Erle Ross, born in July of 1959 in Indianapolis, has passed away due to complications from Covid-19 in December of 2021 in Indianapolis.
The short distance between these two dates and the location belies several lifetimes worth of joy, and sorrow. Let me take this time to reflect publicly about the good.
Born with a wanderer's soul, Erle left the home of his youth; a quaint farmhouse and dairy farm in a rural and beautiful area of Indiana, to enlist in the U.S. Navy. His mother and father had both served in the Navy and this middle child, always seeking approval, followed suit. He would sometimes share with fondness his memories of serving in Japan, Guam and Maine when asked of his military life.
After his service time was up Erle, with a deep and genuine interest in aviation, again followed in his father's footsteps and worked for the Federal Aviation Administration until a serious car crash in 2005 left him unable to do the work he so loved. Never the one to admit defeat or give up without a fight, he continued to work both in various aviation related fields and with his American Legion Post up to his passing.
Although he lived the longest in Colorado, Erle made it a point to travel our beautiful world. He made it to 49 of 50 states and several foreign countries by sailing, flying, driving and by train. A self proclaimed "Man of the World" he had addresses across the country, and I'm sure made an impact at each one.
He was a super fan of science fiction movies and television, but had more well rounded interests in music and literature. He had a quirky sense of humor that included witty wordplay, and of course the ever classic dad joke. He never could quite grasp the delicate nature of sarcasm, much to the delight of various teenagers in the family through the years.
It has been difficult to summarize the complex life he led into a space and content appropriate for this publication. In sorting through the things he left behind, I have seen the anticipation, generosity and care he took in trying to provide for the needs of those around him.
Sometimes his efforts fell short of their intended mark, but his dedication in trying to become a better human being is admirable and an inspiration I will look back on with love for the rest of my own life.
He was welcomed into the afterlife by his mother, and a younger brother, who proceeded him in death. He will be missed by those he left behind: his father (V.A Ross of Spencer, IN), two brothers (E. Ross of Goodland, KS, E. Ross of Indianapolis, IN), a sister (V. Harrell of Spencer, IN), six children (K. Scott, B. Villanueva, H. Ross, CC. Ross, S. Ross, and CP. Ross, all of Estes Park, CO), and dozens of nieces, nephews, grandchildren, extended family, and friends across the country.