Franklin Countys First News

Robert James Ross (1932-2020)

Robert James Ross

FARMINGTON - Robert James Ross, 87, passed away on Oct. 14, 2020, at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington. “Bulldozer Bob” as he was known to many, was born in Rangeley, on Dec. 25, 1932, to James G. and Margaret A. (Ryder) Ross. His early days were spent in Rangeley; the family moved to Lynn, Mass. so his father could work at GE during WWII.

Bob summered in Maine, working with his grandfather in Rangeley on the Golf Course. (The reason he hated woodchucks)

The family moved back to Phillips when Bob was a sophomore and he graduated from Phillips High School in 1950. Shortly after graduation, he joined the U.S. Army during the Korean War and spent 2 years in France and Germany, proudly serving in the Military Police.

He married Joanne Leavitt in 1952; children were Valerie Ann, Stephen Robert, Vicki Anita, and Fred Carroll. They lived in Phillips for several years before moving to Farmington.

Bob worked for the Telephone Company with Richard Beal; later he worked for K & H Foster driving a cement truck. Eventually, he caught the construction bug and operated a bulldozer where he found his niche. Between construction jobs, he drove school bus for RSU9, working for Ron Bailey. He returned to construction and pushed gravel on about every road building project in Western Maine. He worked for Callahan, Jordan Lumber, E. L. Vining, Horne, and M & H out of Rangeley. His bragging points were that he worked on the expansion of I-95 in southern Maine; he moved thousands of yards of gravel building the golf course at Sugarloaf, and worked his last job for M & H on the rebuild of Route 4 heading toward Rangeley. He retired after that job, just a few weeks before he turned 80. Bob rid Franklin County of woodchucks, shooting over 600 on Bussy York’s fields. He also took out a lot of crows and rid the Fairgrounds of hundreds of pigeons in the grandstands. And he was a crack shot, taking out coydogs at 300 yds. Into his 80’s, he continued to maintain his “eye”, probably because he didn’t want to waste his ammo. In the construction off-season, he enjoyed many hours of playing cribbage at the American Legion, being a member of Roderick Crosby Post #28. Later on, Bob could be seen at Walmart every morning buying his daily banana and sitting on the bench to chat with anyone he knew. He was a Red Sox and Patriots fan. He continued his interest in golf right to the end.

He is survived by son, Stephen Ross and wife Laura; daughter, Vicki Elwell and husband David; son, Fred Ross; sister, Nancy Porter; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; a niece and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, former wife Joanne, daughter Valerie, consort Beverly Oliver and all the trout in the Sandy River he never caught.

Graveside services will be held in 2021 at the Evergreen Cemetery in Phillips. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 488 Farmington Falls Rd., Farmington, ME 04938.

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11 Responses »

  1. Bob was a great fellow and will be missed.

  2. He had the fewest enemy's of anyone I know!!!Allways pleasant... Rest in Peace, my friend

  3. I thought highly of Bob, always a gentleman , very polite. Sorry for the families loss. My condolences to all.

  4. Bob was a institution in Farmington. Anyone who had him for a bus driver, surely had a great ride!

  5. Had many a great hunt and fishing trip with Bob, and Reggie.We rarely returned home without the quarry we sought! Whether it be crows, woodchucks,ducks, rabbits(snowshoe hares to some of you),partridge, or deer! Fishing trips always produced a fry. We slowed down a bit of late and so there has been more for the younger generations to pursue.Rest easy Bob and leave a few for me.

  6. I greatly enjoyed meeting and getting to know Mr. Ross in the years we were acquainted. He ALWAYS had a joke to tell me! He will be missed.

  7. Vicki and Nancy and all of Bob's family - very sorry for your loss. Sounds like Bob was a master of many talents.
    May he rest in peace.

  8. Such a nice guy. Always had a smile.

  9. Bob Ross was a true gentleman who always took the time to share a story. He liked everyone he came in contact with, and will be missed by all. Just a wonderful human being. Rest in Peace, old Boy.

  10. Bob Ross was the nicest man and the best neighbor I've ever had - except for cajoling my husband to go off on early Spring mornings to shoot crows and wood-chucks at Bussie York's and the Bell Farms in Auburn!
    For years, Bob would feed and exercise our dogs when we couldn't take them on vacation with us and would never accept "one red cent" in return, but a box or two of ammo was never refused.
    I still remember him relating how he went into our local big-box store during black-fly season and asking the greeter, who was from "away", where to find the "dope".

  11. Regardless of the activity, you were assured a good time whenever you went with Bob. We sure made some great memories over the years. Goodbye old friend.

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