September 23, 1940 - August 7, 2020
Donald Eugene Ross, 79, passed away at 9:44 a.m. from a brief illness on Friday, August 7, 2020 at Cox Medical Center in Branson, Missouri. Services will be announced at a later date. Burial will be in the Miriam Cemetery, Maryville, Missouri at a later date.
Don was born September 23, 1940 in Maryville, Missouri. He was the eldest son of Eldon F. and Minnie M. Ross (Crockett). Don attended Maryville High School and graduated in 1958. He met the love of his life, Verba Louise Reeves, in 1958 and they were married in Maryville, Missouri on October 4, 1959.
Shortly after Don and Louise were married, they moved to Lincoln, Nebraska to start their life together. He began his career as an automotive mechanic, working for a few years at Newt Copple and Standard Motors before finally finding a home working at Dean Brothers Lincoln-Mercury. To supplement income for his growing family, Don also worked evenings at the Starview Drive-In Theater and eventually became the manager for the West-O Drive-In Theater. During this time, he was also involved in the community as a member of the Nebraskaland Communications Emergency Team (aka E-Team) which aided with functions such as storm tracking, search and rescue, emergency response, and Special Police.
It was in performing the duties as Special Police that led Don to his next calling, Law Enforcement. In 1974 he moved his family to Wilber, Nebraska and became a police officer for the City of Wilber. He worked his way through the ranks to become Sergeant, Deputy Chief, and the Chief of Police. During this period, he was also a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician and a member of the Lions Club. Being mechanically inclined, Don was a bit of jack-of-all trades; but he found the most pleasure spending his leisure time with his grandchildren, woodworking, performing yardwork, and in the relaxation of camping and hiking.
One of Don’s favorite places to camp was in the Ozarks of southwest Missouri. He first became aware of the area when his high school band (he played the trombone) traveled to Branson. Through the years, the Ozarks became a popular camping destination for him and Louise; and they always looked forward to coming back.
In 1997, Don decided to retire from police work. After nearly 40 years in Nebraska, he and Louise had the urge to relocate. The natural location for them to retire to was the place they loved best, the Ozarks. So, in 1999, they packed up and moved to a little acreage in Taney County, Missouri. Before retiring, Don was concerned that he would become bored; after retiring he said, “I don’t know what I was waiting for, I am busier now than I ever was!” He loved working in the yard or just relaxing on his back deck to watch and listen to nature; saying, “It’s like being on vacation every day!”
Left to cherish Don’s memory is his wife Louise of Kirbyville, MO; son, Randy Ross of Kirbyville, MO; son, Raymond Ross and his wife Dena of Papillion, NE; daughter, Donna Looper and her husband Byron of Kirbyville, MO. He will be greatly missed by his six grandchildren, James Ross, Andrew Ross, Virginia Matheny, Allison Ross, Charles Schoenhofer, Jarod Schoenhofer, and seven great-grandchildren. Preceding Don in death were his parents, his brother Larry Wayne Ross and his granddaughter Brooke Ross.
Cremation is under the direction of the Kissee-Schofield-Eakins Funeral Home, Forsyth.