Glenn Wilson Ross, 87, founder of Ross Supply Co., Marion, IN, and one of the founding members of buying group WIT & Co., died March 5.

He joined the U.S. Army in 1942 and rose to the rank of First Sergeant in the 106th Infantry. He served in combat in Europe during World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge during the winter of 1944-45. He was honorably discharged in November 1945. In 1949, shortly after buying the South Marion Hardware Store and renaming it Ross Hardware, Ross began planning to expand the business by adding plumbing and heating supplies to his inventory. But on March 2, 1950, before he could take delivery on any of the new items, the hardware store burned to the ground. He immediately rented a small warehouse space and began ordering plumbing and heating supplies, before the manufacturers could learn about the fire.

He worked 15-hour days, seven days a week, receiving shipments of inventory, making sales calls, filling and delivering orders and managing billing and bookkeeping. When the new business took hold, he started hiring help and founded Ross Supply Co. When he retired as president in 1987, Ross Supply Co. occupied a 30,000-sq.-ft. warehouse and office building and had more than 15 full- and part-time employees. The business continues in operation today.

After retiring, Ross traveled with his wife, Phyllis, and became an award-winning photographer. He also volunteered at the local veterans’ hospital and served as a pharmacy courier. Donations in memory of Glenn Wilson Ross may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Diabetes Association or the Marion Humane Society. Online condolences can be made