After two decades of fighting CLL, Don Smith Ross died Dec. 22, 2016, at Delta County Memorial Hospital. He was 86.
He was born in Englewood July 29, 1930, to E.C. and Floy Smith Ross.
He married Carolyn Perkins Ross in Iowa City over 57 years ago. He spent most of his life in Iowa and Wisconsin before retiring in 1994 to Paonia.
He received a PhD in religious studies from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, a master of arts in music from Colorado State College and a bachelor's from the Colorado State College of Education, now known as the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, and a BD from a seminary in Philadelphia, Pa.
He was a gifted eduator who taught music in Wyoming, Michigan and Nebraska. He was an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and served a pastorate in Wapello, Iowa. He then taught at Eastern Iowa Community College in Muscatine, Iowa.
He was a professor for 24 years and served as the head of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.
He was an N scale model train enthusiast. Growing up in Denver, his father worked for the Rio Grande Railroad and both he and his brother became fascinated by the history of Colorado railroading. This led to an elaborate train display which consumed many hours for him and his wife. He also enjoyed camping, hiking and chatting with friends and relatives.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; two children, Jocelyn (Patrick) Murray of Basalt and Thad (Wendy) Ross of Rio Rancho, N.M.; a brother-in-law, Donald Perkins of Newton, Iowa; granddaughter, Brooke Murray of Boulder; grandsons, Braedin Ross and Kian Ross of Rio Rancho, N.M.; and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Edgar Ross Jr. and sister-in-law, Florence Ross.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Oncology Department at Delta County Memorial Hospital, North Fork Ambulance Association or the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory is handling the arrangements.
Visit the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at www.taylorfuneralservice.com.