8/5/1930 ~ 9/1/2022
Halver Vincent Ross passed away peacefully in Bountiful, Utah on September 1, 2022 at the age of 92. He was born August 5, 1930 to Vincent Kindley and Ruth Arsella Pickett Ross. Halver (Hal) was the oldest of four siblings and reared in Ephraim. He spoke fondly of his growing-up years. As a teenager, he worked for Walt Hansen of Ephraim. He learned how to weld, a skill he would call upon throughout his life.
Hal attended 2 years at Snow College and the University of Utah before joining the Air Force at age of 20 in January of 1951, as a private. Within 2 years he was promoted to staff sergeant. He taught flight mechanics for the F-8 aircraft and his audience were pilots and enlisted men alike.
During his first year in the Air Force, he married Shirley Little from Moroni, Utah. The couple met in Sanpete county while attending local dances. They were married July 16, 1951 in Wichita, Kansas. They would eventually have 4 children; Janet, Marilyn, Ann, and Tom. Shirley was a full time homemaker and also a gifted pianist. She taught piano at home and was called upon to accompany many vocal groups. Hal loved to listen to her play. As the family grew, the need for a home also grew. Hal accepted the challenge of building the home and purchased a large lot in a cul-de-sac in Bountiful. At the time, Hal was working full time and he would work on the home after hours and weekends. His father Vincent stayed with the family and helped with construction. The large lot would eventually accommodate a family garden and orchard of carefully selected fruit trees. The orchard was the result of Hal’s diligence. Shirley was expecting their third child, and upon returning from the hospital, she would bring this newborn to their new home.
As a young licensed pilot, Hal would volunteer for the Civil Air Patrol. He would fly and recruit additional pilots to participate in search and rescue missions. Later, he completed his education using the GI Bill. He found mechanical engineering to be a natural fit and received his bachelors at the U of U with honors in 1957. He also completed his Master of Engineering Administration in 1969 at the University. Hal received the credentials of Professional Engineer in 1976. This was the result of years of experience and passing a stringent exam. His work experience as an engineer consisted of the following: Sperry Univac, 20 years; Utah State Building Board, 5 years; and Hill Air Force Base, 5 years.
After 36 years of marriage, his wife Shirley passed away on November 29, 1987. Her unexpected death would leave the family devastated. She had been the heart of the home and her presence was greatly missed. Hal remarried on May 16, 1991, to JoAnn Mathis of Centerville, Utah. They lived in Bountiful and Centerville for a few years. When Hal retired, he had always wanted to retire to Sanpete County. The couple then purchased a home in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. JoAnn continued to work for 12 more years after their marriage in Davis County as a Family Consumer Scientist with Utah State University. Upon Hal’s recommendation and support, she would go for tenure. She got it and was advanced to Associate Professor. For many years they had a “weekend marriage.” The couple loved traveling and would travel every opportunity they were together. They visited the Northwest, Western State Parks, Canada, the Canadian state parks, British Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, and Mt. Rushmore. Europe was also a must. JoAnn retired August 1, 2003 after working 31 years for USU. Upon retirement, they realized their dream – living in St. George. They found a home and became “snowbirds” for nine years. They loved St. George, the warmer climate, the concerts at the college, and the Dixie Event happenings. There was always something to do. The couple returned to Mt. Pleasant for six months and had an ideal life, living in both places.
Hal was the perfect example of staying physically active in his senior years. He would walk to and from the library several times a week (a round trip of about five blocks). He always came home with a book in hand. He also loved riding his two-wheel bike out to the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery and back. He loved the flat terrain and non-traffic route. He always commented on the happenings of the cemetery. He appreciated the peace and quiet. Hal would continue to ride his two-wheeler up until his 90th year.
He lived life on his terms and was a man of many talents, always doing things for himself. His legacy will live on through the lives of his four adult children and grandchildren. They were encouraged to have their education a priority and obtained advanced degrees and became financially independent.
JoAnn took great care of Hal in his later years while battling her own serious health issues. They had the help of many good neighbors in Mt. Pleasant while JoAnn received medical care in Salt Lake City. They were married 31 years at the time of his death and he will be missed by JoAnn and his dear family.
Hal was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley, his sister Jeralee Frandsen and grandson, Brian Hunt. He is survived by his wife, JoAnn, and four children: Janet Hunt (PhD Nutrition Science) (Curtiss Hunt); Marilyn Ross (Registered Nurse Practitioner) (Richard Southam); Ann Ross (BS Math, BS Computer Science) (Michael Glassman); Tom Ross (MS Computer Science) (Tracy Ross), 8 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild, his sister, Dixie Rosier and brother, Reginald (Reg) Ross.
There will be a graveside service Monday September 12, 2022, at 11:30 a.m. in the Moroni City Cemetery.