OBITUARY: Lynda Rae Ross

Lynda Rae Ross

Lynda Rae Ross died peacefully at home June 24, 2021. Her health had been declining for some time.

Born May 8, 1943, in Glendale, California, when she was a child the family moved to McKittrick, California, where they owned and operated a gas station. Lynda graduated from Taft High School, and later University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in education.

She came to Alaska with her first husband Thomas White in 1965. They taught school for the B.I.A. at the Wrangell Institute. She always felt that job was not pleasant, in the sense that there wasn’t much teaching — it was more a babysitting job, with an abundant comforting of children who were terribly homesick and lonesome for their families!

She and her first husband then went to Ketchikan, where she taught for a year or so, and then became a homemaker. She realized fairly early that teaching was not the job for her, and she later started a second career as a bookkeeper. She had three children and also worked a variety of jobs in Ketchikan, where her first marriage ended in divorce. She met, and later married, Richard in 1982. She came to Kodiak in 1983 with the children.

Lynda was first at NAFA on the Coast Guard Base, but later worked as office manager at Sutliff’s True Value. This was a job — and people — she loved, and they became like a second family to her. She retired in 2009, having been with that store for 22 years!

The “golden years” were spent getting outside in the winter months and RV-ing around the lower 48, which she thoroughly enjoyed; nothing beat the beach at Pismo, Cracker Barrel in Buckeye, Arizona, or the fabric store in Aztec, New Mexico! It was tough work, but she didn’t shirk! When not RV-ing, she kept busy playing bridge, quilting and lunching in Kodiak. Above all, she was a wonderful mother, friend, grandma and great-grandma!

 She worried about things her entire adult life; she was known to some as “Our Lady of Perpetual Concern.” It was said she should buy the boat “Pacific Warrior” from Steve; then she could rename it “Pacific Worrier!” Despite this, Lynda was a tremendously kind and caring person.

Joe would say: “As mom got older, she didn't travel far from home or go many places alone; however, in her younger years, it was nothing for her to pick up with three little kids and haul them on a ferry from Alaska to Washington. They would then hop a train to California, then drive us kids alone, on a road trip to visit grandparents. She was an independent woman and brave as hell. Mom led by example, and I have always admired her for that.”

Mary says: “I was going into labor with my first son. Mom was staying in my small spare bedroom, and bunking with her was my little sister Shellannie. I knocked on the door and opened it to tell them it was time to get going to the hospital, only to find them tangled up together frantically trying to stop this wallpaper border from peeling off the wall. The border wrapped all the way around by the ceiling, so they looked like they were playing a crazy game of Twister! They immediately froze in place while the border continued to peel off. Mom started saying, ‘It’s OK, Mary, I’ll fix it, I’ll fix it!’ She looked at Shellannie and they both started laughing hysterically — there was no way they could catch the border and stop it from peeling off the wall, but those two were determined to try and save the day! It is one of my favorite memories because I can still hear the laughter; we had many more times of joy that day while waiting for the baby to come into the world. Mom was so ecstatic to be a part of that moment — I would not have had it any other way! Thank you Mom for so many years of love and laughter, and thank you for always loving me and always being in my corner no matter what the circumstance. I take comfort in knowing how much you loved us! I will miss and love you always.”

And not least, Michelle Deanne (Shellannie): “My mom was an incredible human. She was an amazing mom, wife, sister and grandma. Besides being a fantastic person, she was smart, kind, big hearted, brave, loyal, feisty, funny, witty, our biggest cheerleader, and my best friend. I credit my mom for instilling in me all the qualities that made me who I am. She taught me empathy, humility and gratitude. I always appreciated her for helping me to see there are always two sides to every situation, and to put myself in the other person's shoes, to try to understand how they might feel. Mom often said, ‘If people could just stop and think before they speak, the world would be a kinder place.’ She was always right. Words cannot express how deeply she will be missed. Love you mom.”

Lynda was preceded in death by her mother and father, Myrtle and Harley Scott of Oceano, California. She is survived by her brother George Scott (Elizabeth) of Plano, Texas; husband Richard of Kodiak; her son Joe (Natalie) White of Ketchikan, Alaska; daughter Mary (Norman) White-Lenon) of Kodiak; and daughter Shellannie (White) Olson of Bellingham, Washington, as well as nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

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