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Ross Harding Coppock Jr. ’42

A picture of Ross Coppock Jr.

Ross Harding Coppock Jr. ’42, June 10, 2014, in Vancouver, Washington. Born in Baker, Oregon, Ross grew up in small towns across the state and graduated from Hood River High School. He earned a BA from Reed in economics, working summers in lookout stations for the U.S. Forest Service, and hiking and mountain climbing. He was a junior economist and statistician at Bonneville Power following graduation. Just prior to beginning service in World War II, with the 10th Mountain Division ski troops in the United States and Italy, he married Dorothy G. Cottrell ’43. Ross wrote that he “dragged” Dorothy from camp to camp and that she earned all of his medals. Back in Oregon with daughter Jean, a toddler, and daughter Ann on the way, the family barely survived the Vanport Flood disaster of 1948. They raised Jean, Ann, and son Gordon in Portland and Beaverton. Ross and Dorothy enjoyed playing bridge, sailing, camping, and exploring recreational and out-of-the-way spaces along the Deschutes River and in central and eastern Oregon. Ross also operated a ham radio. For 23 years, he worked for Stanley Drug Products and was then in real estate until retirement in 1986. He was named Washington County realtor of the year in 1983. Ross was a board member for Washington County, a volunteer for the Reed alumni association, and a member of City Club. In retirement, he responded to the luxury of time by pursuing his love of words. He joined the Willamette Writers, wrote poetry, short fiction, and essays, and tried to avoid publication, he said. In his public obituary, we read, “He was a passionate champion of the underdog and compassionate fellow traveler for those who were less fortunate.” Colleagues admired his “simple, pipe-smoking, and laid-back manner and poker-face humor,” and valued his leadership, compassion, and critical judgment. “Little of this entailed Reed directly,” Ross wrote, “yet without Reed, the prospect of a full life and a happy one would have been quite difficult to come by.” Dorothy died in 2013. Their children and five grandchildren survive him.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2015

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