date.