In Memory of
Wesley Reid Ross
December 27, 1919–September 15, 2017
Wes was born December 27, 1919 in Chehalis, Washington and graduated with honors in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State in 1943.
2nd LT Ross landed on Omaha Beach at dawn on 06 June 1944 and was the officer in charge of a 43 man Gap Assault Team; one of sixteen on Omaha who used hand-placed explosives to destroy the German wood and steel obstacles arrayed along “Easy Green Beach”. It was anything but easy! Wounded by mortar fire soon thereafter, he was hospitalized at Pontypridd, Wales where “How Green was my Valley”, starring Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O’Hara was filmed.
After fighting through France, Belgium, and Germany with the 146th Combat Engineer Battalion, he ended the war in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. Significant awards include: ETO Service Medal with a bronze arrowhead for the D-Day mission; five bronze campaign stars for Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe; Purple Heart; Presidential Unit Citation; Distinguished Service Cross.
After returning from Europe, he made the best decision of his life when he married Dorothy Wickens of Tacoma; whom he had met in 1941 at a Rainbow Girls Dance at Ft. Lewis. Dorothy was a great wife and a fantastic mother to her three children; Terrill Ann Ross – a widow of Salem, Arthur Gregory Ross of Bend, and Kathleen Jane Flath – his lovely youngest daughter, who preceded him in death in 2003 after a seven year bout with stomach cancer. Additionally there are seven grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.
Wes worked as a sales engineer for General Electric X-ray Co., Wester X-ray Co. and Picker International from 1946 until his retirement in 1986. From 1951 until 1959, in addition to his sales territory in Western Washington, he covered the Territory of Alaska. In 1955, he designed and supervised construction of two bush-airplane transportable X-ray systems for the Alaska Native Service to use in the remote area of the territory in tuberculosis control; a particularly vicious scourge for the natives.
A World Class Interventional Angiographic Laboratory System was sold, designed, and built- in that order- under his direction for the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland in 1969/71 which is now Oregon Health Sciences University. It was used with superb results for fifteen years before being replaced by a more modern system.
He remained in the Active Army Reserve after WWII, where he was in charge of the Rifle Marksmanship Team from 1954-1970. He won the Reserve High Power Rifle Championship at the 1963 National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio when three men from the regular military services, and he-in a field of 2,202-bested the existing national open record set the previous year. That same year he became a member of the prestigious “President’s Hundred”. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Active Army Reserve in 1970.
Wes attempted to respectfully listen to all aspects of contentious issues, and tried to be a facilitator. His fervent hope was to have the good sense to direct his efforts so that those when knew him well could honestly say “although he may have done a bit more in furthering the well-being of his countrymen and of his great country, he gave it a good shot!”
Please friends, do not grieve for me. My life has been a wonderful roller coaster, with many great times, and only a few bumps along the way. My life’s crowning achievement was marrying Dorothy who came from the great and loving Wickens family- the apple does not fall far from the tree! Because of her loving care, our children were always considerate of others.
If so desired, contribution in his behalf may be made to:
Citizens against Government Waste – CAGW
Mothers Against Drunk Driving – MADD
The Salvation Army