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Sunday, January 6, 2013

NWA pilot Daniel C. Ross

NWA pilot Daniel C. Ross
September 9, 1939 ~ December 29, 2012

Notification of the passing of Marine Corps and Vietnam War veteran, NWA pilot Daniel Colburn Ross, age 73. Dan worked briefly for NWA from 12-05-1966 to 09-15-1967 when he resigned for Constable/Deputy Sheriff/Game Warden posts and Game Warden pilot duties in northern Minnesota.

To view/sign the online guestbook please visit http://www.grandrapidsmn.com/obituaries/article_4c76833c-55bc-11e2-bf3d-001a4bcf887a.html or the funeral home website at http://www.carrollfuneralhomes.com/ Survived by his wife Gail personal condolences may be sent to
P.O. Box 205
Deer River, MN 56636-0205 ... (218) 246-8427

Visitation: Saturday, Jan 5, 2012 ; 4-6 P.M. at: Carroll Funeral Home Deer River, MN
Service: Sunday, Jan 6, 2013 ; 2:00 P.M. at: Bethany Lutheran Church Deer River, MN
Cemetery: Ft. Snelling National Cemetery ; Minneapolis, MN


Daniel Colburn Ross, 73, of Deer River, MN died Dec. 29, 2012 in Grand Rapids, MN.

Dan was born Sept. 9, 1939 to Glenn and Maxine (Colburn) Ross of Excelsior, MN. He graduated from Minnetonka High School in 1957 and then studied forestry and joined military reserves at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. Dan enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps before graduating from the University. When a corporal, he was invited for officer training. He attended the Marine Corps Aviation Cadets program for 18 months, then served as a Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam during 1964 and 1965. Dan returned to the US, serving as a pilot in Twentynine Palms, California and as an instructor-pilot in Pensacola, Florida.

In Florida, Dan met Gail Bussey Garnett and married her on June 24, 1968 in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.

Dan served in the military for 41 years of active duty and active reserves. He returned to Minnesota to work as a pilot with Northwest Airlines. Dan soon noticed that many Northwest pilots were working for 50 weeks a year to afford two weeks of enjoying the woods, fields, and waters of Minnesota. So, Dan resigned the airlines to become a Game Warden.

He was elected Constable of Carver County and then became a Deputy Sheriff in Carver County. In 1968, he was hired by the Minnesota DNR as a Game Warden and assigned his first station at Schroeder on the North Shore of Lake Superior. In 1981, Dan became a warden pilot (aka Conservation Officer Pilot) stationed in DNR Region Two (Grand Rapids). He held that position for 15 years and retired from the DNR in 1996.

Dan and Gail participated in the Itasca County community in a number of ways, serving as Emergency Medical Technicians with the Deer River Ambulance Service, National Ski Patrol members at Sugar Hills, First Aid and CPR instructors with American Red Cross and American Heart Association, and as a Board Member at Bethany Lutheran Church, and Board Member and Deacon at Clara Lutheran Church. After retiring from the DNR, Dan kept his professional hand in by flying the tanker-lead plane for the Minnesota Inter-Agency Fire Center and working with the Deer River police force. He always loved being afield with his hunting dogs – mostly Chesapeake retrievers in recent years. Dan and Gail and their dogs were active as AKC field trial participants and judges in retrieving and pointing dog trials. In his retirement years, Dan enjoyed many duck hunting trips with his warden colleagues to Canada, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Dan was a Mason (Grand Marais Lodge), a life member of the VFW (Deer River). a member of the American Legion (Deer River), and an enthusiastic supporter of and participant in numerous civil organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited and the Itasca Chapter of Minnesota Waterfowl Association.

Dan felt that his values and know-how were gifts from his parents and – especially – from two role models, who were his grandfather, game warden Al Colburn, and his uncle, forester Floyd Colburn who served with the Tenth Mountain Division in World War II. Long into adulthood, before acting Dan would think of what Al or Floyd would do in the same situation.

Dan was a deeply religious man. He and Gail were especially moved by their experience with the Via de Cristo (Cursillo) movement. Dan was an ardent student of the New Testament, and deeply committed to his relation with Jesus Christ.

He is survived by his wife Gail, son Bob, grandson Aaron (Jessica), and great-granddaughter, Rebecca. His surviving family also includes Dan’s brother Bruce Ross-Sheriff (wife Fariyal, daughter Tasanee, son Ben, granddaughter Nyla). His surviving Godchildren are: Melissa (Majors) Steele, Mary (Smetanka) D Aversa, Andy Paul Smetanka, Rachel Smetanka, Aaron Heidebrink, Joshua Heidebrink, Sarah (Heidebrink) Niskala, Russell Grau, Shannon Reigel, Jessica Reigel.

Visitation: Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, 4-6 p.m. at the Carroll Funeral Home in Deer River, MN. Funeral Service: Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, 2 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church, Deer River, MN. Burial: Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, 12:00 Noon Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, St. Paul, MN. Memorials in-lieu-of flowers.

Arrangements by Carroll Funeral Home, Deer River, MN.

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