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Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 2009

Jon Bartlett 10 Apr 09 - 08:28 PM
katlaughing 10 Apr 09 - 09:02 PM
Jon Bartlett 10 Apr 09 - 11:17 PM
mg 11 Apr 09 - 12:26 AM
Deckman 11 Apr 09 - 12:31 AM
Deckman 11 Apr 09 - 12:41 AM
mg 11 Apr 09 - 12:45 AM
Genie 11 Apr 09 - 03:22 AM
Haruo 11 Apr 09 - 03:32 AM
RoyH (Burl) 11 Apr 09 - 08:23 AM
Amos 11 Apr 09 - 02:14 PM
Don Firth 11 Apr 09 - 04:12 PM
katlaughing 11 Apr 09 - 04:25 PM
Acme 11 Apr 09 - 04:55 PM
catspaw49 11 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM
Genie 11 Apr 09 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,GP 11 Apr 09 - 06:17 PM
Fred Maslan 11 Apr 09 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,Squeaks at Folklife 12 Apr 09 - 02:29 AM
GUEST,MCMC 12 Apr 09 - 03:34 AM
Acme 12 Apr 09 - 11:38 AM
Jon Bartlett 12 Apr 09 - 02:34 PM
Deckman 12 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,MCMC 13 Apr 09 - 11:42 AM
wysiwyg 13 Apr 09 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Richard Anderson 13 Apr 09 - 03:36 PM
devonleger 13 Apr 09 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,mg 13 Apr 09 - 07:04 PM
devonleger 13 Apr 09 - 07:11 PM
Acme 13 Apr 09 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,Jef Jaisun 13 Apr 09 - 07:32 PM
Genie 13 Apr 09 - 08:07 PM
Big Mick 13 Apr 09 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,MCMC 13 Apr 09 - 08:31 PM
Deckman 13 Apr 09 - 09:32 PM
Acme 13 Apr 09 - 09:56 PM
Jon Bartlett 13 Apr 09 - 11:23 PM
GUEST,mg 14 Apr 09 - 02:18 PM
mg 14 Apr 09 - 03:54 PM
mg 14 Apr 09 - 04:05 PM
devonleger 14 Apr 09 - 04:37 PM
mg 14 Apr 09 - 05:10 PM
Acme 14 Apr 09 - 05:26 PM
Genie 15 Apr 09 - 12:25 AM
mg 15 Apr 09 - 01:30 AM
mg 15 Apr 09 - 07:14 PM
Acme 15 Apr 09 - 09:43 PM
mg 15 Apr 09 - 10:58 PM
Genie 15 Apr 09 - 11:11 PM
Acme 15 Apr 09 - 11:19 PM
Acme 16 Apr 09 - 10:44 AM
mg 16 Apr 09 - 12:08 PM
mg 16 Apr 09 - 02:18 PM
Don Firth 16 Apr 09 - 02:32 PM
mg 16 Apr 09 - 03:10 PM
mg 16 Apr 09 - 03:25 PM
Genie 16 Apr 09 - 03:35 PM
katlaughing 16 Apr 09 - 03:46 PM
Acme 16 Apr 09 - 04:10 PM
devonleger 16 Apr 09 - 04:21 PM
Genie 16 Apr 09 - 04:54 PM
Deckman 16 Apr 09 - 06:01 PM
Rabbi-Sol 17 Apr 09 - 12:49 AM
Genie 17 Apr 09 - 12:52 AM
mg 17 Apr 09 - 02:11 PM
mg 17 Apr 09 - 03:28 PM
devonleger 17 Apr 09 - 05:27 PM
Acme 17 Apr 09 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,mg 17 Apr 09 - 06:38 PM
katlaughing 17 Apr 09 - 07:42 PM
Genie 18 Apr 09 - 12:37 AM
jwatt 18 Apr 09 - 03:37 AM
Acme 18 Apr 09 - 10:31 AM
sharyn 18 Apr 09 - 10:30 PM
GUEST 22 Apr 09 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Apr 09 - 04:01 PM
Acme 22 Apr 09 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Apr 09 - 07:19 PM
Acme 22 Apr 09 - 11:04 PM
GUEST,Squeaks at Folklife 23 Apr 09 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,MCMC 23 Apr 09 - 07:30 PM
Acme 23 Apr 09 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,MCMC 25 Apr 09 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,MCMC 01 May 09 - 01:46 PM
Acme 01 May 09 - 02:57 PM
Deckman 01 May 09 - 05:14 PM
GUEST 01 May 09 - 08:23 PM
Deckman 01 May 09 - 09:20 PM
Acme 01 May 09 - 10:34 PM
mg 09 May 09 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,MCMC 22 May 09 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,MCMC 22 May 09 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,MCMC 24 May 09 - 09:51 AM
MCMC 02 Jun 09 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Nancy White 05 Jun 09 - 06:57 PM
MCMC 08 Sep 09 - 04:11 AM
Acme 08 Sep 09 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,Guest: Pushkara Sally Ashford 14 Sep 09 - 05:23 PM
MCMC 30 Sep 09 - 02:26 AM
Deckman 30 Sep 09 - 08:01 AM
Acme 30 Sep 09 - 11:38 AM
MCMC 30 Sep 09 - 01:12 PM
katlaughing 30 Sep 09 - 01:17 PM
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Subject: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 08:28 PM

I've just heard from Devon Leger that John Ross has gone. I hope Devon or some other informed person will update us. A huge loss.

Jon Bartlett

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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 09:02 PM

This is Mudcat's John Ross? I hope we learn more, soon.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 10 Apr 09 - 11:17 PM

Further:

Devon Leger has just emailed the following:
"Dear Family and Friends of Northwest Folklife and Seattle Folklore Society,

            We are very sorry to give you the sad news that our friend, John Ross, has passed away. We heard about this today from the police and it comes as a shock to us all. We do not know much about his passing yet, but we have been told that he died of apparent natural causes at his house. We are sorry to send this information to you over email, but we hope that you will be able to forward this email on to other friends and colleagues of John Ross so that they may be informed of his passing.

            At this point, the investigators are asking for information on John's family. We know that his parents passed away some years ago and that he was an only child, but we do not know if he has any living relatives. Investigator Monty Nelson has asked anyone who knows about John's family history to call him with this information. His phone number is 206-731-3232. If you push the number 1 after calling, you can skip the automated machine and go straight to his number. Monty would appreciate any information you have about John Ross' family or anything to help the police contact next of kin.

            It is clear that John Ross drew his family and friends from the Seattle folk music scene. It is up to us to celebrate his life and to help in his passing. It is our hope that those who are interested could organize a service or remembrance of some kind in his name prior to the Northwest Folklife Festival. We're thinking of ways to remember him at Folklife as well.

Thank you, Devon Leger"

- forwarded by Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: mg
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:26 AM

Oh my goodness..what a loss..hopefully we will wake up and find out it is not true..

I know that he is a veteran..I think Coast Guard..perhaps Navy though..

He also was a writer/editor of computer type books..and a font of knowledge on all sorts of topics. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:31 AM

So long John, Bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:41 AM

Yes Kat, he was a strong mudcatter. VERY knowledgable on most issues surrounding traditional folkmusic. While he himself was not a performer, he knew many of the giants. He leaves a large hole. Bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: mg
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 12:45 AM

I believe he was also Jewish if that would help. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: Genie
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 03:22 AM

This is terrible news.   John has been a vibrant member of Mudcat and contributor to the NW Folklife Festival for years, and I always appreciated his droll wit, his extensive knowledge and his friendship.   Among other things, he rand the Band Scramble at PNWF Festival every year and did a great job of that. The Festival will not be the same without John.

RIP, John. There a few -- way too many -- others in the Pacific NW music community who've also recently departed too soon. I hope you all can continue the music wherever you are.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: Haruo
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 03:32 AM

It is a shock, even though I didn't really know him aside from Mudcat, and not that well here. But my dad's name was John Ross, and for a moment I thought it was about him (even though he died 40 years ago).

Seattle's Haruo Ros'


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 08:23 AM

I didn't know John Ross personally but there was a time when we were in contact regarding me coming to sing in the PNE. It didn't work out but I remember the courtesy of his replies and his efforts on my behalf. I am sad to hear of his passing. Yet another friend of folk music leaves us too soon. Burl.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: Amos
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 02:14 PM

Posts by John.


A


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 04:12 PM

This was a real jolt when I first saw Jon Bartlett's opening post yesterday.

I can't recall offhand where I first met John, but I do remember his inviting Barbara and me, plus a whole bunch of other singers to his house on Queen Anne Hill for an informal reception or party during the first Northwest Folklife Festival I sang in in the late 1970s. The house had a large living room and he often had house concerts there. And I kept running into John from time to time, but I can't say that I knew him all that well at first.

But as I understand it, John was also the one responsible for the Coffeehouse Reunion Concert (or "Geezer's concert") at the 2003 Northwest Folklife Festival. John, along with some of the singers involved, met in Barbara's and my apartment a few times before the concert to plan things out, and it was then that we got to know each other better.

A few years ago, I was trying to set up Barbara's and my computers with a wireless internet connection and I was getting nowhere with it. Knowing that John wrote computer books, I gave him a call to ask him a few questions and he came over and got us all set up. From that time on, knowing he didn't have family in the area, we have been inviting him to our holiday get-togethers, along with a number of other "orphans" we know—friends who also have no families nearby.

John was very knowledgeable in many areas, and in the folk music field he knew many of the "biggies" and "not-so-biggies." He was hard at work writing a book on the history of folk music in the Pacific Northwest. I am doing the same thing, but John was using an academic, historical approach, whereas mine is taking a more informal, personal approach, so we weren't stepping on each others toes and we frequently exchanged information.

I don't know how far along John was with the book (I gathered from some things he said that it was fairly well along), but I hope that the work he has done so far doesn't remain unfinished and get lost—that someone highly competent can take it over and finish it, because I am sure it will be of considerable value. I would be very reluctant to try to tackle it myself because frankly, I don't feel up to the task of completing the work in the way he started it, but I certainly hope someone does.

He has done a great deal of work in archiving material for the Seattle Folklore Society, and he generously offered Bob Nelson some major assistance in his archiving project, along with digitizing and preserving some of my tapes and irreplaceable vinyl records.

It's a cliché to say that John will be sorely missed, but—he will be sorely missed, both for his efforts in behalf of folk music and for his friendship and generosity.

Don Firth

P. S. Regarding mg's observation, John said that his heritage was Jewish, but as he put it himself, he was "non-practicing."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 04:25 PM

Thanks for telling us more about his 3D life, Don. I have always admired his knowledge, etc. here at Mudcat and am really sad to hear of his passing.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 04:55 PM

This is so sad! He was a "go to" guy for so much information to do with the preservation of Northwestern music. We'd talked several times about my father's collection.

John was one of those who traveled on the Washington State ferry (from Edmonds) to scatter my father's (John Dwyer) ashes in Puget Sound. He is in this photo from that trip, second from the left.

Maggie Dwyer (Stilly River Sage)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM

Though I had no personal interaction here with him, I also remember reading a number of his posts. I too want to thank Don and Maggie too for the additional info and picture.

Another sad loss for many and the 'Cat as well......


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Genie
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 05:25 PM

Yes, thanks, Don for all that info on John's work as a music historian and archivist (and tech expert). I was aware of some of that but didn't know just how extensive it was.
And thanks, Maggie, for the pics too.

I see you have one (the last pic) of Stan James, too, who also left us way too soon.

Thanks,

Genie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,GP
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 06:17 PM

Such a sad shock. I provided a huge stash of archival material to him several years ago (folk audio), and we had many wonderful conversations over the years - about music, about archiving, about cider, about any of his many and varied interests.

The Folklife Festival will be a lesser event this year without him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Fred Maslan
Date: 11 Apr 09 - 09:37 PM

Another shock! I was talking to him a few weeks ago at a concert and he was excited about a new archive that was being formed. He looked the same as always and did not seem ready to leave us. RIP

Fred


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,Squeaks at Folklife
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 02:29 AM

It is with a heavy heart that I add this post. I've known John for many years & the hole that his passing leaves will not be filled any time soon. I'll miss his droll wit & the times we shared. RIP, JR.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,MCMC
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 03:34 AM

I still haven't fully grasped the fact that John is gone. He was definitely an iconoclast and "self-proclaimed curmudgeon"; but he was a good friend and ardent supporter of the folk community. I was looking forward to seeing him at Folklife again this year, and hearing about his new book, and discussing the best local places to find dim sum, and comparing our record collections (he was the only person I knew who enjoyed old Elektra stuff as much as I did), and finding out more about his latest projects, and doing all the other things we used to do whenever we saw each other. He was eccentric but considerate, and I will miss him deeply. RIP, JR - you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 11:38 AM

There were some large gaps in his posting. I hope it didn't take a month and a half for people to realize he wasn't around. That is one of the heartbreaks of an older person living alone. My father died a week before his neighbor found him. I could usually expect gaps of a few days in the email if he was going out of town, but I'd started pinging him to see why he hadn't written back, and the neighbor reached a point when it had just been too long since he'd last seen him.

I hope someone who has John's folk preservation and research interests at heart serves as his administrator. It doesn't have to be an attorney, it doesn't even have to be a family member. But it does have to be someone a judge approves.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 02:34 PM

My last email from John was March 3. We spoke about some David Levine material he was helping David sell.

Jon Bartlett


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Apr 09 - 02:59 PM

I met with David Levine and John at David's house then. We all spent several hours pouring over old material and enjoying ourselves. John did not look well at the time. Bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,MCMC
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 11:42 AM

As many people know, John used to tell Mudcatters who were planning to go to the Northwest Folklife Festival to pick up their "Mudcat ID Stickers" at Festival Services. We are happy to announce that, in his honor, we will be continuing the tradition that he began: anyone wanting to be readily recognizable by their fellow Mudcatters at Folklife can go to the Festival Services desk on the 3rd floor of the Center House and ask for a Mudcat ID sticker.

In the past, the ID stickers were green dots; and they probably will be again this year. If that changes, we'll be sure to post the new information to this site as soon as possible.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 11:46 AM

RIP

~S~


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,Richard Anderson
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 03:36 PM

I have known John for a number of years, but not well. He did have a dry wit. What is interesting is how he partitioned his life. John was active as long as I can remember in cider. He helped form the Northwest Cider Society, serving in various capacities. I will miss him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: devonleger
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:02 PM

John Ross passed away on April 6, in the evening, from a sudden heart attack. I just got the information from the coroner. They are still looking for any family or next of kin. If you know of any living family members, please contact me and I'll pass the info on to the police.

devon@nwfolklife.org

It is clear that John Ross drew his family and friends from the Seattle folk music scene. It is up to us to celebrate his life and to help in his passing. It is our hope that those who are interested could organize a service or remembrance of some kind in his name prior to the Northwest Folklife Festival. We're thinking of ways to remember him at Folklife as well.

-Devon Leger


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:04 PM

Has there been any luck in finding family members? Cousins etc.? I have a vague memory of him talking about Cincinatti or Cleveland..mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: devonleger
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:11 PM

We've heard about cousins, but nothing else. He was an only child and his parents passed away some years ago.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:19 PM

I wonder if reading through his Mudcat posts would reveal anything? He usually stuck to music, but he might have gotten into an off-topic discussion somewhere.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,Jef Jaisun
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 07:32 PM

Apparently, the people on this board are the only ones who know about John's passing. Neither Seattle paper (I still include the online P-I) has anything, and I found out through a mutual friend in California!

I'd known John since our days at KRAB, and that goes back at least 35 years. A couple years ago I rewired the outlets in his house so he could plug in all his gear.

He was a good man who worked mostly behind the scenes. My guess is he will be severely conspicuous in his absence.

RIP, J.R.

Jef


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Genie
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 08:07 PM

I emailed Bruce Baker, of the Seattle FolkMusic Society, when I read the news here. Stewart and Fred M and some other catters are also involved in the Seattle Song Circles, which include quite a few people who knew John.   

Yes, John will be quite conspicuous in his absence, especially at Folklife but way beyond that as well.   I do hope there will be some sort of tribute to John at Folklife and before that too.
(I think the band scramble should continue at Folklife as "The John Ross Memorial Band Scramble," though he will be hard to replace as emcee.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 08:09 PM

Breaks my heart to lose John. He was always a memorable and well informed poster who could be counted on for great insights on folk music. He also circulated among some of the greats of our times, and shared many wonderful stories here.

I have gone back through a great deal of his postings and the only clues I find are the following:


    1. - He gives many references to the east coast in the early days, including Brookline, MA and MIT.
    2. - It is very apparent he lived, worked and was part of the Philly Folk scene.
    3. - He also talks about Washington Square in some of his posts.
    4. - There are references to Fox Hollow in 1968, '69, and the early 70's, and he talks about the gazebo being the place to be.
    5. - He also talks about St. Louis, and starting a folk festival there, as well as working (I think)at KDNA (radio, tv?) in 1970.
    6. - He also talks about Izzy Young's in New York.


Perhaps some 'catters from those areas can contact the older folkies in the area and see if they have any clues.

We will miss you johnross. You were a mighty contributor in these here precincts. But your voice will be heard for many years in the Pacific Northwest, in the folkies your work touched and inspired.

God be good to him.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,MCMC
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 08:31 PM

He was born in Brookline, MA and lived in that general area all through high school; but his parents had moved to Florida after John was grown and moved away. (As has been mentioned before, they're both gone now; his mother died about fifteen or twenty years ago, and his father followed a couple or three years afterwards.) He was an alumnus of St. John's College in Annapolis, and he was very proud of having gone there - he often told me he was planning to bequeath his record collection to their library (he thought it was particularly appropriate in light of the fact that Jac Holzman, the founder of Elektra Records, was also a St. John's alumnus).

He also got a kick out of the fact that he spent his four years in the Coast Guard stationed in St. Louis, which wasn't anywhere near a coast! He had even started to write a humorous song about it, and would sing a few lines here and there when he was hanging out at Festival Services during Folklife, but unfortunately he never got it down on paper.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Deckman
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 09:32 PM

This posting will be long ...

John and I had been having many discussions over the last months about our collections of folk music. He had been helping me get started in the proper archiving of my own collection. He also had been very active in the formation of a concertium of reputable organizations toward the goal of creating a public facility for the proper storage of these materials, as well as the public dissemination of these musics. These were key issues with him, and remain key with me also.

Since his death I have had several conversations with other archivists in the Seattle area regarding the future of our own material. Of course we are all concerned about the future of John's material.

Right now we are all asking the same questions: were their relatives, a will, an executor? We don'y know yet. Perhaps a will will surface that will give legal guidelines for the future repository of John's lifelong work. We can only hope this will prove to be the case.

On a personal level, the loss of John has caused me to realize that I need to revise my own will by paying speciall attention to the materials I have collected. I will be discussing this soon with my children. While they are not driven with the passion for traditional folk music that has haunted me all my life, they nevertheless have always enjoyed "my music" and certainly respect the material. It may turn out the I may simply place a certified letter in my will, adressed to my children, stating my desires for the future use of my collection. That alone might save it from the garbage dump.

This something that perhaps all of you also need to exam. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 09:56 PM

A letter like that could have saved us a lot of grief; Bob knows my story, but I'll leave it at that.

John sent a number of pieces of useful advice over the years as we talked about my father's collection. Ironic that this month I've been working on my office, rearranging all of that material to a more readily examined collection. The papers are still scrambled, but the books that I have are right here in reach. After a burglary a few years ago I stopped work on the collection, but I've been getting back to it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 13 Apr 09 - 11:23 PM

Yes, I recall him speaking of leaving his record collection to St. John's, too, which makes me more sanguine that there's a will somewhere around. He was a vet of the Coastguard: does that help with funeral expenses, etc?

Let me second Deckman's excellent suggestion about all of us leaving some kind of instructions re the disposition of our stuff. We take it (and, I suppose, life) too much for granted. I've got Jeff Warner's song "Little Black Train A-Coming" running through my head these days:
"... Get all your business right/Better put your things in order/for the train might come tonight..."

Thank you, Devon, for taking the lead with all this. I'd love to help but I'm in Princeton, 6 hrs north.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 02:18 PM

Is lack of kin holding up the process of cremation or burial? I hope not. I think he would not want to be a fuss and I suspect he would have requested cremation. I hate to think of him being "on hold" while this gets worked out but I am sure there are laws etc. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 03:54 PM

I presume people have been in touch with the board of the Seattle Folklife...they would have known him pretty well..also John Watt of SFS...there has to be some sort of resolution asap, not of the sale of the house or the record collection but of the body. Perhaps this has alreay been done, and in which case, could someone put our minds to rest on this. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 04:05 PM

I presume Phil and Vivian of the Folklife board (still?) are being consulted, and Phil is a lawyer so would know various things...mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: devonleger
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 04:37 PM

The police are actively looking for any living family members. The family members will then be in charge of the body and the estate. If there are no family members, then local friends will help take charge of the body and estate. We're working on it now and will know more this week.

Devon Leger

If you would like to help out in resolving John's affairs and/or planning a memorial, let me know (devon@nwfolklife.org). I'll compile an email list and get everyone talking.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:10 PM

Someone here at work just spoke of a similar situation and said that the Homeowner's Policy paid for a pretty good cleaning of the house.

His property is a matter of public record and it might say who holds the mortgage if there is one..I remember when he bought the house and it seems to me it was private contract and could be paid off by now.

Insurance should be contacted. Phil has probably looked into that...

Do we know if there was delay in finding the body? I just want this aspect of it taken care of and the rest done at a more steady pace. If it has been a while since the death occured, I would hope for immediate resolution of this. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 14 Apr 09 - 05:26 PM

Apparently if there was a delay it was only a few days. Further up here you'll see the death was on April 6 and we learned of it on April 10. No saying (yet) when the discovery occurred.

Whoever manages his estate will have the death certificate, and will have to be appointed by the court to manage his affairs, so the contacting of various entities will have to wait until that person comes forward. The estate doesn't need to be probated by family, an attorney could do it. There are standards established for how to do that. Records must be clear, and if heirs come forward, they WILL require complete access to the process, that is guaranteed. But if there is a competent friend or colleague who is willing to do the job, they need to be the first to step forward and do it. Estates are a LOT OF WORK. But it sounds like this is a very important estate to the Seattle Folk Community.

Wills can be filed in advance. Check with the county in which he resides and see if this has happened, but chances are, it hasn't.

So talk among yourselves, and someone go ahead and take care of it for John. And keep in mind that if you live alone, someone may have to take care of all of this for you one day. Be kind, be discreet, be non-judgmental. Keep good records.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Genie
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 12:25 AM

Ah, yes, Mary G, John Watt is the friend of John's whose last name I was trying to remember. I think if anyone at SFS has more info about John's wishes he might well be the one.   I don't have his e-dress but I think I know someone who does.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 01:30 AM

I put in a call to him. I also have written the medical examiner in Seattle asking what the procedure is. Especially because he was at least culturally Jewish, although I think not overly observant..they want burial as quickly as possible..they also do not allow cremation but he might have expressed wishes to the contrary. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 07:14 PM

Can we get some focus here please. Don't worry about his music collection. His body is lying in the morgue and the examiners are asking for information. We can not just let him lie there..they are about to consider the indigent process, which he would not have wanted. His estate would be able to finance a simple cremation or burial, I am pretty sure, if he at least still had the house in Wallingford...or computer equipment could be sold..we need to get going here...I have an email from the examiner I could forward if someone pm's me. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 09:43 PM

Mary, for those of us who aren't part of his family, if we are to help, it ends up being a package deal. Whoever deals with the estate deals with the burial, that's how it works in most cases. So if someone is going to step in, the most prolonged and detailed part of the process is the estate. That person needs to know what they're doing with all of the research and whatever he collected.

John is at peace. If he was in pain, it is over. His friends can do the best for him by making sure his life's work is dealt with efficiently and respectfully. If family isn't there to step forward, then things will be taken care of more slowly, but they will be taken care of. If, as you think, John was a secular Jew, then I think burial versus cremation would not have been something he would get overwrought about.

My two cents.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 10:58 PM

The estate stuff can take ten years for all I care. And I also think cremation would be the logical thing in a case like this and I doubt he would object. The state is about to do something soon though about the body, which is my only concern, not that it is a bad idea, but I do think he should not be considered indigent when he was middle-class as far as I know, and a way could probably be found to pay for a simple cremation or burial, charged against his estate.   There are things that can be done from a distance in terms of finding relatives or ruling out the fact reasonably at least that none exist and expediting this..also Jewish people sit shiva etc., which I do not know about but maybe some of then want to do something along those lines. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Genie
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 11:11 PM

Mary, the problem with an estate taking ten years is that that costs money, and it can mean that some things (e.g., John's books and music collection, in this case) might be sold at auction (and not to the people the decedent would wish) to pay court expenses (including executor's fees if the court appoints one at random). Handling an estate is not just about who gets money (if any). How it's handled can make a big difference as to whether one's wishes are given proper respect after one's death.

I can't speak for John, but I suspect that Stilly is right that John probably cared more about what happens to his "life's work" than what happens to his remains -- assuming that he didn't tell anyone how he felt about cremation, burial, or "the indigent process" either in a will or in person. But of course if there is anything we non-Puget-Sound folks can do to help in either regard (e.g., contributing to a cremation fund if needed), I'm sure there will be many of us ready to do that.   I did email John W for info and suggestions too.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 15 Apr 09 - 11:19 PM

Estates have to be approved by judges if there are problems or protests. The courts hope the family will take care of it and everything will go well, but they're there if it doesn't.

It seems awfully soon for him to be declared anything, let alone "indigent." If he was found in his home, he isn't indigent. Be patient. It'll work out. I think I read somewhere that estates tend to take an average of two years, not 10. Unless you're Elvis Presley or John Lennon.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 10:44 AM

Oh, I meant to say, that there are probably lots of intermediate things that can be done to preserve the collection. The house has value, the contents. An auction of selected items is something that happens after the financial resources are surveyed. Insurance, bank accounts, savings, investments, etc. I won't speculate, that's not why I'm listing this.

There is a formula in place for the amount of fees that might be collected by the administrator. It's a discretionary thing, whether an administrator collects the fee. Estates are a lot of work, and the fee doesn't begin to cover the hours, but for many administrators it is a labor of love. Families are usually the greatest impediment to an estate being settled easily. All it takes is one litigious arguer to make the whole thing hell on earth. And many families seem to have one.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 12:08 PM

I personally do not care at this time about the collection. I am not talking about the collection. Let me try to be clear. There are things we can be doing to find the next of kin or conclude reasonably that none exist. The police have asked for help. We have the whole internet at our disposal. If we can get the name of the parents we are further along. I have genealogy people working on this but if someone has time please help. WE are sucking up police time for something I think we should be doing ourselves, if we are capable, have time and are interested in moving this along. I think it is indecent for a man to lie in a morgue for weeks while we talk about his record collction.

Now, I have to go to work. I wonder if someone could check the college..St. John's College in Annapolis, and see if the alumni office has any old records..same with high schools in Brookline..all we need is the name of the parents and we can go from there.

I have also written to a Jewish community ..JSP??? The name Ross came up in a search...but if someone could write a few of the synagogues where his parents might have worshiped. We think we know where he was from..someone has a way of finding out the names of his parents and from there genealogists can take over and find next of kin. The police said they had some hints but specifically asked for help.

If people do something along these lines, please say whatthey are so we don't duplicate...

Worry about his Sergeant Pepper albums later. l mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 02:18 PM

Here are some books from Libary Thing.com I guess..I am not familiar with the site but posted something. He would be probably only the author of computer stuff, if that..If anyone has copies perhaps there is something of note that would lead to next of kin. Really a long shot of course..but maybe librarians have access to date of birth, which would be helpful. mg

Books by John Ross combine/separate works

Unintended Consequences 75 copies, 4 reviews
Complete Printmaker 58 copies
The War Against Oblivion: The Zapatista Chronicles 27 copies
Murdered by Capitalism: A Memoir of 150 Years of Life and Death on the… 24 copies
The Smithsonian Guides to Natural America: Atlantic Coast & the Blue Ridge… 23 copies
Dog Talk: Training Your Dog Through A Canine Point Of View 17 copies
Annexation of Mexico: From the Aztecs to the IMF 17 copies, 1 review
Rebellion from the Roots: Indian Uprising in Chiapas 16 copies
Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams 11 copies, 1 review
The Book of Wireless: A Painless Guide to Wi-Fi and Broadband Wireless 11 copies
Adopting a Dog: The Indispensable Guide for Your Newest Family Member 11 copies
Puppy Preschool: Raising Your Puppy Right-- Right From The Start! 10 copies, 1 review
It's Never Done That Before: A Guide to Troubleshooting Windows XP 10 copies
The Book of Wi-Fi: Install, Configure, and Use 802.11b Wireless Networking 9 copies
Wiring Home Networks 9 copies
Ensemble 8 copies
Chronicle of Australia 6 copies
Network Know-How: An Essential Guide for the Accidental Admin 6 copies
Ensemble: French for Beginners: Lessons 1-12 Bk.1 6 copies
The Clubs: the Complete History of Every Club in the Vfl/Afl 5 copies, 1 review
Allez France! third stage French : a BBC Radio course to follow 'Ensemble'… 5 copies
Zapatistas: Making Another World Possible: Chronicles of Resistance… 5 copies
Adoptable Dog: Teaching Your Adopted Pet to Obey, Trust, and Love You 5 copies
Tonatiuh's People: A Novel of the Mexican Cataclysm 4 copies
Prairie time : the Leopold Reserve revisited 3 copies, 1 review
PC User's Bible 3 copies
The origin of the Chinese people 3 copies
Beautiful Australia in colour 3 copies
Formosan Odyssey 3 copies
Why Does My Dog Drink Out of the Toilet: Answers and Advice for All Kinds… 2 copies
Windows Me! I Didn't Know You Could Do That? 2 copies


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 02:32 PM

Judging from conversations that John and I had regarding writing histories of folk music in the Pacific Northwest, and archiving the many, many tapes of local singers, I believe there is considerably more at stake than John's "Sergeant Pepper" albums, if, indeed, he had any.

I understand the necessity for dispatch, and I would most certainly like to be able to do something in John's behalf, but there are people out there who knew John far better than I did and who knew much more about his family and background.

And, Mary, are you sure that all those books were written by the John Ross in question? I recognize a couple of titles (computer related books), but many on that list are in areas that I never associated with what I understood to be John's areas of interest.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:10 PM

Oh I am quite sure the only ones he would have written would be the computer ones...I just didn't have time to edit but I will and give the list to the polizia. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:25 PM

The Book of Wireless: A Painless Guide to Wi-Fi and Broadband Wireless 11 copies
It's Never Done That Before: A Guide to Troubleshooting Windows XP 10 copies
The Book of Wi-Fi: Install, Configure, and Use 802.11b Wireless Networking 9 copies
Wiring Home Networks 9 copies
Network Know-How: An Essential Guide for the Accidental Admin 6 copies
PC User's Bible 3 copies
Windows Me! I Didn't Know You Could Do That? 2 copies


OK..there are the winnowed books that might have been written by John Ross. The challenge here is for someone who has a bit of time to see if they can find the date of publication, the publisher, and a phone and adderss and email contact for the publisher. This might come in helpful to the police. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Genie
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:35 PM

Don, you said what I was thinking re John's music and music book collection, but before I could post it, and better.   

I agree that there are people in the Seattle area who knew John's private life better than Mary or I did - and who know the Jewish community there better too.   I've emailed a couple of them, and I have faith that they and/or others in John's local circle of friends and colleagues are doing what they can to help out in all these areas.   I've suggested that some, even if not Mudcatters, might visit this thread either to get or to give information and ideas (e.g., about doing some sort of tribute to John's life).

I think a thread like this can often be more efficient than a lot of individual emails, as long as we're dealing with info that doesn't need to be kept private.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 03:46 PM

Mary, your concern and time spent helping are admirable and you have made it quite clear. As you are focussed on that aspect, others are more likely to be able to help in other ways. As Don said, there's much at stake concerning John's collection. IMO, it sounds as though John wouldn't really be too concerned about what happens to his physical body, but more his "body of work"...i.e. music collection which is his legacy. I am sure things will get sorted out.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:10 PM

It's be a shame to rush through one part of the process, bringing in someone just because of the deceased's religion, and in the process compromise his life's work, if that religious figure managed the estate. If the religious community were concerned with this, I suspect they'd already have been involved. Right now it's just low-hanging fruit for whoever gets involved, if there are no directions left regarding his estate. I'd rather see folklife folks step in to help than the religious community. I think the folk community has a greater claim on his life's work. (Unclaimed estates go to the state, I am guessing, and fees paid by a formula to whoever, but the disposition of material goods and intellectual property would be best handled by someone who knows what they're dealing with.) This is all opinion, of course, on the part of all of us discussing this. I hope someone who knows the procedure and is willing to sort and process things carefully steps in to help soon.

So if he knew all of this stuff about Windows he showed admirable restraint in not wading in on our many tech threads. And he's gone now that Microsoft announced the latest big news--no more free support for XP. :-/

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: devonleger
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:21 PM

Dear Friends of John Ross,

      I got the chance to speak to Investigator Monty Nelson today and have a few updates that may be helpful. The police are looking for a will at the moment and are hopeful. They basically said that everything was on hold until next Friday. They have not found any living family members, so any information would be appreciated. The number to contact Monty Nelson directly is 206-731-3232 (press #1 when the machine picks up to reach the bullpen).
        John's body will rest with the city until next week and he likely won't go to any indigent program without our knowledge. No provisions can be made for the Jewish faith at this point, as the needs of the City of Seattle supersede. As for John's extensive archive collections and any shared equipment, everyone will have to wait a while on this. Family must first be located and the body dealt with.
        For a memorial, John Watt has stepped forward first to help out with this. I hope that you will feel free to contact him about setting up some kind of memorial either before Folklife or at Folklife. John's phone number is: 206-783-6556.
       For geneaology, John's father's name was Murray Ross. His family was from Massachussetts, specifically Brookline.

Thank you,
Devon Leger


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Genie
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 04:54 PM

Thanks, Devonleger.   Glad to know that John Watt is taking the lead in putting together a tribute or tributes. I was pretty sure he'd be active in helping make sure John's wishes are followed through on and his memory is honored.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Deckman
Date: 16 Apr 09 - 06:01 PM

Hi Devon ... Bob Nelson, up here in Everett. I, as well as others, appreciate your last posting. Hopefully it will calm some fears. The Seattle Police are VERY experienced in handling matters like this. They go into houses, search for records, contact banks, open safety deposit boxes, contact lawyers, all for the purpose of locating wills. This is routine business for them. Thanks again, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 12:49 AM

There is a Jewish organization in Brooklyn, NY that specifically deals with these kind of cases to guarantee a proper Jewish burial.
They are experts in searching for relatives and in the event none can be found they will even pay the full cost of a funeral to prevent the desecration of the corpse. Even though they are located in NY, they deal with cases like this all over the world.

The name of the organization is Misaskim and their phone number is 718-854-4548.

When calling give them:

a) The name of the deceased

b) The exact location of the morgue where the body is being stored.

c) The name and phone number of the police officer in charge of the case.

They will take it from there.

SOL


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Genie
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 12:52 AM

Thank you so much, Rabbi Sol.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 02:11 PM

I have passed on Rabbi Sol's information to the Medical Examiner, as well as some possible genealogical help. Apparently John's middle name was Maxwell, if anyone is doing any searching. DOB was appx 1947 we think. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 03:28 PM

Hi..People have mentioned that some of the property that John was using was borrowed from them personally or was the property of organizations like Folklife. I would sure encourage anyone who has property on loan to him for recording etc. to make some sort of inventory and submit it quickly to authorities before it gets tangled up in in his estate. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: devonleger
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 05:27 PM

The property is already tied up in his estate. According to the police, no one will get access to it until family is found and the estate dealt with. They advised us to sit tight until later next week.

Devon


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 06:12 PM

Yup. Patience is important. Good luck, everyone, in getting this sorted smoothly.

There was an interesting story on one of the NPR programs some months back about a woman from the LA police or coroner's office, who does this kind of work. It was fascinating.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 06:38 PM

I am hoping that a professional can be called in for all but the archives, any collections, and the most personnel or family effects..things like the car, maybe Ikea type furniture, computer peripherals etc...no use in burdening an elderly aunt in a nursing home with too many decisions etc. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 07:42 PM

mg, a little patience now...surely things will get sorted out in due time; who's to say there even is an elderly aunt?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Genie
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:37 AM

John Watt tells me he plans to do a "John Ross Memorial Last Band Scramble" at Folklife this year. DK if there will be other tributes. JW thinks he can handle doing most of JR's "shtick" for the band scramble this year, but it's questionable whether the band scramble can/will continue after this year without JR.   There's a lot of work involved in putting it/them together, and JR's droll wit really was a big draw.
Anyway, if you are going to be at Folklife this May, I hope you'll consider taking part in the Band Scramble as a tribute to John. I think we can do more by way of tribute than just have the the Band Scramble and have someone do John's customary lines.   No reason why the songs the competing bands do can't be, in one way or another, tributes to John.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: jwatt
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 03:37 AM

I think that I can supply a few details missing from this thread. First, discovery. His letter carrier became concerned that the mail was piling up in his mailbox, and called in the police to check. They got in the house and discovered the body. The coroner says that the death likely occurred in the evening of April 6th. At present, the body is in the morgue in Seattle. While, technically, a Jew is supposed to be buried within 24 hours, there are exceptions to this in circumstances like this.

The police obtained a search warrant and found a key to a safe deposit box, which they will will be checking next week, we will have more information on this later in the week.

I seem to have volunteered to put together a memorial for John at Folklife. The two of us put together the Band Scrambles for at least 17 years. He was always the visible one, although some of you may remember that I was MC a few times. I don't know what form the memorial will take, although Jon Bartlett has already suggested that song and strong drink should be part of it. He also suggested the Northwest Court pub stage. I'll see if we can get it, preferably on Sunday at 5pm.

Any and all ideas and offers of help will be most welcome. I can be reached at

A great loss.

John Watt


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:31 AM

John, your source code revealed the following:

    I can be reached at jwatt56@netscape.net
    A great loss.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: sharyn
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:30 PM

A good guy, kind to me when I met him. There have been far too many of these obits lately.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 03:57 PM

Some of us are trying to find out if anyone's writing an obituary for John Ross for the Seattle Times. We're willing to take it on, but only if no one else has already written it or wants to do it. Please contact beth@nwfolklife.org if you know. Many thanks!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 04:01 PM

Great idea.

Also, has anyone checked with Brookline High School? I presume the police have in their investigation, but I heard from someone who said a John Ross had been in his class at Brookline and graduated in 1965. Would someone be able to check on this through the school or an alumni association? mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 04:22 PM

That year sounds way too recent. "John Ross" isn't an uncommon name.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 07:19 PM

It would be around the right year..same year I graduated. They say he was born in 1947. Someone said that...There probably wouldn't be too many John Ross's of more or less the correct age in one particular high school. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 11:04 PM

I thought he was a lot older than that.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,Squeaks at Folklife
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 10:28 AM

John Ross's birthday was 4/3/1947.   I know that because he was only about 1 1/2 months older than I.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,MCMC
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 07:30 PM

And he did, indeed, gratudate from high school in 1965 (appropriately for someone born in April of 1947, as he was).


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 10:44 PM

He looked a lot older than he was, then. Perhaps his health had been bad for a while. I had no idea when I met him that he was so much closer to my age than my father's. In the photo I posted a link to, taken about five years ago, we are seven years apart. (Boy, can I see my father's face on me in that photo!)

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,MCMC
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 12:46 AM

He had aged considerably over the past few years - I was looking at pictures of him taken since 1993 (moving on throughout the years, up until last July), and there was a distinct difference beginning around 2004 or so. He looked grayer, his hair was thinning, he was putting on more weight around his waist, and his face just looked more careworn. He was still the same droll, witty, curmudgeonly personality; but looking back at it, it's pretty clear that something was changing physically with him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,MCMC
Date: 01 May 09 - 01:46 PM

Here's the planned obituary for John. It will eventually be printed in the newspaper, but we wanted the Mudcatters to get a "sneak preview":

JOHN M. ROSS

John Maxwell Ross died April 6, 2009, of natural causes at his home in Seattle following a sudden heart attack. An only child, he was preceded in death by his parents.

John was born April 3, 1947 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland and served four years in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he was stationed in St. Louis, Missouri. His world travels eventually brought him to Seattle, where he spent the next few decades following his personal and professional interests.

An accomplished author of technical books for Microsoft Press, No Starch Press and other publishers, he also pursued other writing projects for various entities, including a planned study of the writings of E.B. White. He combined his Coast Guard radio engineering experience and his love for music and folklore to become an asset to many local organizations, including KRAB Radio, Northwest Folklife, and the Seattle Folklore Society. He was a dedicated archivist and was deeply committed to preserving the musical heritage of the past in new and different media. He was a frequent contributor to the WELL and a member of the Mudcat Café (along with other "Folk Scare alumni").

In addition to his literary and musical pursuits, he enjoyed collecting (and drinking) local Pacific Northwest wines and was familiar with many of the wineries. He was interested in tinplate trains and frequently volunteered at the train shows held during Thanksgiving weekend at the Pacific Science Center. He served on the Wallingford Community Council and enjoyed making homemade apple cider with members of the Northwest Cider Society.

John was a philosopher, a contributor, an iconoclast and a source of knowledge; and he will be missed by the many friends he made through all his different interests.

A memorial service is being planned for some time in the future. If you are interested in knowing more about it, please contact Doug Manana at dougmanana@comcast.net.

For those wishing to honor his memory and the many contributions he made to various groups, donations to the Seattle Folklore Society, Northwest Folklife, or St. John's College (Annapolis, MD) are suggested.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 01 May 09 - 02:57 PM

That's a very well-written obituary. I wish I'd known him better--those of you who did know him well, I hope you manage a good folk sendoff sometime in the near future.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Deckman
Date: 01 May 09 - 05:14 PM

VERY WELL DONE ... very fitting. Thank you for your work. Bob Nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST
Date: 01 May 09 - 08:23 PM

Hi,
I, too, was a friend of John Ross. I met him 25 years ago through Phil and Vivian and SFS. John was witty and direct and irreplaceable for his collections, observations and obfuscations on life and folk-life. Shared great food and wines,apple pressings and all between. I was saddened to hear of his passing. Early on in the blogs-there were concerns over finding family, etc-if that has not been achieved-maybe we should check out the Coast Guard..he was after all serving for a few years..perhaps CG could help with funeral costs, etc. I think it would be nice to have a bosin (sp) play at his memorial...he enjoyed that quirky instrument and once helped me put together a workshop for folklife!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Deckman
Date: 01 May 09 - 09:20 PM

Dear "Guest" ... Yes, during my last visit with John, about three weeks before he passed on, he told me of his interest in the pipe and mentioned the workshop that happened at Folklife. He was an unusual man a many talents and interests. Bob Nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: Acme
Date: 01 May 09 - 10:34 PM

Guest, who are you?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: mg
Date: 09 May 09 - 12:48 PM

Has there been any further news? I hope they have gone ahead with some burial arrangements by now but I have not heard. I did hear from one of his publishers just today, who had not gotten my message until now, and I hope to give him some current information. mg


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,MCMC
Date: 22 May 09 - 10:03 AM

I spoke with one of his cousins (actually, the son of John's father's first cousin) in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, and he said he had been told that the Medical Examiner's office had released John to a mortuary who had taken care of the burial (they wouldn't give him many details). I told him I would let him know when the obituary appeared in the Times - which I believe is supposed to be on Sunday, May 24. More details if/as I learn them...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,MCMC
Date: 22 May 09 - 10:06 AM

Just a reminder to all Mudcatters who are planning to come to Folklife: be sure to stop by the Festival Services desk on the third floor of the Center House to get your "Mudcat ID sticker" (a green dot).

Also, the John Ross Memorial (Celtic) Band Scramble will be held on Sunday, May 24 at the Northwest Court Stage from 3:30 to 4:00 p.m.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,MCMC
Date: 24 May 09 - 09:51 AM

And here's the link to the official obituary:

http://www.legacy.com/SeattleTimes/DeathNotices.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=127604755


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: MCMC
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 11:36 PM

I spoke today with Maggie Allen, a paralegal from the law firm handling John's estate. She told me that one of John's cousins (on his mother's side) was able to find a key to a safe deposit box, and the law firm recently received a court order allowing them to open the box, in which they are hoping to find a will. They will also be checking with John's publishers and anyone else with whom he may have done business in an attempt to gain some information which might uncover a will someplace (apparently his cousin looked all throughout the house and couldn't find it there).

In the meantime, the law firm is aware that there were a number of things in John's house which actually belonged to other people and organizations for whom he was doing work (archiving, etc.). Anyone who had lent anything to John and now needs to reclaim their property should send a letter with a detailed description of the property to the law firm at the following address:

Maggie Allen, Paralegal
BRISLAWN LOFTON, PLLC
3450 Carillon Point, Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 803-9500 (425) 827-7154 FAX
maggie.allen@brislawnlofton.com

Be sure to specify that your request is in regard to the estate of John M. Ross. Also, be sure to include your contact information so they can reach you for more details if necessary.

In case anyone missed the official obituary, it was published in the Seattle Times on Sunday, May 24. The online guest book will be available for at least another couple of weeks, in case anyone wants to write in it; and it will most likely be renewed for an additional year. Anyone interested in making donations to the obituary fund can contact Fred Maslan for information on where to send them.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
From: GUEST,Nancy White
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 06:57 PM

Informal memorial Potluck for John - Some of John's friends from the http://www.well.com are gathering at my house tomorrow, June 6 at 3pm for a potluck - music, food, tell John stories. If you'd like to join us, please drop me a line at nancyw at fullcirc dot com. I'm in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle. If the weather is nice, we can accommodate a crowd. If it is raining, it will be a little sardine like, but always friendly.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 2009
From: MCMC
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 04:11 AM

There will be a celebration of John's life held on Saturday, September 26, 2009 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. at Pioneer Hall, 1642 - 43rd Ave E., Seattle, WA (between E. Blaine and E. Garfield). All who knew John (or wish they had known him) are cordially invited.

Coffee, tea and refreshments will be served (potluck dishes are welcome!). Please bring your stories, photos and memories of John to share with all of us who loved and miss him.

RSVP:         
Sheila Long (sheilamilo@comcast.net) or
Mary Moore-Campagna (marycmoore@campagna.com)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 2009
From: Acme
Date: 08 Sep 09 - 11:12 AM

That's nice.

I have one photo of him, you'll find it under my Mudcat name in the photo section. I don't know if I have a larger scan handy to send it, but if you can print that out and use it, feel free! I'll look for those prints to see if there are any more.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 2009
From: GUEST,Guest: Pushkara Sally Ashford
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 05:23 PM

Sorry to ring in late on the passing of John Ross. He has been such a steady staple of the Seattle folk scene forever, it seems. We could count on his purposeful presence, on deck at NW Folklife. The 25 year Coffeehouse Singers Reunion was his doing. My latest contact with John was in preparing for Stan James' memorial at the Wooden Boat Center. He was very gracious, diligent and FAST in converting tapes of Stan's singing into CDs. The sheer amount of archival material, the range of electronic equipment on hand in his home, the voluminous know-how he brought to preserving our collective folk music history and his care in doing all this with next-to-no public acknowledgment or little expression of appreciation makes me wonder if we didn't let slip an opportunity to say a BIG THANKS, JOHN!! Mensch, is it?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 2009
From: MCMC
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 02:26 AM

Thanks to all who were able to attend the celebration of John's life held at Pioneer Hall this past Sunday. It included a recitation of the Jewish Prayer for the Dead, a sea chantey, and a number of personal reminiscences about John.

John was officially laid to rest in the waters of Puget Sound this morning. The second mate led us down to the end of the auto deck as the captain slowed down the ferry; and after we had said our final goodbyes and consigned his ashes to the waves, the captain blew three blasts on the horn in honor of his passing. The second mate wrote down all the information for us:

Date: September 29, 2009
Time: 11:38 a.m.
Latitude: 47 degrees, 36 minutes, 548 seconds
Longitude: 122 degrees, 24 minutes, 185 seconds

(So next time you cross Puget Sound, you can think of John…)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 2009
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 08:01 AM

Very, very appropriate. bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 2009
From: Acme
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 11:38 AM

We did that with my father's ashes. The ferry crew were very helpful and respectful, and I think it is a perfect end for someone who is in love with the Puget Sound area. Thanks for letting us know that this was taken care of.

Sally, if you come back past this thread, hello! I don't know if you'll remember me, I was the oldest of those tow-heads of John Dwyer's, running around at various folk events where he and Mom took us.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 2009
From: MCMC
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 01:12 PM

For anyone who might be interested: I've posted in the Lyrics section the lyrics to the sea chantey that was sung at John's Celebration of Life earlier this week. (It's sung to the tune of "Rolling Down To Old Maui", but we adapted the lyrics to make it about John's life.)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 20
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 01:17 PM

MCMC, thanks for sharing that with us. After all of the stress of the auction and folks working so hard to save a lot of his works, it's nice to hear of such a calm and peaceful letting go.
    Thread closed temporarily because it's been a target for a heavy barrage of Spam. If you have something to add to the discussion, contact me and I'll reopen it.
    -Joe Offer-


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Mudcat time: 29 April 3:28 PM EDT

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