Roy Preston Ross Jr., died March 17, 2010, at his home near Brownwood, Texas, following a brief illness. He was born Aug. 25, 1930, in Robert Lee, Texas, the middle of nine children born to Roy Preston Ross Sr., and Alice May Ford Ross. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Edwina Wilkerson, and his brothers R. D. Ross, Mike Ross, and Joe Ross.

    He is survived by his wife, Norma Gene (Baker) Ross; his three children, Polly McDonald and her husband Bob, Kelly Smith and her husband Allen, and Preston Ross III, and his wife Linda; his six grandchildren, Erin Smith, Ann Byrd and her husband Kevin, Sarah Smith, Will McDonald, Kate McDonald, and Stewart Ross; his two great-grandchildren, Hudson Byrd and Lauren Byrd; two sisters and two brothers and their spouses, Barbara and Elmer Adkins, Wallace and Billie Ross, Alice and Royce Wallace, and Freddy and Shirley Ross; his sisters-in-law, Bea Ross, Marie Ross, Nellie Ross, and Betty Carol Baker; and many cousins, nephews, and nieces and their families.

    Preston served in the United States Air Force, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant. Most of his working years were spent in Midland, Texas, at Rocky Ford Moving Vans and later, as an independent real estate appraiser. Although he worked in offices, his true love was ranching.  He and Norma purchased the 5R Ranch in 1971 and commuted from Midland almost every weekend for 20 years to take care of their small herd of cattle. They retired to the ranch in 1991 and made good new friends in Brownwood, especially their kind and thoughtful neighbors and their fellow worshippers at Central United Methodist Church.  Preston was a Master Mason in good standing at Brownwood a member of the American Legion, Brownwood Post No. 196.

    Preston enjoyed good jokes, Johnny Cash songs, jalapeno peppers, shelling pecans, and playing dominoes. He was a master barbecue chef and smoked the best brisket and pork loin west of Fort Worth. He could play harmonica, although not necessarily to any particular rhythm or with any other musical instrument being played at the same time. Above all, he loved his family — joyously, completely, and steadfastly — and we loved him right back. He was a devoted husband, an attentive father, and a doting Papa to his grandchildren (all of whom he taught to drive the 1960 Chevy farm truck and the 1957 Ford tractor) and his great-grandchildren, who now may never learn how to drive a stick shift, use the Magic Toothpick Hiccup Cure, or make peanut brittle at Christmas. The hummingbirds that come to the back yard will miss Preston’s regular offerings of sugar water and admiration.

    The family wishes to thank all the doctors and other medical professionals who cared for Preston and, in particular, Lighthouse Hospice and First Aide Agency for their guidance and expertise during the last months of his life. Most especially, the tender care provided by Teresa Fell and Laveta Burch made it possible for Preston to spend his last weeks at home, for which we are very grateful.

    A memorial service for Preston will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 9, 2010, at Central United Methodist Church, in Brownwood, Texas, with Dr. Gary Torian officiating.

    The family suggests that those wishing to make memorial gifts in lieu of flowers consider making a donation to Central United Methodist Church, Second and Avenue G, Brownwood, Texas 76801-4213.