Obituary: Tommy Ross
September 1, 1927 – February 19, 2021
If you’ve ever cycled up Vail pass or rode the Vail-Leadville-Copper loop, you may have seen him. If you’ve ever skied Ramshorn, you may have seen him. And if you’ve ever put on a pair of speed skates and made a hundred left hand turns at the Dobson Ice Arena, you may have seen him. Fluid and graceful on the ice, usually dressed all in black, he was known to many as the ‘Flying Scot’.
Tommy Ross passed away on Friday Feb 19 at his home in Denver. Survived by his only child, Denise Ross Leigh, and two grandsons, Conor Ross Leigh and Dylan Ross Leigh, Tommy was 93 and died peacefully in his sleep.
Always the figure of fitness, Tommy had been on his stationary bike and Nordic Trac every day until the very end. As many of you may know, Tommy Ross was an awesome athlete. He represented Great Britain as a speedskater in the St Moritz Olympic Games of 1948. He skated in the 1500m and 5000m events. He was also an acquaintance of Pepi Gramshammer, whom he had met while training in Europe.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Tommy immigrated to America with his beloved partner, Rita, in the fifties. They arrived on the Queen Mary and he worked in the tool and dye-making trade, from New York to Chicago, to Los Angeles. His spirit of adventure kept him moving across the country working a variety of jobs in the tool trade. Working at Cobe Laboratories, Tommy built the first prototype for a kidney dialysis machine. And working for Lockheed, Tommy built parts for various spacecraft. One of his famous quotes was ‘I have stuff on the moon’.
Due to Covid, no memorial service is planned at this time. And in lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to our first responders at the Vail Health Hospital. So next time you take a run on Ramshorn or ride up Vail pass, think of the ‘Flying Scot’. He will be with you in spirit.