Colleen Ross

Obituary of Colleen Ross

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Bessie Colleen Ross, age 91, passed away peacefully at home with her family on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.


Born September 5, 1930 in Caldwell, to William George “Bill” and Una Beatrice Campbell; her brother Billy joined a few short years later. Colleen attended school in both Nampa and Caldwell, graduating from Nampa High in 1948 and then set off for the College of Idaho.


In Colleen’s first year of college, she met Curly Ross and as he told it, “I saw Colleen and knew that if I ever had a chance to get ahold of her, I’d hold on for life.” When asked, “what was your favorite focus of study at the College of Idaho?” Colleen answered, “I loved to study Curly.”


Colleen and Curly married on July 30, 1950 and welcomed their first child, Susie, in 1951. Over the next 18 years, they would go on to have four more children: Sheri, Bud, Doug, and John.


Curly held a position with Albertsons that had their growing family constantly on the move, living in Nampa, Twin Falls, Caldwell, Seattle, Richland, Boise, Spokane, and everywhere in between. The Rosses established a second home on the Payette Lake in McCall, ID where they fell in love with the mountains, lakes, and trees in the quiet hideaway town. Later they became snowbirds to a winter home in Palm Desert, CA. The Rosses fully retired in Boise.


At the age of 35, Colleen was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It was a poor companion for her playful lifestyle. As relentless as the disease was to scramble her mobility and coordination, she was equally as relentless to refuse to let it rule her life. Curly would say, “she’s a tough ol’ girl.” She did not let it keep her down.


In the late 1990’s, Colleen suffered strokes that left her greatly challenged with speech and mobility. Once again, she persevered to make the most of her life. One of the worst side effects of her stroke was the loss of the sense of taste. That was the most frustrating for someone who loved to make fabulous meals and great desserts.


A heartfelt thank you to Colleen’s caretakers over the years, Galina, Maria, Sara, Courtney, Sharon, Mary, and Audrey as well as her amazing medical team at St. Luke’s who have always provided excellent care.


Colleen loved life, friends, travel, nature, family, and good flavorful food. Her sisterhood of friends was fondly referred to as the “Ding-a-lings.” They would meet often, laugh a lot, and proudly wear their playful bell necklaces. Colleen tried her best to never miss a high school reunion or grandchild’s birthday. Colleen valued loyalty and laughter. She enjoyed bowling, skiing, volunteering at elementary schools and the Elks Rehabilitation Hospital, she was also a member of the Ring Society at the College of Idaho.


Colleen reveled in making her home beautiful with flowers and seasonal decorations. Her favorites were peonies, tulips, and daffodils. Deceased family members were always honored at their gravesites on Memorial Day with carefully chosen flowers and decorations.


Colleen will be especially remembered for being instrumental in creating the Shannon Library at the College of Idaho in memory of her mother and father. Colleen’s father impressed upon her the importance of education. The Rosses were patrons at both the College of Idaho and Boise State University where they were major benefactors to the Athletic Department as well as academic scholarships. They were also benefactors in developing support and treatment for AIDS patients through Mercy Medical Center in Nampa during the AIDS epidemic.


Colleen was a faithful member of the Catholic Church. She lived by the mantra: Love your family, feed them well.


Colleen is survived by her children, Susie, Sheri, Doug and Kim, and John; grandchildren, Jon, Joleen, Jaimee, Shannon, Steven, Hailee, Kursta, Carley, Brooke, and Kortney; great-grandchildren, Ivy, Joy, Ida, Isidore, Brady, Aleah, Sterling, Eleanor, and Vivienne; many cousins; as well as nieces, Linda and Cindy and their families. She has been reunited with her loving husband of 62 years, Curly Ross as well as her parents, brother Billy, son Bud, and grandson Drew.


Colleen’s Funeral Service will take place on Monday, October 18, 2021. A viewing will begin at 9:30 followed by a Rosary at 10:30 at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church at 1500 E. Wright St., Boise. Guests are encouraged to bring memories and stories to share. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 at Our Lady of the Rosary with a luncheon reception to follow. The Funeral will be streamed for those unable to attend: Burial service will take place at 2:30 at Canyon Hill Cemetery, 2021 N. Illinois Ave., Caldwell. Arrangements are by Summers Funeral Home.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are welcome to be made in Colleen’s memory at The Speedy Foundation, the W.G. Bill & Una Shannon Memorial Scholarship at the College of Idaho, the Curly & Coleen Ross Endowed Scholarship for Football at Boise State University, or a charity that touches your heart. 

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