Colleen Robison Manley Ross

colleen ross

March 17, 1950 ~ October 26, 2022

Born in: Houston, Texas
Resided in: College Station, Texas

Colleen Robison Manley Ross was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1950 in Houston, Texas and passed away on October 26, 2022 in College Station, Texas. During her 72 years on this Earth, she was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, nurse, and teacher. She lived her life caring for others, and she will be greatly missed.

Colleen inherited a passion for traveling from her father, Ronald Manley, a merchant marine, and she traveled the globe extensively throughout her life. Her love of learning and quick intelligence came from her mother, Sybil Jean Manley, who worked for the Pasadena Citizen Newspaper and Gulf Oil Company when Colleen was growing up in Pasadena, Texas with her two siblings, Kathleen and Scott. She graduated from Sam Rayburn High School in 1968 and worked at Sears to put herself through school at the University of Houston, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in History in 1972. Colleen lived in New York City for a few years while she worked as a stewardess for American Airlines before returning to Houston for nursing school. There, working at the VA Hospital, she met James Nathan Ross, of Belton, Texas. He was her soul-mate and became her husband of over 45-years. A dentist and a nurse, together they built a purposeful life with their two children, Jason and Lauren, in Brenham and in College Station. Colleen worked as a nurse for several years before teaching in the nursing school at Blinn College in Brenham for over a decade. She “retired” by working in her husband’s dental offices, before truly retiring when her grandchildren were born.

Colleen was a passionate person, living her life with strength and a single-minded determination that earned her the nick-name, “The Air Force.” Her loved-ones knew to call in The Air Force whenever there was a problem to solve or mission to accomplish. She loved spending time in nature, savoring the healing waters of the Frio River in Texas and at waterfalls in Arkansas. She also loved hiking and skiing in the Rockies. She was fascinated by alternative medicines and spirituality, and has left behind her collection of unique crystals from all over the world. She loved to work in her garden, mow her lawn, and rest under her oak trees. She made the best iced tea and pecan pies, and she was a stellar seamstress, having learned to sew from her grandmother as a child. 

Her life was dedicated to the service of others. Even her last years were spent selflessly caring for her husband with dementia, knowing that no one could provide the same loving care that she could. She leaves this world having made a permanent imprint of love and service, and her life stands as a model to inspire others to live with determination and passion.

She was predeceased by her younger brother Scott Manley. She is survived by her husband, James Ross, her children, Jason Ross and Lauren Ross Hulphers, their spouses Lori Ross and Ivan Hulphers, her grandchildren, Sonja Hulphers, Ruben Hulphers, Joseph Benn and Noah Benn, and her sister Kathleen Brennan. She also remains close to numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and lifelong friends. 

Services will be held at Callaway-Jones Funeral Home on Friday, November 4th with Visitation at 1:00 and Funeral Service at 2:00. Interment will be at Post Oak Cemetery in Oglesby, Texas at 12:00 on Saturday, November 5th. In lieu of flowers, please honor Colleen’s memory by planting a tree or donating to The National Audubon Society or The Sierra Club


Visitation: November 4, 2022 1:00 pm

Room: Bluebonnet Chapel

Callaway-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Center
3001 S College Ave
Bryan, TX 77801


Funeral Service: November 4, 2022 2:00 pm

Room: Bluebonnet Chapel

Callaway-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Center
3001 S College Ave
Bryan, TX 77801


Interment: November 5, 2022 12:00 pm

Post Oak Cemetery
139 FM 1996
Oglesby, Texas 76561


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  1. My deepest condolences to the family. She was such a bright intelligent woman, just full of vitality. I loved her companionship at Ron Bryan’s weekly luncheons and at the birthday lunches with Kay Tidemann. So sorry to learn she has passed.

  2. We are so sorry to hear that Colleen has passed. We had dinner with her and Ross on Sunday at a social gathering. We always enjoyed our time with them. Our sympathies and prayers go out to all of her family. May she be at peace.

  3. My deepest condolences to Colleen’s family. She recently found me at my husband’s Remembrance ceremony and we had a good conversation. She was always a very sweet person any time I saw her. She will be greatly missed. Praying for her family and friends. Rest in peace Colleen.

  4. I’m so sad that Colleen has passed. She was my “other mother” when Lauren and I were teenagers. I love her dearly. I appreciated her candor, and how she treated me like family. My prayers are with her whole family and my heart is with you in this difficult time.

  5. I loved my sister no matter what. I always admired her tenacity and ambition to make something of herself. She had a dream and she and Ross made it happen. I am going to miss our conversations about everything under the sun. She was a special person and did not realize it. RIP my little sister. I love you and always loved you more than you knew.

  6. What a fascinating person she was. Always trying to figure things out, always researching, always smiling and friendly, ALWAYS willing to help any who needed it. I’m so grateful to know not only Colleen but her family also. I will miss you friend.

  7. I loved Colleen as one of my dearest friends and she will remain so always. Jim and I had many wonderful times together with both Colleen and Ross over many years. She was truly an amazing women with such heart and soul and strength. She shared herself fully and taught me much for which I will always be grateful. I miss her and will hold her in my heart forever. My deepest condolences to the whole family.

  8. I’ve known Colleen all my life. I will always remember Colleen as a beautiful 12-year-old girl, with freckles and red hair. We were closer than most cousins and played together as often as possible. Colleen had mischievous smile and flashing eyes. She was always true to her friends and always ready to help others. Our families, at Christmas time, would go out as a group Christmas caroling. Whenever we were together, we always had good times. Colleen will be missed by all.

  9. My heart hurts learning of Colleen’s passing; she was always full of life, fun, and adventure. Our families were as close as family could be; almost like cousins. Her parents, Ronnie and Jean, were my parent’s best friends and we enjoyed many family times together as children. It was always a loud and rambunctious time whether singing Christmas carols all around our neighborhood or Trick or Treating. But we all grew up and Colleen became a beautiful, accomplished woman, wife and mother and she will be truly missed.

  10. Loved reading about what an amazing life Aunt Colleen had. From day 1 of meeting her I called her Aunt Colleen like she was my aunt, she never corrected me but just accepted me. I adore this family and prayer for you during this time. R.I.P Aunt Colleen ❤️

  11. I could hardly believe the news of Colleen’s passing. The Manley family was always so much fun to be with. There was non-stop laughter throughout the room as the conversations changed from one subject to another. It was usually a pretty boisterous time when our families came together.

    I think Colleen got a lot of her determination and straight shooting attitude from her father Ronnie. Colleen’s mother, Jean, always reminded me of a movie star, sort of a Loretta Young type. She and Colleen both had rather unusual yet intriging voices like Ertha Kit. They were both strong women and accomplished in their own rights. Colleen inheirited many fine qualities from her parents.

    Colleen and I were the same age and we went to different high schools together. We graduated in 1968, her from Rayburn and me from Lamar. Although life long friends, and as close as cousins, Colleen accepted my request and went to Senior Prom with me. We had a great time and went out all night with some kids I knew. We ended up at Stadium Bowl on S. Main near the AstroDome where you might say, “We had a Ball”. Thank You Colleen for being a special part of my life.

    It is so very sad to hear about friends passing, especially when you have know them all your life. My prayers are with Kathy, her family, and all the Ross family at this time. I will always have very fond memories of Colleen and all of the Manley family. God Bless you all.

    RIP Colleen

  12. It is hard to put into words what kind of person Colleen was and what she meant to me. She was so much including a great friend and a caring person. When I moved into her neighborhood from Alaska seven years ago, we became neighbors and then great friends. At first, I would bring down my dog to play with her rescue dog, Scarlett. Soon I was visiting Colleen and her husband at least once a week. She was the only one I could talk to in person (except my husband) during the Covid lockdown. We would sit on her back porch talking about everything. Nothing was off limits. Colleen was so smart and interested in everything. We would talk about politics, religion, medicine, nature, gardens, travels, and anything else that came to mind. She was always so generous with her time and her knowledge and I learned so much from her. Life was tough for her these last few years but she managed to stay strong and get through the days. She loved her daughter and son and their families. I was a witness to her huge love and care for her husband despite his dementia. The day before she passed away, I am forever grateful that I spent over a couple of hours on their sunny back deck with her, Ross, and my dog just talking as always. I remember how we both laughed when I told her my aunt called my previous dog a “panty-waist.” She grabbed her iphone to find out what that meant. Then I drove her and Ross to have lunch at a favorite restaurant and talked some more. I enjoyed watching her and Ross eating a big ice cream sundae for dessert before returning them home that afternoon. She said she had a good time. I gave her a hug not knowing that would be the last time I would see her. She was one in a million and will be missed by me and all who knew her.

  13. Prayers for you Dr Ross and your wonderful family.
    I will be out of town but please know I will be thinking of each of you

  14. Colleen meant so much to all our family, we all played together as tiny children, and we kept in touch all of our lives.
    I was at The University of Houston at the same time as Colleen and we would meet up and walk to class together, she was like a brilliant ray of sunshine, really focused on her classwork. Later my Mom and I walked with Ross,Colleen, and Jean on the little trail at the back of their home in Brenham.
    We will all take walks again together in Heaven.

  15. Lori and family,
    So very sorry to hear of you Mom’s passing. I just read the obituary in the Brenham Banner Press. What a wonderful life she lived and shared. Hold tight to all your wonderful memories of her to comfort you in the days ahead. Prayers for your Dad as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    With Sympathy,
    Christy Fuchs Moran and family

  16. Our family was really saddened to learn of Colleen’s passing and send our sincerest condolences to the Ross family. Colleen was truly a force to be reckoned with and we think she will continue to be that in heaven.

  17. My deepest sympathy to Jim & Family. I cannot believe that she is no longer with us. Colleen was such a wonderful, kind, loving person. My family & I have known her & Jim since they moved to Brenham & we will miss her so very much. Colleen & Jim are very special. God bless your family.

  18. What a wonderful cousin you were to me. Our Mother’s looked like sisters instead of cousins so amazing! You were so smart and had it going on. Always knew what you wanted. I was more scatter brain but you still showed the love! I will never forget that and thank you heaven for it. I’ve got to add this. I ate my first corn dog at you house back in the early 60’s Love you! Ripp Colleen

  19. I am stunned to learn of Colleen’s death. I didn’t get enough time with her, but enjoyed her company so very much when we did meet. May her wonderful journey unfold as beautifully as her earthly life. My condolences to her dear family. She will ever be a bright light.

  20. This is very late, but her classmates of 1968 at Sam Rayburn High School just found out about Colleen’s passing. She had that same determination in her character even back then, and we were very saddened to hear of her passing. However, she appears to have lived life to the fullest in expressing who and what she was, a successful life by any measure.

    Godspeed, Colleen…

    Classmates of 1968

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