McFARLAND / MADISON - Dean Charles Ross, age 71, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, after struggling with many illnesses and cancers due to exposure of Agent Orange.
He was born in Madison, Feb. 6, 1943, the son of Malcolm and Elaine (Little) Ross. Dean graduated from Madison West High School in 1961. He immediately joined the U.S. Navy and became a Seabee, specializing in welding during his tour of duty in Vietnam. During his five years in the Navy, as Dean would tell, he flew over 100,000 miles and was never on a ship.
When he came home he was a welder for Nagle Hart. Dean went through an apprenticeship program to become a steamfitter. He worked for several private companies before he joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979 as a steamfitter. He specialized in welding and then became a service steamfitter, working on campus which he enjoyed. Dean worked part time as a night instructor at MATC in the 80's for welding.
He married Geraldine (Gerry) Ross, Oct. 19, 1968, and together they had three children, Deanna, Anthony (Tony) and Michael. On Sept. 29, 2013, Dean married his longtime girlfriend of 20+ years, Victoria J. "Vicky" Carlson.
Dean is survived by his loving wife, Victoria Ross; sons, Anthony (Nicole) Ross and Michael C. Ross; three granddaughters, Abbigail, Maribel and Dayna Ross; his sister-in-law, Sally Ross and his friend, Gerry Ross. He is also survived by his wife's children, Toby and Linda Carlson (Zachary), Mindy and Brad Kiresch and Matt Marks (Cherub and Evan); and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his precious daughter, Deanna on Aug. 13, 2013; his parents, Malcolm and Elaine Ross Sr.; and his brother, Malcolm Ross Jr.
Dean was involved in McFarland Youth Hockey as a coach/mentor, the Steamfitters Local No. 394 for many years and was a proud Mills St. Ranger. Dean then spent as much time as he could restoring old Chevorlet cars. He was most proud of his 1952 Chevy Deluxe. Vicky and Dean showed many of the cars at car shows, winning many awards and trophies. He was a member of the Klassic Kruisers car club. Dean was a great, loving father to his children and loving son to his parents. He loved telling stories and jokes, 50's music and country line dancing.
A Celebration of Dean's life will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, at 1 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. Burial will be held at Highland Memory Gardens with full military honors. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Friday.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Wounded Warrior Project or Vietnam Veterans.
The family would like to thank the staff at William S. Middleton Memorial VA Hospital for their loving care, especially Bri and Katelyn, as well as BrightStar Home Care staff.
Dad - "Thank you for your guidance and love. We'll honor and cherish all of our memories of you. Go in peace and dance with Deanna (she's been waiting for you). We love you."