Iona May Ross was born on February 4 1924 in the Sand Hills of Colorado on her parents’ farm, 20 miles north of Wray, Colorado. She passed on September 19, 2021 with her family and friends at her side in the home of her granddaughter in Vancouver, Wash.

Iona grew up during the depression. She tried to teach her children to “Eat it up, wear it out and make it do and do without.” Iona practiced that all her life, which wasn’t easy. She was widowed during World War II. She worked in the mill in Lebanon, Oregon after graduating from high school to take care of her daughter.

After she was married to Evert Ross they moved to Arcata. Evert worked in the woods for Hammond, and the family lived in Crannell, a lumber town. Her children loved the freedom of the country. Iona went to work for Louisiana Pacific in Samoa after her family was raised. When she retired she volunteered at Mad River Hospital as a “Pink Lady,” where she made life long friends. She took a course for caregiving and enjoyed caring for many of her clients. She enjoyed her membership in Beta Sigma Phi and kept in touch her sisters.

She loved to travel and was always ready to go. It didn’t matter if it was to Germany, Ireland, Hawaii, Philippine Islands, Mexico or just to the city to visit her daughter or Oregon to visit her family, she was ready to go. Every morning Iona would say her prayers for the addicted, prayers for healing and prayer to the Sacred Heart. “Take my hand O blessed Mother, hold me firmly list I fall. I grow nervous while walking and humbly on thee call. Guide me over every crossing. Watch me when I’m on the stairs. Let me know that you’re beside me. Listen to my fervent prayers. Bring me to my destination, safely along the way. Bless my every undertaking and my duties for the day. And when evening creeps upon me, I’ll never fear to be alone. Once again O Blessed Mother. Take my hand and lead me home.”

Iona is survived by her son Jerry Ross, sister Margaret Lang, grandchildren Yvonne Guido, Vicky Starnes, Miles Eastman, Jeremy Coleman, Thomas Ross, Amy Ross, and many more great grand children and great-great grandchildren. Iona was proceeded in death by her husband Evert Ross; children Rita Rogers, Tim F. Ross, Larry Ross; grandchildren Timmy E. Ross, and great grandchild James Fawcett.

A memorial mass will be held on Saturday October 2, 2021 at St .Mary’s Catholic Church in Arcata. Rosary at 10:30 a.m., and mass at 11 a.m.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Iona Ross’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.