Alan Seymour Ross
With heavy hearts, the family of Alan Seymour Ross announce his passing due to complications of esophageal cancer on December 15, 2020. Son of Randall and Ruth Ross, brother of Lynne Schulz, husband of Janet, father of David and Susan (Robert) Brayman, and grandfather of Parker and Jace, Alan was born on July 28, 1936 in Reno, Nevada. He attended Mount Rose Elementary, Central Junior High School, and graduated from Reno High School in 1954. After two years of active duty with the United States Navy, he returned to Reno and completed his Bachelor degree at the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1961. While at the University he was active on campus and a member of Alpha Tau Omega. He met Janet, the love of his life, while at the University. They married in 1962 after his first year teaching and Janet's graduation. Alan's teaching career took him from Dilworth Middle School to Rio Vista, California, and to Hug High School, spanning a period in excess of thirty years. During his years as a teacher, he could be found conducting a band or choir, teaching elementary music and band, or teaching a History class, or perhaps teaching Math to second language learners. Alan was known for his willingness to do whatever was needed doing. During his career, he also worked at a variety of part-time positions including as a classical music DJ, a community college site supervisor, and as a teacher of profoundly disabled children at the State Hospital.
Alan's knowledge and interests were as eclectic as his life's work. He loved music, both classical and country. He possessed vast knowledge of history, both United States and of the World. He watched history programs and watched history in the making. He was an avid fisherman, especially of the fly type. He tied his own flies, sometimes even catching a fish or two on those flies. He especially enjoyed his trips to Alaska and British Columbia to fish with chief organizer and dear friend, Pete. The lure of Pyramid and Tahoe took him out whenever he was able. As much as he loved fishing, it did not rise to the level of his love of hunting that elusive bird, the Chukar. Humboldt Hunt Club was high on his list of favorite places to hunt and enjoy the company of Pete, Ron, Greg and others, over the years. He loved the outdoors! And, if you knew him well or had occasion to have a meal with him, you know he loved his peanut butter. On most everything!
Early in life, Alan enjoyed musical performance. He was a member of the Reno High School and University of Nevada bands and with several teacher friends, performed for many organizations as a member of the Lemon Lighters, a three-man combo with unusual instruments and equally unusual songs. His teaching of music was enhanced by his completing a master degree in the Teaching of Music at Northern Arizona University. While completing his master degree, he worked for the Northern Arizona University Summer Music Camp as an Assistant Camp Director and a Band Director. In the last twenty years of his life, his musical interests turned to regular attendance at performances of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra.
After retiring, he and Janet spent much of their free time at their mountain retreat near Graeagle, California, where Alan fished (Lake Davis) and Janet relaxed and read. Raking pine needles and hauling a never ending supply of needles to the landfill, eventually took over their time at the cabin and led to the decision to leave the mountains and focus on family time in Reno and travel. He especially enjoyed cruising with friends, Nancy, David, Rhonda, and Jerry.
Alan was a humorous guy who enjoyed the art of the limerick. He had a library devoted to the art of the limerick and could easily produce a limerick appropriate to any situation. Friends and family members sometimes found themselves the subject of a limerick written by Alan for their birthday or other special occasion. His repertoire was so extensive that long time friend, Paul, claims he drove to Winnemucca and back with Alan telling limericks, never repeating a single one. His "other" jokes were also legendary. You knew when one was coming by the look in his eyes and the lift of the corner of his mouth.
More than anything else, family was important to him. He loved and was proud of all of us. He loved his children and grandchildren and was very proud of their accomplishments, especially those of the grandchildren in the classroom and those of his children in the workplace. He enjoyed watching soccer games, tennis matches and volleyball matches of his children's early years and the baseball and football games, piano recitals and school music programs of his grandchildren.
About Alan, a cousin, George Lawson, with whom Alan went fishing, wrote, "he was one of the most kind, generous, humorous, appreciative and mature persons" he had ever known..."a remarkable human being and an inspiration."
We loved him! While he never complained, we knew he must be in pain, but, as much as we wanted to, we could not free him from the pain. As his ability to communicate waned, we wanted to hear his words, but we had to settle for showering him with our love.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the University of Nevada Foundation, memo: Ross Family Outstanding Social Studies Education Award Endowment Fund, Mail Stop 0162, Morrill Hall, 1664 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89557-0162, or a charity of your choice
Due to restrictions associated with Covid-19, a celebration of life will be planned for a later date.