Obituaries » Russell Harlan "Doc" Ross
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February 1, 1958 - June 20, 2019
A Funeral Service celebrating the life of Russell Harlan Ross will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 27, 2019 at Brookwood Baptist Church, 9014 Brookwood Church Way, Shreveport, Louisiana. Burial will be at Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Keithville, Louisiana. A Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at Rose-Neath Southside, 2500 Southside Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana. Officiating the service will be Brother John Harp.
Russell Harlan Ross, father, grandfather, husband, brother, son, and friend to many passed away suddenly Thursday, June 20, 2019, at the age of 61.
Russell was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on February 1, 1958, to Edwin C. Ross and Betty Harlan Light. He grew up at various Air Force bases in Mississippi, Newfoundland, and Nebraska before settling in Shreveport. Russell attended Byrd High School, graduating in 1976. Russell went on to graduate from LSUS majoring in General Studies. On May 21, 1983, Russell married Gail Lawrence Ross and had three daughters, Amy, Kimberly, and Michelle. On February 28, 2017, Russell married MingLi Chang at Family Life Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Upon graduation from high school, Russell joined the Shreveport Fire Department as a firefighter and later rode Rescue One out of Central Station. From there, he went on to work at General Motors as a Fire Safety Officer, where he remained for the next 13 years. After leaving General Motors, Russell joined the Shreveport Police Department in September of 1993 as a patrol officer in the Queensborough district, on the night shift, where he remained for 7 years. Russell worked his way up to Sergeant, serving as a detective in the Homicide Division and Robbery Division for 10 years, as well as four years as supervisor in the Office of Special Investigations.
Over more than 21 years of serving the City of Shreveport, Russell won many awards, including the Medal of Valor, the highest award bestowed by SPD. Russell received that honor for rescuing a group of young people that were mud riding and overturned in a bayou off Buncombe Road in freezing water and complete darkness. Other awards earned while with SPD were 1998 Regional Police Officer of the year, 2006 Detective of the Year, and the 2013 Honorary Award from the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association for creating and using innovative investigative techniques using state racketeering laws in dealing with organized crime.
While serving at SPD, he was also serving his country as a Naval Corpsman, rising to the rank of 3rd Class Chief Petty Officer and advanced to Senior Enlisted Leader of the Corpsman with Weapons Company on October 2, 1989, holding this position with every subsequent unit. While he served as Senior Enlisted Leader with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines, Petty Officer Ross was mobilized in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He was then advanced to 2nd Class Petty Officer. Russell was awarded the Fleet Marine Force Designator. After Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, CA he was advanced to 1st Class Petty Officer and was selected 1995 Sailor of the Year for Program 9 out of 9,000 sailors serving with the Marines and Seabees.
Petty Officer Ross served as Senior Enlisted Leader with B Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines, and completed jungle operations training at the Army Jungle Warfare Training Center in Panama, where he was selected and initiated to become a Chief Petty Officer and was awarded the Leo V. Bilger Award.
Chief Ross was individually mobilized on March 15, 2003, for Iraqi Freedom serving as Operations and Intelligence Chief for F Company of CSSF-15 of the 1st Marine Division. While in the area of operations, he earned the Fleet Marine Force Warfare Specialist designation. While serving as Senior Enlisted Leader, Russell was advanced to Senior Chief. During his leadership as Command Senior Chief for Expeditionary Medical Facility Dallas, the Navy’s 1st Expeditionary Medical Facility was constructed in coordination with BUMED and Pentagon leadership. This became the model for the 4 active duty and other 2 Reserve EMFs established subsequently.
After retiring from the Shreveport Police Department in January 2015, Russell worked for the Caddo District Attorney’s Office for a few years before leaving to work for the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Department. His next adventure was working for the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Department, where he was working as a deputy at the time of his death.
Russell enjoyed spending time with his family, hiking, biking, rollerblading, running, karate, achieving a Brown Belt, honing his marksmanship, serving his community and keeping it safe. He also loved going to church and serving the Lord.
He was patient and generous with his time, never tiring of explaining the ways of American culture to his wife MingLi or learning about Chinese culture. He earned a great reputation in the Chinese community in both Shreveport and Lafayette.
Russell loved to make his girls laugh, lovingly calling them his “little snotheads”. He reveled in watching each of them grow into their own, gently guiding them along the way with love, patience and humor. He would carry on a silly inside joke for hours and sometimes days. Russell’s sense of humor was not lost on his grandchildren, either. They called him Grandpa Bob, a running joke wrapped in endearment that sweetly seemed to reflect how his mother, Betty, called her son “Carl Russell.” The reason for that never seemed clear to Russell, but it might explain where he got his sense of humor.
He was never afraid to show his affection for his girls, and he gave the most heartfelt and deepest hugs. Goodbyes lasted forever, because he would say goodbye a million times, only to start talking again at the door, and again at the car window, and still stand in the driveway waving as you drove down the street until you were out of sight. And he was probably still waving after that.
Some people could live their entire lives and not learn as much as Russell taught his daughters in the time that he was here with them, and they will carry his voice and his wisdom with them forever. He was a calm, but fierce protector of those he loved. He was a calming presence for family and friends, and was known for lending an ear, a smile, a joke, or a story. And he had so many stories to share!
In his professional life as a police officer and investigator, he was dedicated, methodical and dogged, and never forgot the victims for whom he sought justice.
And while this obituary ends here, we know that Russell would go on for a few more pages, because he always had more to say, more to share, and endless fascinating tangents to explore.
And we wish he could.
He is survived by his wife, MingLi Chang; four daughters: Amy Ross, Kimberly Aker and husband Floyd Aker III, Michelle Wolverton and husband Stephen, and Victoria Spivey, all of Shreveport; and by his mother and stepfather, Betty and Buddy Light of Ringgold, Louisiana; his father, Edwin C. Ross of Conway, Arkansas; grandchildren Cavan Carstensen, Charleigh Carstensen, and Floyd Aker IV of Shreveport; and brother Jerry Ross and wife Lola of Conway, Arkansas. He is also survived by his nephew and nieces Jason, Jenny, and Jamie.