By Bob Rich
Kenneth William Ross, known to friends and family as “Dr. Ken” or “Kenny,” passed away on April 11, 2018 at the age of 81.
Born on June 25, 1936 in San Bernardino, Kenneth started working at Medical Arts Pharmacy in North Hollywood in 1957 as a pharmacy student, purchased the business in 1966, and remained the passionate owner and lead pharmacist there up through this year.
He graduated from the USC School of Pharmacy in 1960. Once he began working at Medical Arts, he quickly established friendly relationships with his customers. He even knew his customers’ grandchildren. His surviving wife Claudia likens their pharmacy to the classic television show Cheers, where “everybody knows your name.” Claudia says, “We had fun. It was a job that we both enjoyed.” Claudia continues to be a licensed pharmacist there, furthering their legacy.
Kenneth was known for his quick wit and gentle sarcasm. He was always available for telephone consultations with customers on evenings and weekends. He was so dedicated that he personally designed a stained-glass window reading “Pharmacy” for display.
Some distinctive services at their business include: renting out crutches and wheelchairs — which also can be purchased, and taking special orders for unique medical prescriptions. Kenneth was an active member of the Pharmacists’ Professional Society of the San Fernando Valley and he collaborated with the medical community of Burbank.
For recreation, Kenneth flew airplanes as a licensed pilot, enjoyed skiing and took Claudia on an adventurous African safari. He became a vintner as well, and he compared the process of making wine to compounding medicine at the pharmacy.
“Everyone who knew him will miss him dearly,” said Claudia. After his passing, the pharmacy received more than 200 condolence cards.
Kenneth is survived by Claudia, son Randall Ross, two grandsons and a large, loving family.
Kenneth had lymphoma, so memorial contributions can be made in his name to the Lymphoma Research Foundation at Lymphoma.org — just press the red “donate” button in the upper right.