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CMHS community mourns death of booster

Sue Ross, whose two daughters are cheerleaders at the high school, died of cancer Sunday morning.

October 22, 2013|By Steve Virgen
  • From left, Allie, Sue, Andrea and Kea Ross at last year's Race of the Cure event in Newport Beach.
From left, Allie, Sue, Andrea and Kea Ross at last year's… (Courtesy of CMHS…)

There were events that involved Costa Mesa High School cheer or athletics when Sue Ross would show what she was all about: amazing, loyal and loving.

"She would say, 'I am doing chemo in the morning, but I can be there by 3,'" said Kori Johnson, the Costa Mesa cheer coach. "Or she would say, 'I'm getting a blood transfusion, but I can be there later in the day.'"

Ross, a Costa Mesa booster whose two daughters are on the school's cheer squad, died of cancer Sunday morning at age 53. She is survived by her husband, Kea, and their two daughters, Andrea and Allie.

Ross was in hospice the past three weeks, as her family and the Costa Mesa community tried to prepare for the end. And now they are all in mourning.

They watched as Ross showed such grace and a positive attitude throughout the past 4 1/2 years of battling cancer.

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"She wanted to keep the household normal, especially for the kids," Kea Ross said. "That's what we tried to do. She never stopped volunteering for the kids and for the high school. She never quit."

Sue Ross was known for her energy and sense of humor. She would say she appeared to be pregnant after the medicinal drugs left her bloated, just so she could get a laugh, said Mary Ann Dasca, a friend who is also a Costa Mesa cheer mom.

"She always wanted to make you feel better," Dasca said. "She never wanted to ask for help. She was a very strong lady. She's a good role model for everything she's been through."

Ross was also known to style hair and apply makeup for her daughters and their teammates on the cheer squad. She would travel with them to various competitions, celebrating with the Costa Mesa cheerleaders their several awards.

Many mothers and friends in Costa Mesa are reaching out to Ross' two daughters, Andrea, 15, and Allie, 17. They know that even the simple act of styling hair and applying makeup will never be the same without their mother around.

It is a difficult time for the family and the community.

"Her daughters are in shock," said Theresa Green, a longtime friend who is very close to the family. "When she started this battle, we were all aware of what the outcome could be. Now that it came, and the fact that she fought so hard, I just think it was really shocking for the girls. There is no greater love than a mother's love. My heart aches for them."

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