Joanne L. Ross is synonymous with “The Mystery Blonde” of the Gasparilla parade from years 1950s-60.
She passed away peacefully on February 9, 2020 at 94 years young.
A legend and an icon to all who knew her. Tampa native Jack Espinosa Sr. was quoted saying, “She was stunning, a natural beauty and a real knockout”. She went on to being Maas Brothers Department stores premiere model. She reigned as Queen for Miss Jai Alai, Miss Cypress Gardens, Miss Sylvania TV and recently she was featured on Mario Nunez’s Tampa Native Show.
She adored clothing, perfume, jewelry, hats and a good dirty martini. She loved the water, sitting on her terrace with her beloved cats overlooking her Tampa Bay. She was known around Davis Islands as the ‘Hat Lady’. Originally from Ohio, she always considered herself a true Floridian.
She spent 37 years working as an Executive Director to Tampa General Hospital Board of Trustees. Then finishing her working career at Omaha Steaks for another 10 years.
Joanne is survived by two daughters; Rebecca Sauceda of Tampa, Sheri Christianson of Atlanta, one grandson; Aki Sauceda of Denver and three great grandchildren. She also leaves behind many friends especially her very dear friend Dean Hammack.
Family and friends will be gathering for a private celebration of life.
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