Sidney T. Ross, 88, founder of Ross-Simons Jewelers, died Sept. 21 at Rhode Island Hospital. He was the husband of Lillian S. (Singerman) Ross. They were married for 63 years. Born in Lynn, Mass., a son of the late Louis and Rebecca Ross, he moved to Providence in 1943 and had been a resident of Cranston since 1950. Ross is a 1933 graduate of Lynn Classical High School and a 1938 graduate of Northeastern College of Law.
He put himself through the night program at Northeastern College of Law but ended up working in the retail jewelry industry in Boston, New Bedford, and Providence before opening his first Ross-Simons store in downtown Providence in 1952. He was sued by vendors seeking to force Ross-Simons to charge consumers higher prices under the fair trade laws, but in the landmark decision of Sunbeam v. Ross-Simons, the Rhode Island Supreme Court held in favor of Ross by refusing to enforce an injunction that prohibited Ross from selling below a certain price.
Ross remained active in all aspects of the business until retiring at the age of 82 after having open-heart surgery.
Besides his wife, he leaves two sons, Mark A. Ross of Warwick and Darrell S. Ross of Providence, and five grandchildren. He was the brother of the late Harry, Theodore, and Ernest Ross.