Karlson, Ross

Karlson, Ross

July 7th, 2020

October 4, 1935 – July 7, 2020

Surrounded by adoring family, at his heavenly cottage, Ross Karlson, in his 85th year, passed away peacefully. Predeceased by his lifetime love, Marilyn Karlson, a mere 89 days earlier. Ross and Marilyn summarized their 61-year marriage declaring, “true love is finding your soulmate in your best friend.” Ross leaves behind his cherished children: Linda Karlson, Tory and Mary Ellyn Karlson, Jill Karlson and Steve Stacey; treasured grandchildren: Kevyn Dietz, Michael Dietz, Ross Karlson Jr., Sydney Karlson, Erik Hirsch, Matthew Hirsch and Emma Hirsch. Also survived by his beloved 93-year-old sister, Loreen Baker and her children: Wendy and Doug McGrath, Murray and Marie Isobelle Baker and David Baker; nieces, nephews and kin near and far. Predeceased by his stoic parents, Knute and Francis Karlson; brother-in-law, Bruce Baker; and nephew, Carl Baker. Ross genuinely embraced all with love at every opportunity. A dignified, traditional gentleman, Ross’s friendships and associations reached far and wide. A long-standing member of the London Hunt and Country Club, past President and Director of the London & District Construction Association, past Director of the Ontario Road Builders’ Association and past Senior Vice President of Riverside Construction and TCG Materials Limited. A humble man of exceptional talent, no matter the trade, Ross’s knowledge seemed endless. His Architectural Engineering Degree from Ryerson University displayed well whenever decking or flagstone stairways were artistically constructed, with no need to draft. Ross devoured all sports with an endless appetite. A lover of every sport and a master of some, broken noses were just a part of the game of squash – good times! A fierce competitor, Ross held his London South Collegiate Institute football memories close to his heart. A third baseman in the London Minor League Baseball system, Ross impressed upon all who had ears, what a life-altering impact exceptional coaches have on their athletes. Ross extends a special note of gratitude to Joe Bechard for being that extraordinary coach of high impact. Ross’s career in the construction industry began with a shovel and workman’s wages. Thirty-five years of devotion and hard work earned him the eventual standing of Senior Vice President for Riverside Construction and TCG Materials Limited. At age 55 Ross retired and put his considerable skill sets to work assisting his son, Tory Karlson, to establish Ronson Paving & Construction, awarded Asphalt Paving Company of the Year 2020 by the London Chamber of Commerce. Ross was a man of old school integrity, a determined traditionalist. His hand shake gave every soul a friend. A brave and dependable man of strong and solid conviction, Ross lived a Christian life and humbly led by remarkable example; quietly declaring Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. Ross Karlson is a giant to his family. A patriarch that was dignified, protective, dependable, wise and compassionate. We thank him for providing a family cottage on the shores of Lake Huron where 30 years of love, laughter and joy abounded under the wings of two lovebirds. God bless you, our courageous hero. Thank you Ross, for being an absolute blessing to your family and your fellows. To avoid unnecessary pandemic exposure, there will be a private family memorial service held at WESTVIEW FUNERAL CHAPEL, 709 Wonderland Road North, London. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Ross are asked to consider Mission Services of London. 

“Preserve your memories. They’re all that’s left you.”

~ Simon and Garfunkel


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Book of Condolences

Bettye GirvinJohn and I sent our sincere sympathy to all of the family. Ross was truly an example of kindness to everyone., and completely devoted to Marilyn and their family. He will be missed.
Brian & Sandra HaymanSo sad to hear of Ross' passing. He was a great man and we both really respected his character, and how he handled himself and those around him. He always made us feel so comfortable. Our thoughts are with the entire family at this difficult time.
Larry GigunHaving spent many years in the construction industry myself,I always found Ross to be one of the finest and fairest person to deal with on mutual concerns within our industry.Sorry for your loss Tory,and our condolances to you and your entire family.Larry and Pat Gigun
Kirk & JoAnne BainesWith sad hearts we embrace the loss of a great man who, for us and many others brought a larger than life smile and kind words for all, always. Knowing Ross (and Marilyn) over the years at Mid Huron Beach brought us many smiles and happy thoughts of our history at the beach. The love he had for Marilyn his Family and for life was unbreakable and will live on forever in our hearts and soul. Thank you, Ross for your wisdom, patience, and all you are and have been, we will miss you. Our warm thoughts and prayer go out to the Karlson Family, we share in your grief and extend our love to you all. Kirk & JoAnne
Katherine (Kay) BaileyTo All the Families of Ross And Marilyn I was saddened to read of Ross’s passing especially so soon after Marilyn. I met both Ross & Marilyn through my husband Bob who went through high school together, and our meetings on the ski hills or at the H.C. were always a source of fun and laughter. They will be truly missed by so very many along with their extensive Family. My sincerest condolences.... Kay Bailey
David & Andrea McLayDear Tory, Mary Ellyn & Family, We are so sorry to hear of your father's passing. Sounds like he lived a life full of love and wonderful accomplishments. Thinking of you all during this time. Fondly, David & Andrea McLay and family.
Ross SpettigueI did not know Ross but as a grade 8 student at Mountsfield PS, I attended a few of South’s football games at Labatt Park in the Fall of 1954. Immediately, Ross Karlson became one of my gridiron heroes. I went on to play football at South and coached HS ball for many years but often, when one of my running backs powered into the end-zone, I would think of Ross Karlson from those many years ago. Please accept my sincere condolences on his passing. God Bless. Ross Spettigue, Windsor, ON
John and Shelley Vandermolen Dear Tory, Mary Ellyn, Ross and Sydney—we’re so very sorry for your loss. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we hope the many memories can bring you some comfort at this difficult time.
jack snelgrovethey didn;t come any better than Ross! Amazing person....we were so fortunate to have been part of his life. You are in Sandy and Jacks prayers.
John JardineI am so sorry to hear this news. Both Marily and Ross were the best friends with skiing and golfing and working together for many years. I have so many memories of Ross and I working together and socalising over the years, He was the one who talked me into joining TCG. Hr was a fine man with great empathy for all. I consider him one of my best friends and will miss him. My sincere condolences to the whole family.
Donald MaudsleyMy sincere condolences to the family. I have met with Ross, Marv Liley, Bill Pierson, and others annually since our team reunion in 1998 to reminisce about the good times we had together in our magical summer of 1948 with Joe Bechard. And how they influenced us far afterward. Lessons for life! We shared a special bond that many folks never have experienced. Sadly we failed to meet last year and I truly regret it. Our memories are indeed what we leave behind. Ross was one of the most positive men I have ever encountered and had with it very thoughtful insight into what makes us happy. We will miss him and his boundless enthusiasm.
Rob ArnsbyTory, my sincere condolences to you and to your family, I will always remember Ross as one of the finest people that I ever had the pleasure of meeting in my career in the equipment business. If one were looking for a role model in business or in life look no further than Ross. I fine man .....he will be missed.
Margo [ Richards] BulmerTo the Karlson family I extend my heartfelt sympathy on the passing of your treasured Ross. He was a fine gentleman and such a good , longtime friend of my brother Dave since their days at South Collegiate. I know he will be greatly missed . Most sincerely, Margo
Peter HawkeOn behalf of the Hawke family, I wanted to pass on my condolences to the extended Karlson family. My parents (Bill & Jean) were good friends with Ross and Marilyn and they had many, many wonderful memories of the fun times they had together. Maybe they are all joined together once again in heaven, perhaps hitting a ball around and laughing.
John PrydeTo Ross' family: Our heartfelt condolences on the loss of a truly special man - he was everything his well written obituary says, probably more! It was a real pleasure for us that our 23 years at Mid Huron Beach overlapped Ross and Marilyn's time there. Sincerely, John Pryde / Marilyn Chappel
Charlie and Jane CoppTo the Karlson family: So sorry to hear of your father's passing. Many fine memories of working at TCG and what a wonderful generous man your dad was. Very sorry for your loss. Sincerely, Charlie Copp
Donna and JohnDonna and I extend to the Karlson family our deepest sympathy at the loss of your father. Ross was such a positive and enthusiastic " Cheerleader " for family and friends throughout his life with Marilyn by his side. Many of us were fortunate to share sports activities through high school and playground days in London for many years- "Happy Days " Take care of yourselves and each other, Donna and John
Carolyn GlassThank you for the love and laughter.
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