Terry Ross, longtime South Florida performer, who ended her career as the popular social director of the Lido Spa Hotel Resort in South Beach, died Sunday from complications following a stroke. Ross was 87.
A Navy nurse during World War II, Ross became a Borscht Belt singer after her service and played the hotel circuit in the Catskill Mountains in the summers and Miami Beach in the winters. Her longest gig was at the Lido Spa on the Venetian Causeway.
Ross spent 36 years, starting in 1967, as the social director at the hotel, once popular with the New York set. Her job was to ensure the guests were entertained with Yiddish songs, spicy jokes and vaudeville-style shows. She was employed at the hotel until it was sold in 2003 and became The Standard at 40 Island Ave.
Ross’ entertainment career spanned decades and included 10 years as the lead dramatic soprano understudy for the Miami Opera Guild and various roles in theatrical productions, feature films, television shows and commercials.
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Her showbiz career included performing in a family singing act with her late husband Cantor Ben Grossberg and four daughters.
Ross also performed with internationally acclaimed Italian soprano Renata Tebaldi in Madam Butterfly and Henry Fonda in Our Town at the Coconut Grove Theater Don’t Drink the Water The Jackie Gleason Show.
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Ross, who lived in North Miami, is survived by daughters: Rita Grauer of Williams, Or.; Mary Kemper of Bellingham, WA.; Judith Birdwell of Deland, Fl. and Suzanne Grossberg of Somers, NY.; four sons-in-law; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren and many nephews and friends.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Riverside Gordon Memorial Chapel, 20955 Biscayne Blvd. in Aventura.
A private burial will follow at Mount Nebo/Miami Memorial Gardens.
Instead of flowers, the family asks donation be made to the Vitas Hospice Charitable Fund Foundation for End-of-Life Care at www.vitascharityfund.org or 16800 NW Second Ave., Suite 400, North Miami Beach, FL 33169.