William "Bill" Ross
May 4, 2023
William Wayne Ross, 77, of Grapeview, Washington passed away peacefully on March 22, 2023 of acute heart failure. He was surrounded by his wife, Judy, two brothers, Tom and Gene, and his stepson, Mark. Bill, or Billy as his cousins called him, was born on May 10, 1945 in Cody, Wyoming to Tom and Alice Ross.
Bill grew up on a ranch near Ten Sleep, Wyoming, and graduated from Ten Sleep High School. After a short stint at college, he enlisted in the Navy. The choice was to enlist in a service he chose or be drafted into the Army, as this was Vietnam, 1964. Although Bill spent almost four years on active duty in the Navy, he told everyone that, "while he loved the Navy, he never got on a ship!" He flew radar on P-3s.
The Naval education that Bill received was superior, and following his discharge, because he had been stationed at Moffet Field in Silicon Valley in California, he found himself easily employed in the high-tech industry. Bill often said: "I never worked a day in my life" because he loved his engineering design work and claimed that doing what you love wasn't really "work."
Bill married Judy Witt on December 30, 2003. He was a consummate creator. A year after he retired in August 2004, he and Judy moved to Grapeview, Washington. He quickly built a monitor barnstyle shop and then went to work building 7 1/2-inch gauge track and trains people could ride on. He helped in landscaping the property into a park and had finished a large loop of the track before he died. He built speeders and human-sized riding cars and was forever enthusiastic about his hobby as well as life in general. Bill was always smiling.
Preceding him in death were his father, Tom Ross and brother David Ross. He is survived by his mother, Alice Ross; brothers Gene (Yvonne) Ross, Tom (Ann) Ross, Joe (Anni) Ross, Vernon (Milina) Ross; sisters, Lory (Dave) Greer and Sylvia (Kelly) Spiering; his wife Judy; daughter Laura Calvin, son Wayne Ross, stepsons Mark Witt, and Russell Witt, two grandchildren, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place. At this time plans are underway for Bill to be buried with military honors, but no date has been set.