John Ross, beloved husband, dad, grandpa, and friend, died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack at home on May 26, 2020. He was an honest, loyal, and generous man who would do anything for anyone and often did just that. He lived life to the fullest and left this world a better place.
John was born in Columbus, Ohio, on June 3, 1945. In childhood, he was a member of the Columbus Boy's Choir, an Eagle Scout, and ran track in high school. At the young age of 19, John left Ohio to start a new life in Los Alamos, New Mexico, working for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) as a computer technician. Having had his choice of jobs, John chose Los Alamos because of the town ski hill, Pajarito Mountain. He became a masterful, lifelong skier and shared his love of skiing and the outdoors with his children and grandchildren. He retired from LANL in 2004 with over 40 years of service.
John was married to his wife and best friend, Mary Ann, for over 52 years. They met while living in the same apartment complex where she played her stereo too loud and he smoked smelly cigars! They were dedicated to one another through thick and thin, with unconditional acceptance and love.
John loved his family and being a grandpa was the light of his life. He and Mary Ann raised 2 children, Jennifer and Nathan, and have 3 grandchildren, Maya (14), Keegan (18), and Drew (14). His children and grandchildren will cherish memories of summer rafting trips down the San Juan and Green rivers, wild rides in the driveway being pulled behind the car on an inner tube in the snow, and watching grandpa learn to paddle board while sitting in a lawn chair (yes, we have a picture included here!) In his early 70's, John led a group rafting trip down the Grand Canyon, continued to ski and hike regularly, and enjoyed long walks with his dog, Lance. His last traveling adventure was a one month RV road trip to Arizona with Mary Ann.
John was a wonderful builder known for his ongoing projects and creating a home welcoming of anyone who wanted to visit. He and Mary Ann's Colorado retirement dream home, nicknamed "The Ponderosa," was his pride and joy. He was often found bumping around the land on his tractor, tinkering in the motor home, sitting with Mary Ann on the porch watching the wildlife, or researching bigger and better ways to get rid of prairie dogs. No one was a stranger to John who was a generous host and friend to all who spent time with him.
Known for his dry sense of humor and quirky sayings, John entertained friends and family with "Dadisms." Some favorite John "Dadisms" are: "I don't eat "A" vegetables"; "I'm not napping, I'm resting my eyes"; "This is a trip, not a vacation"; and if asked to do something he didn't want to do he would say, "I'm not authorized nor certified to do _________." He also rated food, camping spots, and experiences on a scale of "Unsatisfactory, Satisfactory/Adequate, Satisfactorily Adequate, and Excellent."
John is preceded in death by his parents, Russell and Elizabeth Ross, and sister, Sharon Iscaro. He is survived by his wife Mary Ann Ross; daughter Jennifer Parish, partner Rafael Benitez, and children Keegan and Drew; son Nathan Ross, wife Alma, and daughter Maya; brother, Mike Ross, wife Jackie and their children; nephews Paul and Curt Iscaro and their families; and many friends.
The family has created a virtual memorial for John, https://www.gatheringus.com/memorial/john-ross/3818, which includes information about the John Ross Memorial Fund that will be used for donations to charities and causes in the future. Anyone is welcome to make a donation to a cause or charity in John's name on the memorial site.