November 17, 1930 - February 24, 2018
Louis Eugene “Gene” Ross passed away February 24, 2018 at Red Bluff Health Care. He was born November 17, 1930 to Walter W. and Francis Speece Ross in Sturgis, South Dakota. He was raised and went to school in the Ashland, Oregon area.
(Following are excerpts from the Ashland Senior High School 50th reunion celebration in 2001.)
“I left high school early to join the paratroopers. In 1952, Patricia Bailey from Ashland, Ore. and I married, and we traveled back to Kentucky where I finished my service time and our first son, Scott was born.
After the service, we returned to Ashland. When we moved to Red Bluff, California, I went to work for the California Department of Forestry. During these years, we had three more children, for a total of two sons and two daughters.
Pat and I divorced in 1976. In 1979, I married Kelly Herrington from Happy Camp, Calif. We have been married for 22 years. In 1987, I adopted Kelly’s child, that gives me five children. I now have five grandchildren, and I am proud of every one of them. Four of the five live in Northern California and one lives in Whangarei, New Zealand.
I retired in 1988 from the California Department of Forestry with 30 years of service. I have taken up flying again after a twenty-some year break, it’s like riding a bike.”
Lou passed away peacefully in his sleep with Kelly, his wife of 39 years holding him by his side.
Lou loved his wife and family and the great outdoors. He enjoyed riding and working with horses; buck hunting; and in 2004 he and partner Jack Anderson flew to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for the “Short Wing Piper Club” convention. Lou had many interests throughout his life. He was loved by his faithful dog, “Foxy.”
Lou is survived by his wife, Kelly; his children, Scott Ross of Sonora, Kelly and Linda Ross of Red Bluff, Rebecca and Christer Grunde of Cool, Jodi Ross of Paradise, and Diane and Nick Coleman of Whangarei, New Zealand; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; brother, Jacque and Doris Ross of Camino, Calif.; sister, June Zboralski of Ashland, Ore.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Lou was preceded in death by his brother, Jesse; sister, Rose Mary Baird; and his parents.
Lou brought out the best in everyone around him. He lived long enough to impart some knowledge to a great-grandson.
“Until death do us part.”
Rest in peace. We all loved you.