Remembering Dennis A. Ross, 1939-2022

The family of longtime West Seattle community advocate Dennis Ross has announced his death. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing:

Dennis Andrew Ross passed away on February 2, 2022 from congestive heart failure. Dennis was born on March 24, 1939. He was raised in Vinita Park, MO, a small village near the city line of St. Louis. He attended St. Rita’s grade school, Mercy High School and St. Louis University. He served in the US Marine Corps from 1963-1965. Dennis began his career at the Kroger Company, where he quickly established himself as a troubleshooting expert in transportation and logistics for the company. Kroger transferred him throughout the midwest including Peoria, IL, Pittsburgh, PA, Columbus, OH, Nashville, TN, and Cincinnati, OH.

After leaving Kroger with 20 years of service, he took similar positions in Phoenix and Los Angeles. He then lived in Durango, Colorado, where he pursued his love of the natural world. In the early 1990s he moved to Seattle, where he lived until his passing.

Wherever Dennis lived, he contributed to his community, volunteering and leading efforts to better those places and people he befriended, however he could best serve. He was unassuming, totally reliable, hard-working, and as clever as they come in the pursuit of what improved the world around him. West Seattle, where he lived, benefitted for many years from his dedication to improving that unique part of Seattle which he loved. HIs persistence and commitment to his community was most remarkable.

Dennis loved to travel, both throughout the United States as well as abroad. Even in his later years, with modest means, he figured out how to scratch that itch, be it train rides across Canada, bus trips to visit all the major-league parks in the midwest, even China to see the Great Wall and the terracotta soldiers.

He loved his Washington Huskies, attending all manner and number of sporting events, especially the Lady Husky basketball team. His capacity to understand systems, and how to improve them, never left him. He dispassionately surveyed the fate of the Seattle Mariners every Spring and accurately predicted their performance, which unfortunately has been far more dismal than successful. But he still went to Spring Training every chance he got.

His great passion was to walk the streets and parks of Seattle and central Puget Sound. He walked as much and as often as he could until he could walk no more. He was a proud and appreciated member of several organized walking clubs in Seattle. He rode the bus tirelessly throughout the region and railed about how he could fix its problems if only given a chance! And he was spot on … as always.

Dennis received great care from the VA hospital, which extended the quality of his life. His cardiac Nurse Practitioner, Sandy Cruz, looked out for him and was on his team all the way to the end. His final care at the LakeView Adult Family home was compassionate and competent. Dennis was preceded in death by his parents William A. Ross and Blanche Mowry Ross and his wife, Toni Ross. He is survived by his brothers Tom and Bill and his sister Sally. He was loved by many cousins and friends.

If people are moved to remember Dennis, donations to the Sierra Club or the American Diabetes Association would be appreciated. A celebration of Dennis’s life will occur later this summer.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

15 Replies to "Remembering Dennis A. Ross, 1939-2022"

  • Alki resident June 27, 2022 (10:06 am)

    Awe Dennis, RIP . You always had a great smile!

  • Mike June 27, 2022 (11:08 am)

    A really good guy!  A loss for the community.

  • Mj June 27, 2022 (11:19 am)


  • Pete June 27, 2022 (11:55 am)

    I remember great conversations with Dennis when I would give him rides home after City Neighborhood Council meetings from downtown. We would also sit in the same locations at Mariner games and talk about the state of the team. Dennis was very passionate about his neighborhood and its development. Dennis was one of the good guys in this world. RIP my friend. 

  • Forest June 27, 2022 (11:58 am)

    Dennis was among the honor guards chosen to represent the US Marine Corps at the 1963 state funeral of John F. Kennedy. 

  • chas redmond June 27, 2022 (12:02 pm)

    Dennis truly loved to walk. He was also instrumental in helping develop both the original and upgraded West Seattle Trails Map. Through his wonderful walking way, he showed many shortcuts from Admiral to Alki which were caught in the trails map. Public versions of this map remain at Admiral, Alki, The Junction, along the pathway to Lincoln Park from Lincoln Parkway and on an odd location overlooking the harbor at Palm and Donald Street In addition Dennis was a tireless advocate for the Admiral District and attended decades worth of meetings. Rest in Peace, Dennis, your legacy is well known and has had an immediate and long-lived impact on West Seattle and the City of Seattle.

  • Gregory Nickels June 27, 2022 (12:38 pm)

    Sharon and I have been neighbors in the North Admiral District for many years. We would enjoy seeing Dennis walking the neighborhood or waiting for a Metro bus wearing his Mariners cap. He was passionate about our neighborhood and put his passion into action. He will be missed.

  • sean mccarthy June 27, 2022 (12:49 pm)

    i met dennis in 1994 maybe? we were on the admiral community council and then we’ were a  part of admiral neighborhood planning team.  meeting weekly for a couple years. other various other community events. dennis was a great guy. solid and patient. he was in community service for the long haul. not a single issue guy who only showed up when they were angry about something. he did the work. we talked on the street for hours sometimes when we would run into each other. bless him.  

  • Vlad Oustimovitch June 27, 2022 (1:35 pm)

    Dennis was a wonderful person. I will miss his calm advocacy for the West Seattle community, one that I witnessed many times.  I will also miss him for the strong but gentle person that he was.  He was stoic about himself but passionate about the world, which he gifted with his tireless energy. 

  • Ken Duvall June 27, 2022 (4:01 pm)

    Dennis made sure my two sons became well versed in baseball. Every year the four of us attended 6 Sunday games together, the games were decided upon by Dennis. He would take the last bus downtown in the early morning  before tickets went on sale, stand in line until they passed out designated line numbers at which time he would find a Starbucks to read the newspaper until he returned to his spot in line to gain access to the ticket window. In return I provided transportation to the games and got him a beer at the sixth inning. The seats were in the bleachers with excellent views of the game but not the big screen. We were there to watch baseball! The rest of the year  we relived the games over coffee at the coffee stand where the Safeway Gas station is now.  What a great guy!!! 

  • LB June 27, 2022 (5:14 pm)

    A very special, kind-hearted man, totally committed to his community and sharing his enthusiasm for walking as well as  promoting collaborative planning to enhance our day to day experiences in this unique ‘hood.  He always brightened my day with his warm smile and lively conversation. I was lucky enough to tag along to one of the Mariners games mentioned by Ken, above.  Learned a lot more about baseball and passion for the sport that day.  His special glow and kindness will be missed.

  • Duane LaRue June 27, 2022 (6:03 pm)

    I was lucky enough to know Dennis for about 25 years. I always loved sitting and talking to him and listening to his thoughts about baseball, the huskies and the amazing train trips!  God bless Dennis. Always kind and thoughtful and polite. I looked forward to seeing him. You will be missed!  

  • Sharonn Meeks June 27, 2022 (6:17 pm)

    Dennis always greeted me with the most sincere smile followed by an honest hello. He was tireless in our community with wisdom that served the whole. He was not about bravado, he was respected and will be missed. Love to his family during this loss.

  • Amie Edmondson June 27, 2022 (10:51 pm)

    I always remembered him coming into the Metropolitan market when I was there in the mornings always had a smile on his face and something nice to say. Heaven is gaining an angel

  • Sally Peashock June 28, 2022 (10:52 am)

    It warms my heart t to read how many people sent tributes.He was my brother and I would join one of his walking groups when I was in Seattle to visit. We went to Lady Huskies Basketball games, Mariners games and of course walked everywhere down town.  He was well versed in the history of Seattle He will be missed.  Sally

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