In Memory of

Kenneth Lee Ross

January 19, 1953 - September 30, 2017
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.


Friday, October 6, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“To Bob and Linda and all of Kenny's family, I wish to say how sorry I am to hear Kenny has passed. I will always remember him as being funny, witty and tall. We had a wonderful teenage crowd that ran around together, sharing good times at the Ross house. We watched movies, played games, drove around in Sandy's Corvair, and just shared general happiness. Kenny was always a part of it. Will always remember you Kenny. ”
- Cilla Sportsman Nelson
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“Sincere sympathy to Ken's family and friends. I always enjoyed his writings and will miss seeing him with his friends at the Gasthaus. Rest in Peace.”
- Sheree L Hausmann
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“My thoughts and prayers are with Ken's family he sure was a great guy and took awesome pictures . Ken will be missed dearly and will miss his pics and his smile and articles he had in the paper. R.I.P. KEN ”
- Amy Strahmann
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“Our sympathy & prayers go out to the family of Kenny Ross! He was a very intelligent and personable man who had a great sense of humor and quiet mannerisms. We enjoyed his "Ross Rambles" column so much and looked forward to reading it. He seemed to always hit the nail on the head! We also enjoyed visiting with him about recent happenings in Cherokee whenever we saw him. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. ”
- Rose Beazley
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“So sad to hear of Kenny's passing. I've known Kenny for many years. I was a very good friend of his sister, Sandy. We had a group of friends that all hung out together. He will be so missed. Rest in Peace, my friend. My condolences to his family.
- Janice Sportsman
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“All of us at Rasmus Realty would like to extend our condolences to the family of Ken. He was a common figure in the community while doing his job for the newspaper. He will be missed.”
- Rasmus Realty
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