Richard Douglas Ross, born in Dodsland, Saskatchewan, March 12, 1930, passed away on February 18, 2013, in the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Hospice House, Kamloops, B.C., after a four month battle of post op heart surgery.Dick is lovingly remembered by his wife Carmen of 29 years; sons Bob, Wayne (Debbie) and Perry (Arlette); daughter Stacey (Dan) Gartner; step-daughter Tracy (Greg) Tutt; grandchildren Brandon and Monty (Dallas) Ross, EvaJean Ross (Trevor), Jessica and Chad Gartner, Tanner and Teagan Tutt; great-grandchildren Linden and Kallen Ross; sister Pat Johnston and brother Barry Ross; brother-in-law Kerry (Mary) Morrissey and sister-in-law Suzie (Les) Berkes; as well as cousins, nieces and nephews.
Dick was predeceased by parents Eddie and Isabel Ross; and by sisters Joyce Mitchell and Shirley Ross. Dick was the second of five children born to Eddie and Isabel Ross, and was raised in Flin Flon, Manitoba, where his father was employed by the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. Upon graduation, in 1948, Dick moved to British Columbia, and worked for the CNR Signal Department from Boston Bar to Jasper. Dick joined the Army in Lytton in 1950. He spent two years with the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) forces in Hanover, Germany, in the RCEME (Royal Canadian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers). He returned home in 1952, and joined back up with the CNR Signal Department. In 1959 he was promoted to Signal Maintainer for Lucerne, Albreda, and Barriere; a position he held until his retirement in 1986. Soon after Dick found out that retirement was for “older” people, and he talked Carmen into moving north of Chu Chua where they managed a cow/calf operation for a number of years. During those years Dick also obtained his Class 3 drivers license, and drove school bus for several years on the Chu Chua and Mc-Lure route. After yet another retirement; Dick soon found himself employed by Inmet Mining Company (Minnova Mine) at Johnson Lake. He had gone up for a “couple of weeks” to help a friend from Peachland while they were dismantling the plant and ended up staying for nine years. He became the Plant Supervisor, and retired for the final time in August of 2004. Anyone who knew Dick, also knew that his retirement meant having the opportunity to spend the majority of his waking moments doing what he most loved to do – since 1959, until his passing – Dick was dedicated to the continuation and improvement of the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo grounds.
The word “volunteer” is described as ‘doing charitable or helpful work without pay, and performing or offering to perform a service of one’s own free will’. The following is a true testament of Dick’s love for volunteering: Member of the Royal Canadian Legion since 1954; Responsible for the beginning construction of the original Barriere ball park; Was instrumental in organizing the Barriere Maroons Softball Team in 1960 – which he coached; Past-president and ‘Charter’ Member of the Barriere Lions Club; Barriere Ambulance ‘driver’; Organized and was Arena Director the first Fall Fair Rodeo in 1973 – and for every one thereafter; Arena Director for the first Barriere High School Rodeo; President of the first Barriere & District Riding Club; President of the North Thompson Fall Fair & Rodeo Association during which time the large grandstands were built; First President of the B.C. Little Britches Rodeo Association; President of the B.C. High School Rodeo Association; President of the Barriere High School Rodeo Parent Advisory; Director in the B.C. Rodeo Association 1984/85 assisted Carmen in compiling and printing the first B.C. Little Britches Rodeo Rule Book; Charter’ member of the Chu Chua Volunteer Fire Dept and firefighter; In 2000 was voted Rodeo Person of the Year by members of the B.C. Rodeo Association; Represented rodeo committees on the Canadian Bull Riding Association; 2004 Barriere Citizen of the Year Some of his greatest moments in life was coaching his own children, along with many others in the sport of rodeo. Dick had a fierce love for his family, and his community. He could always be counted on to step forward when a volunteer or helping hand was needed. Dick was passionate about what he believed in, enthusiastic about ‘the Cowboy Way’, and embraced the joy of life to its fullest.
The Funeral Service and a celebration of Dick’s life will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013, in the North Thompson Fall Fair Rodeo Arena, in Barriere, at 1 P.M. Cremation to follow. In lieu of flowers, if you so choose, donations may be made to: Kamloops Hospice Association, Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Hospice House, 72 Whiteshield Cr. S., Kamloops, B.C., V2E 2S9. Funeral arrangements North Thompson Funeral Services, 4638 Barriere Town Road, Barriere, V0E 1E0, 250-672- 1999, www.NorthThompsonFuneral.com.