Donald Alexander “Don” Ross passed away Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007 at his home at the age of 90.
Don was born at the family homestead at Blackhawk, Ont. to Gladys and Alex Ross on Sept. 2, 1917.
He left school early and worked throughout the district, logging and driving horses, then hauling with his own truck for his father and other loggers.
He was one of the workers on the Kenora Highway in the 1930s. He also built the original dance hall in Blackhawk that he and his family ran until after the war.
In 1939, he joined the 17th Forestry Corp and served along with many men from this area in Scotland, Holland, Belgium, France, and Germany. He was very proud of his military service; he left the army at the end of the war with the rank of sergeant.
After returning from overseas in 1945, he married Odell Gill. Together with his brother, Delbert, they owned and operated Ross’s Camps at Clearwater Lake.
In 1952, Don and Odell moved to Courtenay, B.C., where they owned a tourist business.
In 1954, Don joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and from then until he retired in 1967, Don, Odell, and family moved and travelled extensively throughout Canada and Europe.
After retiring from the military, he again switched careers and became a real estate agent in Ottawa until 1979, when they moved back to Fort Frances.
In all his careers and endeavours, Don was dedicated and hard-working. But he still took time to enjoy life: skiing, fishing, reading, visiting with his friends, and helping his neighbours and friends with maintenance on their homes and cars.
He was a proud member of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Don was a superb raconteur and would tell stories of people and escapades from his many careers. He brought the early years in the district and his time in the war alive as he talked; we could hear the voices and see the people as he acted out his stories.
Throughout their journeys, Don and Odell made many lasting friendships. Their door was always open to whoever wanted to visit or stay.
Until Odell’s passing in 1994, they spent their retirement years travelling to see their friends and family and hosting them at their winter home in Florida.
In 1997, he married DeLoris Camirand.
Don was predeceased by his wife, Odell; his parents; his brothers, Delbert and Norman; his sisters, Katherine and Margaret; and two infant siblings.
He is survived by his brothers, Sid (Eva) and Gordon, and sister, Irene Donnelly; his wife, DeLoris Camirand; brothers-in-law, Doug and George (Marg) Gill; and sister-law, Muriel Ross.
He will be dearly remembered by his children and their spouses, Barbara (Len Grupp) of Fort Frances, Ont., Gill (Nancy) of Calgary, Alta., and Nancy (Jim Piaskoski) and Doug (Linda), both of Ottawa, Ont.; his eight grandchildren, Heide (Rodger Suddard), Terry, Janna Piaskoski, Ross Piaskoski, Dan, Paul, Kathryn, and Christina; his great-grandson, Gus; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007 at 2 p.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances. Chaplain John Chornabay will officiate, with interment in Fort Frances Cemetery.
Friends may visit Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 7-9 p.m. at Green Funeral Home.
The pallbearers will be Delbert Ross, Wade Armstrong, Terry Ross, Ross Piaskoski, Janna Piaskoski, and Kathryn Ross.
The honourary pallbearer will be Doug Gill.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests in memoriam donations may be made to the Riverside Foundation for Health Care, 110 Victoria Ave, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 2B7 or c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.
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