Blaine County and Montana leader Warren H. Ross passed away April 12, 2012, following complications associated with a broken hip suffered earlier in the week. Warren was two days shy of his 85th birthday, having been born to Thomas Alexander Ross and Marcie Angell Ross on April 14, 1927. He grew up on the family ranch south of Chinook in the Bear Paw Mountains and attended local schools, including Chinook High School, but with World War II raging, graduated high school at the New Mexico Military Institute.
Following service in the U. S. Navy, he earned his bachelor's degree from Montana State College, Bozeman, where he met his bride, Betty Don McMillan of Lewistown, who preceded him in passing in July 2007. They were married Nov. 25, 1950, and made their home on Ross 8 Bar 7 Ranch Inc., where they raised their four children.
Warren served on the Board of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, was a 25-plus year member of the Chinook school board, was on the Western Bank Board and was a public member of the board for the Helena branch of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank. He also served two terms on the Montana Oil & Gas Commission. Additionally, he served as a director for the Sweet Foundation, the Sweet Nursing Home, the Blaine County Community Foundation, the Northern Montana Hospital and foundation boards and the Chinook Presbyterian Church, was an American Legion member for 64 years and a 25-plus-year 4-H leader. Warren’s strong commitment to community was reflected in his service through these organizations.
Perhaps he most enjoyed his involvement in the Masons, both in Chinook Lodge No. 50, and the Montana Grand Lodge, as well as the Algeria Shrine. He was Most Worshipful Grand Master for the state of Montana in 1984, and many of his most enduring friendships were with Masons he met in travels representing the Montana Grand Lodge. His Masonic involvement included serving as Worthy Patron for the Order of the Eastern Star.
In addition to Betty Don, he was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Schilling; and brother, Thomas Ross.
Warren's family includes: his son, Don and Tanis Ross on the home place south of Chinook, and their daughter, Mary of Missoula; his daughter, Linda and Jay Rice who ranch near Pendroy, Mont., and their children, Tucker of Lewistown and his sons, Colt and Cory Rice, and Tara of New Haven, Conn. ; his son, John of Alexandria, Va., and his daughters, Hilary of Arlington, Va., and Alexa of Boston, Mass. ; and his son Hugh and Debbie of West Linn, Ore., and their sons, Thomas of Portland, Ore., David of Boise, Idaho, and Austin McCool of Seattle, Wash. In addition, he is survived by several nieces and nephews, and his many friends of all ages and backgrounds who were an extended family to him as well.
Memorials are requested for the Blaine County Community Foundation, the Chinook Presbyterian Church or the charity of one’s choice. Arrangements were through Edwards Funeral Home in Chinook.