Lorraine Ross

 

image of Lorraine Ross

Lorraine Ross

Lorraine Ross was born to Donald and Florence Dent on April 29, 1931, in Montesano, Washington.  She passed away on September 20, 2021.  Though Donald and Florence had two other children, they died very early in their lives.  Lorraine remembered fondly her time spent with her parents and grandparents.  She said that her first memory was of “a quiet, pleasant time in Grandma Galyean’s flower bed.”  Lorraine would grow to become an accomplished gardener and to appreciate the beauty and peace of nature.  She had a love of music and her ability and discipline helped her learn to play the piano and clarinet.  Lorraine majored in music and was the first chair clarinet in the Western Washington orchestra while earning her elementary teaching certificate.

She was married to Bob Guthrie while he was stationed at the naval base in Long Beach, California.  Son Mark was born there in 1951.  After the Navy, they moved to Tacoma where Lorraine taught and daughter Erin was born in 1957.  A move to Kittitas County meant farming on River Bottom and East Kittitas, raising cattle and thoroughbred horses, and teaching in Ellensburg for Lorraine.  They built a beautiful home in Kittitas and Lorraine became a “Lincoln Lovely”, beginning her long career at Lincoln Elementary.   After her marriage to Bob ended, co-worker Genie Gustafson introduced her to Russell Ross.  Following a Kiwanis Club Valentine dinner, they were smitten.  They married in July 1976 at Rosyln’s Pine Loc Sun lodge, had two ministers as officiants, and danced to “Sweet Lorraine” at their reception.  Their honeymoon was right up the hill at their cabin, a retreat they enjoyed for many years.  Russell and Lorraine shared many passions:  gardening, music, family, great food, dancing, and a love for creatures large and small.  They lived together in three homes which they made warm and welcoming to their friends and family which now included the Ross “kids”-Gary, Sharon and Lorna. During her last few years teaching third and fourth grade at Lincoln, Lorraine asked Russell to work with her on a number of musicals written for her classes.  This led to further collaboration with Gerty Shupe (pianist) and Donna Nylander (Ellensburg Youth Theater).  This amazing team gave the gift of performance to many fortunate Ellensburg youth, including members of the Ellensburg Youth Chorus, which Lorraine directed until she retired.

Now that “everyday (was) Saturday”, Russell and Lorraine enjoyed a new life in Yakima, attending First and Westminster Presbyterian churches, singing in their choirs and helping with celebrations and holidays.  Lorraine was busy with the Woman’s Century Club, Garden club, breeding and training Shelties, sewing beautiful clothing for her family, planting two lovely rose gardens, and cooking awesome meals for every family celebration.  She and Russell enjoyed traveling (especially to Hawaii), fishing, camping, and home projects.  Most of all for 25 years, they enjoyed simply being together, laughing at a good joke and sharing ideas.

Lorraine is predeceased by her parents, husbands Bob and Russell, and son Mark and stepson Gary.  She is survived by Erin Guthrie and Steve Eirschele, grandsons Roy and Kyle, stepdaughter Sharon Allen (Leon), grandchildren Ben (Emily) and Sara (Brian), stepdaughter Lorna, grandsons Sean and Ryan, and great grandchildren Luella and Frances Cheeseman.

Lorraine had a deep faith, caring spirit and tender grace which helped her embrace the activities and people she loved, and we were lucky to have known her.  She designated in 1997 that the following poem be shared with her family and friends:

If I should ever leave you whom I love
To go along the silent way,
Grieve not,
Nor speak of me with tears,
But laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there.

(I’d come – I’d come, could I but find a way!
But would not tears and grief be barriers?)
And when you hear a song
Or see a bird I loved,
Please do not let the thought of me be sad
For I am loving you just as I always have
You were so good to me!

There are so many things I wanted still to do

So many things to say to you
Remember that I did not fear
It was just leaving you that was so hard to face
We cannot see beyond
But this I know;
I love you so
‘twas heaven here with you!

“To Those I Love” by Isla Paschal Richardson

 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to Childfund (formerly Christian Children’s Fund) or your local Humane Society.

A private family service will be held at a later date.

One Response to “Lorraine Ross”

  • Kathleen Powers says:

    What a beautiful life story. She certainly handed down her green thumb to you, Erin.
    I always remember that tears can heal, that memories can comfort and that love lives on forever. I wish Lorraine everlasting peace.

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