William L. Ross


(March 12, 1922 - June 5, 2011)

As William (Bill) LaVern Ross would say he is now tickety-boo plus 2. Bill died Sunday, June 5, 2011 in Powell. He was 89.

He was born March 12, 1922 in Weliver, Mont., to William and Nellie Ross. When he was 7, his family moved to Oklahoma and then Missouri searching for work during the Great Depression. His parents were strict Holy Rollers and did not allow their rambunctious boys to do anything on the Sabbath. To keep out of trouble, Bill would gather his brothers together, stand on a crate and spend the afternoon preaching to his brothers.

Bill could solve any problem using his intellect and organizational skills. His family eventually moved to Wyoming and Bill attended high school in Lovell. After high school he worked for Freeman Shumway. Freeman had a beautiful red-headed niece, Doris Hubbell, who would become Bill’s future wife.

In 1941, Bill enlisted in the Navy and attended Hospital Corps School. While on duty in Pearl Harbor he mailed an engagement ring to Doris. No letter, just the ring, which she promptly mailed back. Deciding a more personal touch was needed, he went to Logan, Utah and proposed to her in person. They were married in Billings on Dec. 3, 1943. They spent the first four months of their marriage in New London, Conn., where Bill attended submarine school. He was a chief pharmacist mate and worked sonar on the USS Boarfish in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

After WWII, Bill and his young family settled in Riverton where he worked as a radio announcer for KWRL radio station. In the early 1960s he began his career as an electronic engineer in the cable television industry. He soon became a pioneer in cable TV and built systems all over the United States and Canada. His wife often commented that she didn’t know she was marrying a gypsy. Bill loved a challenge and would never turn down a new job opportunity. He was a man of all trades.

Bill and Doris moved to Powell in 1990 to enjoy retirement around family. Bill was an amazingly gifted man. His family knew him as Mr. Fix-it — there was nothing he couldn’t do or fix.

Bill is survived by his wonderful wife, Doris of Powell who gave him sacrificial loving care during his illness; daughter Shirley Norris of Powell and grandsons, Robert and Jeff; son Rodney (Carol) of Greybull and grandson Jon; daughter Debra of Spokane, Wash., and granddaughter Kasandra; five great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren; and his brother Curtis (Mary) of Waco, Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Estelle, Leonard, Willard, Kenneth, and Ray; sisters LaVada, Elizabeth and Bertha.

The family requests memorials be made to Powell Valley Hospice, 777 Ave. H, Powell WY 82435.

Thompson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.