RIPLEY, Ohio -- Morgan St. Clair Ross Jr., 87, former owner and publisher of The Ripley Bee, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at Meadowview Regional Medical Center in Maysville.

He had been a resident of Ohio Valley Manor since November 2016; prior to that he had resided in Ripley his entire life. He was known to family and friends as Mo.

He was born May 7, 1930, in Ripley, the son of Morgan St. Clair Ross Sr. and Della Emery Ross. He graduated from Ripley High School in 1948. He played basketball and baseball in high school and also played baseball for a local, independent team in Ripley. Morgan was a lifelong sports enthusiast, a fan of the Reds, Bengals and the UC Bearcats. For a span of many years he attended the Kentucky Derby each May.

His father purchased The Ripley Bee in 1925 and Mo started working at the paper when he was only nine years old. After graduating from high school he went to work at the paper full-time and he remained with the paper until the Bee was sold in 2002.

He handled everything from the linotypes and different presses to advertising. He worked with his father, Morgan Sr., sister Jean Ross Rice and nephew David Rice. Also working at the Bee during his time there were longtime editor Bill Wylie and office staff Judith Edgington and Betty Campbell. Mo dedicated over 60 years to The Ripley Bee.

Mo was a lifelong member of Centenary United Methodist Church in Ripley and held various positions related to church operations over the years. He was also a member of the Ripley Theater Guild and volunteered behind the scenes.

He was preceded by his parents; sisters, Jean Rice and Virginia Rickey; and brothers-in-law, Charles Rice and Charles Rickey.

He is survived by nephew, David C. Rice of Ripley; niece, Ellyn R. Grant (Russell) of Vero Beach Fla.; niece, Rebecca A. Rickey (Gary L. Embrey) of Vero Beach, Fla.; and several grand and great-grandnieces and nephews in Ohio and Florida. He is also survived by cousins, Nicole Wright and Alyce Rose Stearns of Aberdeen and Tommy Emery of Georgetown.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at the Cahall Funeral Home in Ripley, Ohio.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Interment will be in the Maplewood Cemetery in Ripley, Ohio.