John Bowen (Bo) Ross, Jr.

Manteo, NC

John Bowen (Bo) Ross, Jr. passed away Thursday, April 11, 2024 on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. Bo was born to Margaret (Mot) Ellison Ross and John Bowen Ross on March 19, 1938 in Raleigh, NC.  Bo spent most of his life in NC, living in Raleigh, Lumberton, Durham, Atlantic Beach and Manteo.

As a child, Bo had many water adventures on the shores of the Pamlico River, in little Washington, NC where both sets of his grandparents lived.  He graduated from Lumberton High School and matriculated at Duke University and then Duke Law School.  It was at Duke where he met his first wife, Wanda Allene West. They married in 1960 and together they raised three children Polly Ellison, John Bowen (III), Amelia West. 

Bo practiced patent law both in the private and corporate sectors mainly in the Research Triangle Park and later in New Jersey.  In 1990, Bo retired and moved to Atlantic Beach where he served as town commissioner and later was appointed to the NC Coastal Resources Commission by Governor James Martin. Later, Bo was involved in real estate on the Outer Banks.

After the death of his first wife Wanda in 1993, Bo married Sybil Daniels of Manteo, NC.  Together they raised Sybil Lynn Basnight. Bo and Sybil enjoyed thirty years together filled with travel, adventure and love.

Bo’s hobbies were fulfilling and extensive.  He was a lifelong golfer, a photographer, a woodworker, a painter and a proud Blue Devil.  His art reflected his interest in the ecology of the North Carolina Coast.   In fact, his painting “The Spirit of Roanoke Island” that depicts the North Carolina State Boat, the Shad Boat, which was designed by Sybil’s great, great grandfather, George Creef is displayed at the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum in Manteo, NC.

Bo is remembered by his wife, Sybil, his four children, his four grandchildren; Morgan Ellison (Ross) Ramsey, West Schaffer Ross, Timothy Christopher Frost, Steven Wilson as well as Dell Fleming Ross, Laura Schaffer Ross, Joseph Colin Ramsey, and Tristan Lee Cook.

A celebration of his life and a small reception will be held at The Pavilion at Magnolia Market, 408 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, downtown Manteo, N.C. at 3:30 pm on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

In lieu of flowers, the Ross Family kindly requests donations be made to the Outer Banks SPCA Dare County Animal Shelter (

Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared at