James William Ross, Jr, 83

Click here for a poem by Beverly Ross Murray and Brother's singing Casco Bay

brother photoPORTLAND -- James 'Brother' Ross, 83, of Chebeague Island, died peacefully with family by his side at Mercy Hospital on Feb. 1, 2012 after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer of the esophagus. He was born June 9, 1928, on Chebeague Island, one of four children of Etta ((Doughty) Ross and James W. Ross, Sr.

HBesides his parents he was predeceased by a brother Emery Ross and Emery's wife Elizabeth (Lib) Stilphen and a sister Alice Ross Bowman. He is survived by his wife of 56 1/2 years, Sylvia Hamilton Ross, his son and soul mate, Gary James Ross, his younger brother, Richard 'Poochie' Ross and his wife Priscilla Stilphen, a niece, Beverly Murray and husband, Pat, of Falmouth, a niece, Barbara Caldwell of Tennessee, a nephew, Stewart Townsend of Portland; two great-nephews, Patrick Murray of Falmouth and Jon Caldwell of Tennessee and a great-niece, April Caldwell, also of Tennessee.

James became known as 'Brother' very early in life by his older siblings - and the name stuck throughout his lifetime. He was educated in Chebeague schools and later in Butler school in Portland after his family moved there during war time. At the age of 16 he went to welding school in Portland and learned to be a welder. He was proud of the fact that he was one of many that had worked on the Liberty ship, USS Jeremiah O' Brian, the last liberty ship built in Portland. In later years he worked winter jobs welding for William's Bros. and Gowen Marine.

Brother was drafted during the Korean War spending two years in Germany directly from boot camp until he was discharged as Corporal in 1954. Brother was a lifelong fisherman beginning with sardine fishing together with his father and two brothers until the industry began to fade in the '60s. Shortly after, he became a full time commercial lobsterman enjoying several fishing boats finally becoming the owner of the 'Sylvia R' in 1985. After his son, Gary bought his own boat, the 'Wanderer'; they worked side by side, working as partners and best friends all the way. While Brother worked for Portland Pilots, Inc. during wintertime in the '60s he was offered a permanent job as a Portland
Pilot, but he turned it down in order to be close to his son.

Brother spent many happy hours with his family and friends at the family hunting camp in Waite, Maine. He had a talent for music and taught himself to play the guitar and banjo and became a member of a local band called 'The Wagoneers', playing and singing Country Music. Other pet projects included any fish -related projects such as mackerel fishing, shucking clams, picking out crabmeat, filleting fish, etc. He enjoyed his 'three day annual vacation' in Boothbay Harbor where he would track down many local fishermen to trade stories. Proud of his heritage he liked attending the Scottish Games at Thomas Point, especially to see and listen to the bagpipers.

He had a great love for animals, especially dogs and often carried a treat in his pocket - just in case - and readily talking to them - and knowing they couldn't talk he would talk for them! His playful sense of humor and hearty laughter will be missed by those who knew him.

The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation to the Chebeague Island Rescue team, the Mercy Hospital staff at Brother's station(s) and last but not least to Dr. Roger Inhorn and to Carolyn Murphy, R.N. from Mercy Fore River who gave their all in treatment and kindness.

A funeral service will be held on Chebeague Island, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Chebeague United Methodist Church. Burial will be in the spring with graveside prayers.

Please visit www.lindquistfuneralhome.com to share your condolences, memories and tributes with the family.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:
the Chebeague United Methodist Church
258 North Road
Chebeague Island, ME 04017 or:
to your favorite organization.

wagoneers session photo
"one mic, one take, one big voice. When the music lives in you, you can just sit down and make people dance, laugh and cry - all while having a ball"
(photo and quote from Chip Emery)

young man

A few months ago coming off the clam flats

Cover of Brother's CD with Gary, Marlene, Brother and Med