George Walter Ross, 89, a retired Burlington Northern Railroad employee, died of natural causes early Wednesday morning, Oct. 31, 2007, at the Missouri River Medical Center in Fort Benton.
A requiem Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday by the Rev. Martin Skierka in Great Falls at the Immaculate Heart Chapel, 2200 Smelter Ave., Black Eagle. Viewing will begin hour before the mass. Graveside services will be 3 p. m. Wednesday at the Highland Cemetery in Havre. George was born June 5, 1918 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. He was one of four children born to Peter Ross of Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan, and Jennifer Mabel Powell of the Bear Paw Mountains south of Chinook. George was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic faith. He received his formal education at Gravelbourg, where he finished his schooling in 1935. George was working at the Swift Meat Packing Company in Calgary in 1941 during the outbreak of World War II. That winter he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and served his country by defending the British Columbia coastline. While on military leave in Vancouver, B.C., George met Helen Simpson VanBlaricom. They were married Nov. 9, 1944 on the Richter Estate near Keromeos, British Columbia, George remained in the RCAF until 1945, then received his honorable discharge. For the next two years he worked on the family farm near Gravelbourg. In 1948 George and Helen moved to Hedley, British Columbia, where he worked in the nickel plate and copper mines. They moved to the United States in 1951. They lived in Chinook before transferring to Havre in 1953. They became naturalized U.S. citizens in 1957. George initially worked for the Great Northern Railway as an electrician’s assistant, then finished his railroad career with Burlington Northern. He retired in 1980. The Rosses continued to live in their Havre home until George’s health began to fail in the spring of 2007, when he received local medical and extended care. In August he transferred to the Missouri River Nursing Home in Fort Benton where he could get personal care from his daughter, Gail. He remained at the Fort Benton facility until his death. George liked to be outdoors. In his early years he enjoyed bowling and he was a spectator fan of baseball and boxing. During his quiet time at home he liked to read the daily news and work crossword puzzles. He always enjoyed visiting his many relatives in the south Chinook community. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, LeRoy Ross of Chinook, and sisters Della Lariviere of Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan and Rena Black of Plymouth, Idaho. George is survived by his wife of 63 years, Helen Ross of Havre; daughters, Gail (Paul) Tesarek of Coffee Creek, Bernice Ross of Helena, and Elena (Dale) Sudbrack of Saco; sons, Doug (Becky) Ross of Havre, Jeff Ross of Havre, Pierre (Stephanie) Ross of Jefferson, Wisc., David Ross of Billings, and Tony (Marita) Ross of Rapid City, S.D.; 11 grandchildren; three greatgrandchildren; sister-in-law, Ruby Ross of Chinook, and numerous nieces and nephews. Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel of Chester. Memorials may be given to the charity of donor’s choice.