PITTSBURGH – Rebecca “Becki” Ross always enjoyed a good New Year’s Eve party with her friends, so it is fitting she concluded her long battle with COPD on the last day of 2020. She welcomed the end of this terrible year by lifting a toast of her favorite Myers Rum and tonic with her many friends and family who proceeded her to God’s golden home.
Becki grew up in Butler on Weckerly Road and relished being the only child; spoiled by her parents Evan and Helen Pride Wimer for nine years until her brothers Evan (Kathy) and Art (Paula) came along. At only 4 foot 11 inches tall, Becki played basketball and graduated Valedictorian of Penn Township High School Class of 1954. Her love of learning led her to Westminster College where she joined the Chi Omega sorority, made life-long friends and met her future husband John. She graduated with a major in history and a minor in Latin and promptly married John on her birthday, July 5, 1958.
John and Becki started their life in his hometown of Lewiston, NY on the bank of the Niagara River and had three children; Nancy, Charlie (Kathy Kohut) and Amy (Jeff King). Becki founded the Lewiston Garden Club and enjoyed teaching school, bowling and sun bathing as soon as the snow melted each spring. The family moved to Glenshaw, a suburb of Pittsburgh for a short time and then settled on North Myers Avenue in Sharon, PA.
Becki flourished in Sharon, becoming an Elder in the First Presbyterian Church, teaching Sunday School, hosting many dinner parties for her friends, golfing, playing bridge and presiding over the College Club, Sharon General Hospital Auxiliary and Charity Ball. When Nancy headed to college, she started teaching again, first as a substitute in Sharon Junior and Senior Highs where she could harass Charlie and Amy and then at the Shenango Valley School of Business where she positively influenced many young adults. Her best memories were of her college years with her Chi Omega sisters and trips to the New Jersey shore with her best friends, “The Golden Girls.”
The five grandchildren, including Connor (Flanna Kimmick), Olivia (Chris Bortz) and Kyle (Kaylie), loved to visit “Mimi” exploring the quarry, fishpond and attic of the rambling yellow house on North Myers Ave. After John passed away in 1988 and Becki retired from the Business School in 1999, she joined Nancy in Roanoke, VA and moved with her to Winchester, KY and Milwaukee, WI for Nancy’s job. In every new location, she made new friends, joined a local church and took on volunteer leadership positions. Everyone loved her sense of humor, her parties, excellent cooking skills and her energy.
In 2013, after being diagnosed with COPD, Becki returned home to Sharon. Always independent and feisty, she took a taxi from her home in Whispering Oaks to the Pittsburgh Airport to fly to Nancy’s retirement party unbeknownst to anyone until the ticket agent called to ask who was going to pick her up at the Milwaukee Airport! It is this spirit that we will all remember. The last four years, Becki resided at the Reformed Presbyterian Home in Pittsburgh enjoying visits by friends and family and surrounded by photographs of her six great grandchildren.
Under the direction of the Sample-O’Donnell Funeral Home of Sharon, Becki will be laid to rest at Butler’s Northside Cemetery in the Kennedy family plot. A private graveside service will be held on Friday January 8 followed by an online Celebration of Life.
Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSomB4KNdcIRAtHalttdoTQ at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, January 10, 2021 to celebrate Becki’s life together. In accordance with her wishes, we’ll have a large, in-person wake when it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Reformed Presbyterian Home, 2344 Perrysville Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15214, in appreciation for their care; or another charity of your choice.
Friends may view the obituary at www.sampleodonnellfh.com as well as view details of the online service and send condolences to Becki’s family.
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