NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) — Noted Nashville nightclub and restaurant owner Alton Ross Jr. died unexpectedly on December 1st. He was 83.
A native of Kentucky, Ross started his career managing a Fruit of the Loom plant in Lafayette, but later transitioned into a career as a stockbroker, eventually overseeing retail sales for Nashville-based investment banking and brokerage J.C. Bradford & Co.
He later went on to partner with Steve Smith in several nightspots and eateries, including Tootsie’s Orchard Lounge in Panama City Beach, Florida, as well as Nashville’s Honky Tonk Central, Rippy’s Bar & Grill, Kid Rock’s Big Honky Tonk, and Rock ‘n’ Roll Steakhouse, The Diner, and Old Hickory Country Club.
He also tried his hand at arena football and owned the Nashville Kats Arena Football League team.
In addition to his various business ventures, Ross was a noted local philanthropist and supported causes such as the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, where he volunteered each Monday morning since 2012 and donated a room in honor of his grandchildren.
Ross served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955 and was a graduate of Wharton.
He is survived by his wife, Wanda, one son, Hardy and his wife, Elisabeth, of Nashville; beloved granddaughters Lindsey and Jessica; his brother, Dr. Jay Ross, and his wife, Ann, of Tampa, Fla.; and three nephews – Cary, Brian, and David Ross, all of Tampa, Fla.