Ross was a member of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Westmoreland.
He earned a Ph.D. in history from Vanderbilt University in 1972, and after a teaching career, he went on to become an award-winning historian authoring over 40 books. Ross’ last publication arrived the day of his passing.
Ross loved his family and was very much loved in return. He loved to learn and loved life. Ross enjoyed playing his banjo, writing, reading, following the Cincinnati Reds and playing Santa Claus at Christmas. He loved to travel and was thrilled to swim in the Jordan River on a trip to the Holy Land.
Survivors include his high school sweetheart and wife of 56 years, Ernestine Oliver Johnson of Westmoreland; three daughters, Angela Price of Sumner County, Tenn., Carmen Horne and husband Robert of Murfreesboro, Tenn. and Jenny Darrell and husband Michael of Nashville, Tenn.; one son, Leland Ross Johnson II and fiancée Danielle Taylor of Madison, Tenn.; one brother, Joseph Johnson and wife Sharon of Carrier Mills; one sister-in-law, Julia Johnson Grace of Joppa; five grandchildren, Sandy Price Link and husband Jackson, Shelly Price, Brad Horne and wife Cassie, Lauren Horne and Paisley Darrell; two great-grandchildren, Londyn Link and Finley Link; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Doris Baccus Johnson; and one brother, Clifford Johnson Jr.
Graveside service was held Feb. 28 at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Westmoreland. A Celebration of Life was held immediately after at the Pleasant Grove Community Center in Westmoreland.