On Friday, May 9, 2014, Ross, age 72, a long-time resident of Palmer, Alaska, left his Albuquerque, NM home to join the great Mississippi Squirrel Revival in the sky.
Ross was born to Alfred Glenn and Mae Rene Bordwell, in 1941, in Little Rock, AR. He was raised in Oklahoma and Texas, and moved with his family to Alaska in the 1950s. As a child and teen, Ross was passionate about radio and electronics, and was a ham radio operator. Ross did not graduate high school, because (depending on which offspring is consulted) he couldn't transfer his marching band credit to Alaska, he didn't like a teacher and dropped out, or the FBI was after him and that's why he joined Navy in 1960. He earned his GED in the US Navy where he honorably served for 5 1/2 years as a radioman.
After his discharge Ross took his radio expertise to work in the far north of Canada and Alaska. For 15 years, he traveled extensively through the Alaska Bush and the lower-48 supporting BLM survey teams. In 1987(ish) in order to spend more time at home with his family, he took a job in Anchorage, building BLM's first servers and technology infrastructure. He was a pioneer in the field of computers and passed to his children his passion for video games, technology, and technology's never ending potential. In 2008 Ross retired after forty years of government service, and he and Noni ran away in their Blue Bird coach to live as carnies.
Ross celebrated Alaska's statehood by leapfrogging parking meters in Fairbanks, wooed Noni with his love of ice racing, rally, and autocross, and resolved his personal cold war with Marriage Encounter. He will be remembered for his joy in being alone with nature, bringing hitchhikers home unannounced, expounding upon any given topic for hours on end, and his absolute need for bleeding edge technology. He leaves a legacy of smart-asses, popcorn lovers, roller-coaster riders, and awful puns.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Noni Bordwell, his sister, Barbara Bordwell; his children, Ginger Lacy and husband Ralph, Pepper Cooper and wife Marz, Danny "Willie" Bordwell and wife Nicole, and Patti King; grandchildren, Annie "Nezzy", Brandi, Ava, Adi, Blake, Dylan, Raechel, Becki, Roben, and T.J.; great-grandchildren, Everett and Everleigh; and an extensive personal and professional network of family and friends. Ross was preceded in death by his great-granddaughter Aurora.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life was held in Albuquerque, NM on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Disabled American Veterans: www.dav.org/donate. Online Guest Book: www.FrenchFunerals.com.
Published in Alaska Dispatch News from May 18 to May 19, 2014