William Raymond Ross

William Raymond Ross

William “Bill” Raymond Ross passed unexpectedly November 11, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Shelley, of 50 years, sisters, Sharon Dalbec of Coos Bay, OR and Margery Gilbertson of Orcas Island, WA, sons Ryan (Amanda) Ross of Brookings and Raymond Ross of Medford; five grandchildren, who will remember him fondly for sandcastle building, food creations, swimming/natural history trips to his beloved Smith River and he and Shelley’s crazy birthday videos; a multitude of nieces and nephews, leaving them all with wonderful memories.

He was born December 8, 1952 in Crescent City, CA. As a youngster, he could be found riding bicycles around Cooper St. and as far as Holland Hill and Point St. George. After graduating in 1971 from Del Norte High, Bill moved to Santa Rosa, CA meeting Shelley while attending junior college. In 1974 they moved to Bellingham, WA, to attend Western Washington University where Bill earned a B.A. in Biology. Bill and Shelley were married in 1976 and their first child, Ryan, was born in 1977. After college, Bill and his family moved to Brookings, OR, having their second son, Raymond, in 1981.

Bill worked in the forest industry becoming the manager of the Smith River Tree Nursery, where he oversaw the cultivation of tree seedlings for reforestation.

He was a well-respected nurseryman and was sought out for his quality seedlings and knowledge, not only in the industry, but private landowners from as far away as New Zealand, many who became longtime friends. He worked for 5 different companies in the same location for 27 years, retiring in 2007.

He is remembered as a loving and patient husband and father and was active throughout his life in community activities, including coaching his sons through sports.

Bill had many passions including photography, horticulture and landscaping. He was a gastronomist, beerologist, anthophile and opacarophile. He loved to collect and grow plants and trees of all types and spent many hours working on and landscaping his property.

Many knew him as the flower/beer/soup guy from The Vista Pub, where his love for flower arrangements and beer incited many a conversation and many a friendship.

We will miss his sage advice, encyclopedic knowledge of native plants, fungi, beer and everpresent solidity and consistency.

A memorial to be held every time we eat good food, drink good beer and see a sunset. May he be remembered with the same love that he shared with those around him.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bend Forest School, an outdoor school that his niece founded which embodies all that Bill loved by teaching children about the outside world. Donations can be made through Bend Forest School Foundation at https://www.bendforestschool.com/foundation or to your favorite charity.

William Raymond Ross

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