FORT WORTH Neil Ross, 78, a retired advertising executive and former president/owner of Magnussen Advertising Agency, died Tuesday, August 23, 2010, at HEB Harris Hospital.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Thompson Harveson & Cole Funeral Home with interment at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Neil Ross was born January 7, 1932 in Lubbock to Arthur E. and Zola Mae Ross. He attended school in Lubbock and served in the U.S. Air Force through tour of duty in Liberia, North Africa. Mr. Ross Graduated from Texas Tech University in 1960 with a degree in art. He later became the advertising director of Dunlap Department Stores and, on January 17, 1966, was appointed advertising manager of Cox Department Stores in Fort Worth. In 1971, he became president/owner of Magnussen Advertising, a position he held until his retirement several years ago. There he worked with businesses throughout the Metroplex and the state.

In addition to his busy professional life, Mr. Ross was a master mason; a Paul Harris Foundation Rotarian holding a 30-year record of perfect attendance; he worked closely with the Salvation Army; served as past president of the Fort Worth Advertising Club; was a participating member of the Dallas - Fort Worth Writers' Workshop; and a long-time member of the Fort Worth Chapter of the Westerners, serving as sheriff (president) for seven years.

In his spare time, he wrote historical novels, magazine articles, poetry and song lyrics. He deeply loved history of Western America, the western lifestyle and agriculture. Pursuing his interest in the latter, he owned an orange grove in Mission, and raised Longhorn cattle on his Stephenville ranch.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Vaden, and a sister, Eloise Jones.

Survivors include his wife, Mary of 53 years; daughter, Mary Christina Norton and her husband, William; son, William (Bill) Edward; two grandchildren, and a host of friends from all walks of life.

Should friends desire, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Salvation Army or Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Attn: Donor Services, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, Texas 75265-0309.

Published August 26, 2010

Stephenville Empire-Tribune