Ward “Bud” Stephen Ross Jr. died on Dec. 18, 2020, at the age of 81. Bud was born in Powell (before Cody had a hospital) to Ward and Loretto Ross. He was the youngest of his four siblings. He grew up on his family ranch in Cody where he was able to experience gathering wild horses from McCullough Peaks with his brothers. Later, alongside his lifelong friend Ronnie Gambill, he took up trapping bobcats with his dogs and finding artifacts.
In the ’40s at a young age, he traveled with his mother to visit relatives by train. He also rode with his parents by car, from Cody to Denver, during the Blizzard of ’49, going through closed roads to his sister’s wedding, his dad convincing each manned roadblock that they just lived down the road. As a youth he showed leadership abilities. He was a State FFA Officer, he judged livestock at Nationals, and he was also elected to Boys State. As an adult he continued his love of learning and could always be found reading and taking random college classes.
Bud married Vickie (Krenning) and they were married for 58 years. His mission in life was to take care of her. Between them they had five children, whom they taught to appreciate the outdoors through living out in the country and camping.
Bud’s career took him from ranching in Meeteetse to being a student and later an instructor at the Thermopolis Veterinary Technical College where he was the first person licensed in the State of Wyoming. He spent some time working at the Veterinary Clinic and then changed his vocation to working for two electrical businesses, eventually becoming a Master Electrician. He then started his own successful contracting business, BR Electric. He ran this business until his simi- retirement in 2001. In retirement he remained active. In Thermopolis, he was one of the first arrivals at the coffee shop with the guys. If the kids and grandkids were visiting, they also tagged along. He and his wife were included in many memorable family trips including a 50th anniversary cruise to Alaska. His hobbies included fishing in the Wind River Canyon and the Bighorn Mountains. He also enjoyed training his bloodhounds to track. He was involved in Search and Rescue and was instrumental, along with others, in raising money to build a new facility. Part of his retirement was spent in Arizona where he developed close relationships with neighbors and practiced his skill at woodworking.
Bud made positive impressions on numerous people’s lives. He was known for appreciating people for their character. He inspired many with his knowledge, stories, humor and charm.
He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings and daughter Linda. He is survived by his wife Vickie, children Mike (Tere) of Mesa, Ariz., Donna (Shawn) of Casper, Patrick (Kelly) of Anza, Calif. and Heather of Cheyenne, 16 grandchildren, and numerous great grandchildren.
Any memorial donations can be made in honor of Ward (Bud) Ross to the National Jewish Center, Dr. Woodrow, 1400 Jackson St., Denver, Colo. 80206.
A celebration of life will take place in Thermopolis during the summer of 2021.