For most of her life, Jan Ross was known as the wife of Jim Ross, a man who had made himself very important to the world of wrestling as a commentator. She was a popular face in the media because of how often she was seen with Jim. Jan proved herself as a reliant and strong support system to the man regarded as one of WWE’s finest commentators and referees.
Their marriage, prior to her death, was a long one. Whenever he recounts the life they had, Ross never fails to mention how much he adored his late wife and how big an influence she was in his life. Although a large chunk of Jan’s fame is credited to her husband’s success in the entertainment industry, it is also known that she had a professional career at some point.
Jan Ross Worked as an Air Hostess
Jan Grillette, who came to be known as Jan Ross, was born sometime in 1962, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The details of her early life are largely unknown as she was not popular until she met Jim Ross in 1990. When the two met, Jan was working as an Air hostess.
Ric Flair, a close friend of the couple and a colleague to Jim Ross, claims he introduced the couple to each other. However, it is believed that he just happened to be on the same airplane, where the couple met.
When the couple got married in 1993, Jim Ross had just gotten a new job at the World Wrestling Foundation as a play-by-play commentator while also making a living as a talent relations executive. For his work, the couple relocated to Connecticut and this officially marked the end of Jan’s career as an air hostess. With time, she leaned into supporting Ross at his job, full time.
She Was Very Involved in Her Husband’s Career
As a talent relations manager and commentator, Jim Ross had access to a number of wrestlers. There were wrestlers he was managing and those who just came around to be friendly, but he was a busy man, and this is where Jan came in. She was able to help her husband sustain and enlarge his client base as she maintained a good relationship with all the wrestlers who would come to their apartment, making them feel at home. She was known to be matronly and motherly to the wrestlers, one way she did this was washing the outfits of those she was very close to, like Steve Austin.
Jim has even described her as being akin to a coach’s wife as she found a way to work with different wrestlers, making sure each person felt special. This she did by remembering the food they liked, making it when they visited and keeping up with their wives and children. In addition to that, if any wrestler sought her opinion on a matter, she gave it freely. This made Jan Ross become good friends with several WWE superstars such as Chris Jericho, Trish Stratus, Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, Steve Austin, to name but a few.
It’s also known that Jan always made everyone feel like they mattered and while Jim worked at World Wrestling Foundation, the role she played as a warm mother figure to the wrestlers was pivotal in that era of the company’s history. Jan Ross did not have a specific job role but her reputation of love, patience, and kindness lives on several years after her death.
The Couple Had No Child Together
When Jan met Jim Ross in 1990, he was a two-time divorcee who had lost his first two marriages to his work. Jim Ross’ career was just kicking off and he gave it all of his attention, this resulted in the breakdown of his marriages. More so, when he was not working, he was living in an unhealthy way which led to his weight crisis but all of this changed when he met Jan.
It was also gathered that when she was alive, Jan was an ardent fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the local football team from her hometown; she regularly attended their matches and influenced Jim into becoming a Steelers fan too.
In his autobiography titled Slobberknocked: My Life in Wrestling, Jim talks about how patient Jan was, especially as he was away at work a lot. A year after they got married, he was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy which sometimes gave him bouts of depression. Through all of this, it was Jan who took care of him.
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) May 27, 2017
Even though they never had kids together, from his first two marriages, Jim had two daughters named Kasi and Amanda.
Jan Ross Died of Traumatic Brain Injury Sustained in an Accident
After visiting the gym on a regular Monday evening, Jan Ross was on her Vespa heading home when tragedy struck. That night, at around 09:30 pm, Jan’s vehicle was hit by a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis driven by a seventeen-year-old. The car and the Vespa were reportedly engulfed in flames while Ross was tossed from her Vespa and quickly rushed to a nearby hospital.
Jan sustained multiple fractures on her skull as she was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, this could have minimized her injuries. One of the curative measures the hospital took was putting her on life support but that did not help as she passed on a few hours later.
The coroner’s report cited traumatic brain injury as the cause of her death, confirming the belief that a helmet ought to have made a difference.
A Priest gave my wife Jan her last rites tonight. My little Angel is gone. 🙏🙏
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) March 23, 2017
After Jim Ross took to his Twitter account to confirm Jan’s passing, what followed was an avalanche of condolence messages from famous wrestlers, WWE personalities, close friends, relatives, and fans.
This was a big deal for Jim as it validated his opinion of his wife of almost 2 decades, whom he regarded as a rare gem and still adores. Jan is greatly missed not just by her famous husband but many others, including WWE wrestlers who had come in contact with her during her lifetime.