Kenneth Lee Ross, age 64, died suddenly of an aortic dissection at St. Luke's Hospital in Soux City on September 30, 2017.
Ken was born Jan. 19, 1953, to Howard and Rogene Ross. Growing up in Pontoosuc, Illinois and Fort Madison, Iowa. Ken graduated from Fort Madison High School, and later earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in a feverish two years. from Western Illinois University.
As a twenty-one year old, Ken left home with his older sister and her two children to settle in the tall forests of Northern California, where he lived in rustic simplicity, drawing water from a spring, raising a garden and hiking often into town to socialize at the 'Last Outpost', a tavern in nearby Forbestown. He later moved to San Francisco for a time, hoping to break into writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, then returned to his home state of Iowa. He worked on the Fort Madison Fire Department and as a local prison guard and as a security guard at a chemical plant, before settling into writing for newspapers in Rockwell City and Cherokee.
Ken was a long-time resident of Cherokee, working as a columnist and editor for the Chronicle Times, covering community events, and writing the 'Ross Rambles' op-ed column. He enjoyed his later years living in Iowa with the career he loved with good friends, and occasional visits to Fort Madison, Northern California and Maryland to visit family.
Ken's biggest legacy, aside from loving family, is perhaps his cadre of good friends in and around Cherokee and Storm Lake, where he enjoyed the wide-open prairie with its thunderstorms and frigid cold, long humid days and star-filled nights, and the occasional pizza and beer, served with laughter and opinionated discussion.
Ken was the youngest beloved little brother in a family of five children, who throughout life was true to himself, honest in his friendships and logical and analytical with his beliefs. Probably best likened to one born and raised in the tradition of the 'Norwegian bachelor farmer', he lived life on his own spiritual journey, and never found, or seemed to need, a mate.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Rogene Ross, from Brookfield, and two siblings, Sandra K. Ross and Jerry W. Ross.
He is survived by his brother, Robert Ross of Montrose Iowa; and a sister, Linda Ross Williamson of Brownsville California; nieces Shannon Heim,Willow Williamson, Kandice Warner and Tammy Case; and nephews Danny Ross, Brian Ross and Nathan Ross.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, October 5, 2017, at the Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee.
The family requests in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to the Kenneth L.Ross Memorial Fund at Cherokee State Bank.
Pastor Jane Johnston
Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
At a later date.