Lawrence Ross 1921 – 2012

Brother and uncle, Lawrence Joseph Ross, 91, died Sunday, July 22, 2012, at Denali Center where he had lived for the past 39 years.

Born in Ruby, on March 26, 1921, to Charles F. Ross, of Stockholm, Sweden, and Emma A. (Alexander) Ross, of Anvik, Lawrence recalled being raised by “the doctor” because of early diagnosis of polio. As Emma’s ninth child, he remembered all his siblings and extended family well, having lived along the Yukon River until 1955.

Lawrence began institutional living at Morningside Hospital in Portland, Ore., at age 34. He also lived in facilities in Anchorage and Valdez before moving permanently to Fairbanks in 1973 to be closer to his sister, Edith.

His career as a janitor began in the days when he used to keep the Pioneer Hall in Ruby clean. Quite a storyteller, he would recount housekeeping chores he did at Harborview in Valdez. His jobs at Denali Center included picking up laundry, wiping down tables and handrails, and checking to make sure that office doors were locked after hours.

In the community he helped make furniture and did a lot of sanding. Lawrence was known for his recycling efforts as he would collect cans, remove each tab for separation and crush the cans before turning in his collection. He has been recognized for his contributions in donating money he earned to children’s causes.

Known to many as Larry, Ross had enjoyed support from Fairbanks Resource Agency over the years. He appreciated regular visits, car rides, and meals shared with OBRA specialist and friend, Billie Kassel.

Lawrence was a shareholder of Doyon Limited Native Corporation. Favorite traditional foods he enjoyed included salmon strips and any kind of ribs. A fan of country music, tapes of Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash could be heard playing from his room.

Lawrence had a remarkable memory and would recall the names of family members, people who used to live in the village during the 1940s and 1950s, and a number of staff and residents who worked and lived at Valdez, Careage North and Denali Center. He would fondly recall the names of elders and say he missed them.

Lawrence was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Emma Ross; sisters, Dora Alderman, Mary Demientieff, Katherine Carlo, Gertrude Gunderson, and Ann Dunn; brothers, George Cristo, Mark Cristo, Mitchell Cristo, Charles Ross, Jr., William Captain, Edward Ross, and Robert Ross.
He leaves to cherish his memory sisters, Edith Nollner and Sophia Graham; numerous nieces and nephews; special friends, Billie Kassel and Don Thibedeau, and the many loving staff and friends he made during the years at Denali Center.

Visitation will be held at 11 a.m Friday July 27, 2012, at Chapel of Chimes. Funeral service will follow at noon with burial afterward at Birch Hill Cemetery where he will be laid to rest next to his parents.

Arrangements were entrusted to Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.

Published in Daily News-Miner on July 25, 2012

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