Ross Pauli was born in Clarence, Missouri in 1918, the youngest of three boys. His father was a minister who rotated through many small communities in Kansas until settling for a long term ministry in Humboldt, Kansas.
After high school graduation, the close proximity of Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg drew Ross to continue his education not far from home. After 2 years, he transferred to Westmar College in Iowa, a church affiliated college, to finish his bachelor's degree in industrial education with a minor in math. After graduation from Westmar, he taught industrial education, plane geometry and chemistry in a high school in Ogden, Iowa.
After the bombing in Pearl Harbor, Ross went into the service. He received training in the signal corps, and then went on to signal school for 3 months. He was transferred to Florida to radar school for four months. He was then placed in the medical corps and became an x-ray technician. After his training he was assigned to Kennedy General Hospital in Tennessee, and selected as the one person to go to the orthopedic clinic.
Just before Ross entered the service in 1942, he married a girl he had met in Longford, Kansas when he was in the first grade. They became reacquainted at a church gathering in Topeka while Ross was going to college.
Melba was able to go with him during his military training. The birth of his first son occurred just 3 months before Ross was sent to Europe. Melba and new son Ron returned to her parent's home in Junction City and waited for Ross to return home.
Ross became a combat veteran in the infantry. He assisted with evacuations from the front line, taking the injured to the aid station. He was in Normandy, Omaha Beach, and the Battle of the Bulge. While at the Battle of Bulge, holding down the line, a part of an artillery shell hit Ross in the ankle. He was hospitalized for 3 months while his injury healed.
The injury could have been worse if not for the leather cuff Ross had specially made for his shoes to make them more like combat boots. Ross rejoined his battalion in Czechoslovakia and in one week they were on a train going to France. Ross received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Combat Medics badge and Presidential Citation. Ross had served in four campaigns and returned home in November 1945.
Ross took advantage of the GI Bill and returned to school to complete his master's degree. After graduation, he accepted a part time position at Kansas State University in mechanical engineering. When an opening for a permanent position became available in industrial engineering, Ross accepted.
He retired after 36 years at Kansas State University. Ross and his wife had 2 more children. Richard was born in 1949 and Karen in 1951. During the summers Ross enjoyed wood working, making kitchen cabinets and other wood crafts. At Christmas time he would go into semi-production and make gifts for family members.
In 1984, Ross was in a serious car accident resulting in over 30 broken bones. He says he has had many close calls in his life, but God has watched over him and blessed him.
Ross and his wife were very active in their church as charter members in Trinity Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. During retirement, many winters were spent in California.
Ross has 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Ross involves himself in life in the village. He attends praise and hymns, goes on outings, attends socials and the men's group. He says he is very happy at Via Christi Village because everyone is helpful and he is surrounded by good people.