Obituary: Ross Edward Bellingham - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Obituary: Ross Edward Bellingham

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Ross Edward Bellingham passed away gently while waiting for little Hyalite trout to be cooked for his supper. Ross had been in ill health for some time with congestive heart failure. As his health declined it was his deep pleasure to be visited by friends and family, sharing the kind of time we have when we know that the clock is running down.

Ross was born in Hays, Kansas, January 16, 1953, to Betty and Roscoe Bellingham. At the age of four, he moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, with his parents and younger sister, Lynn. He loved his time in Oklahoma, hunting rodents on a nearby golf course with his beloved collie, Bridget, and spending hours at the local swimming pool trying to beat the heat and humidity of the Oklahoma summers.

As would be the case for Ross decades later, his father longed to return to his roots in Montana. In 1967 Ross and his family moved to Bozeman where Ross would attend Bozeman Senior High and Montana State University before his talents and desires would take him to California. 

Ross worked for over two decades for the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in marketing and communication for Cal Performances, the performing arts branch of the University, for twelve of those years.  While part of that team, he helped present hundreds of performances in dance, classical music, and rock and roll. Most importantly, he made life-long friends during those years. Ross met his wife, Sandy, who also worked at Cal Performances, and they were married in 1983. Their son, Alex, was born in 1986, and life was filled with so much joy.

A yearning for Montana and the spirit and beauty of the land led Ross to move his family to Bozeman just as Alex was entering the first grade. Ross, with Sandy, used his knowledge of non-profit management to help start up the Emerson Cultural Center. In his professional career, he was most proud of his years as director of the American Red Cross of Southwest Montana. He was committed to the Red Cross mission of serving others in times of disaster. His admiration for volunteers who put their own lives on hold in order to help others gave him the feeling that he was helping make a difference in peoples’ lives.  He was especially proud of serving at Ground Zero following September 11, where he ran the respite center for firefighters and policemen.

Ross is survived by his wife, Sandy; his son, Alex; his sister, Lynn; his nephew, Kyle (Aly) Foust and his family; cousin, Valarie (Greg) Olsen, MA Bellingham and the next generation of the family tree; and his godchildren, Margaret Grove and Nick Nelsen. He is preceded in death by his parents; his cousins, Randy Bellingham and Shari Bellingham; and by his uncle and aunt, Bill and Phyl Bellingham.  Somewhere out there is a line of fly fishermen spread out along the great river, and when we remember each of them may our hearts be lifted with the beauty of light on water.

A celebration of Ross’s life will be held at 4 PM on July 22 at the family home.

For those who desire, memorials may be made in his name to Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter (http://www.heartofthevalleyshelter.org).

Please visit www.dokkennelson.com to offer a condolence to the Bellingham family or to share a memory of Ross. 

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.  www.dokkennelson.com

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