Christopher Mark Ross was a boat owner, captain, and commercial fisherman along the Gulf Coast. His ancestry on both sides of his family was comprised of a long heritage of fishing and seafaring. Born on June 30, 1979, Christopher was the son of Walter “Junie” Ross and Sonya Ross. Christopher began his career working on the Me and My Boys a family-owned boat which had been converted into a shrimping vessel. At the mere age of 8 years old, he assisted in the construction of the Lady Sonya, a feat which had become less common for children of such a young age by the 1980s.
Ross worked on the Lady Sonya as a deckhand up until his father’s death. From that point on, Ross took over as the captain in the summer months while he was in high school. He and his brother Walter E. Ross III owned a small skiff named the Love Boat and used this vessel to help earn spending and insurance money. Christopher was known throughout the community as a hard worker, not one to shy away from exertion which was evident through his deckhand work during oyster season. He would often accompany his grandfather Eley Ross on oystering expeditions.
As an adult, Ross would purchase the Reggie Lou from his great uncle, John B. “J.B.” Ross. Christopher renamed this boat the Jolie Blondie and piloted this vessel throughout his life. Christopher Ross was also a member of many civic organizations, as a child he was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and an altar server, as an adult he was a Sheriff’s Deputy as well as a Knight of Columbus. Ross was recognized throughout the community for his hard work and accomplishments, including in a news article recorded following the completion of the Lady Sonya entitled “Lady Sonya Launched by Ross Family.” Acknowledged as an integral part of the construction process, the article contains the following description of the vessel:
“The completion of the boat was more than one year in the making and is a dream come true for its owner Walter Ross and his family.”
Tragically, Christopher Mark Ross passed away on February 17, 2005, at the young age of 26. He is remembered fondly in the words of his brother and mother, described as someone who “truly had saltwater running through his veins.” The dedication and love that Christopher Ross displayed to his community is not forgotten, and as is evident now as it was following the construction of the Lady Sonya.