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Warrior Family Mourns Loss

Darren Ross, 43, of Salamanca, NY, died on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at Buffalo General Hospital following a courageous battle with Glioblastoma (brain cancer).

Born May 9, 1980 in Olean, NY, he was the son of Charlotte (Paul VanCuren) McElfresh Ross, Salamanca, NY, and the late Timothy Ross. He was married on August 7, 2010 to the former Melanie Shongo, who survives.

He was a graduate of Salamanca High School, Class of 1998, where he played football, basketball, and baseball. He received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Alfred University in 2002.

Darren had been employed by the Seneca Nation of Indians since 2003. He worked at the former Early Childhood Learning Center, which is now known as Seneca Arts Learning Center for 16 years, where he received teacher of the year in 2015. For the past four years he was working at Seneca Intermediate as a school social worker. Darren’s entire career was dedicated to children in the Salamanca community.

He loved and enjoyed sports, especially football. His love of the game started at a young age. He played for the Salamanca Sabers, Salamanca Warriors, and the Alfred Saxons. He attributed his love of football from coaches such as Jay Weitzel, Rich Morton, and the late George Whitcher. Along with football, he equally loved baseball and the New York Yankees.

Darren carried the knowledge of sports he gained over the years and coached the team he started with, the Salamanca Sabers. Also coaching teams in youth basketball, youth lacrosse, and youth/varsity baseball in the Salamanca area. He instilled Warrior Pride on and off the field. When he wasn’t coaching or watching sports, Darren enjoyed traveling with his family and cooking. Family vacations to Walt Disney World and the Bahamas were among his favorites. Prior to illness, Darren also enjoyed golfing, kayaking, bike riding, swimming and anything that involved the outdoors.

Surviving besides his wife and mother are two children, Jaxson Ross and Charli Mae Ross, both at home; a brother, Dustin “Dud” Ross; niece Lottie Ross; and a special aunt, Bev Lounsbury, all of Salamanca, NY.

He was predeceased by his brother, Dana Ross.

A Tribute to Darren Ross - September 16, 2023

1996 Salamanca Warriors Highlights

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at the Seneca Allegany Casino Event Center on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 2:00 pm.

Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery at the convenience of the family.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the O’Rourke & O’Rourke Inc Funeral Home, 25 River Street, Salamanca, NY.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial tributes to Roswell Park by visiting:

E-condolences can be sent to or posted to


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