Our coworker and friend Doug Ross passed away last week. He was a member of the Cruzio community for many years, and being forced to speak of him in the past tense is hard.
Doug was a big man: strong, tall, enormously talented; generous, with a great big heart. He enriched what he touched and improved what he joined.
How to describe all that Doug did for us and for the world?
His art. We know his print-making best, but Doug could work in so many media. He once brought a beautiful Calder-esque wire horse sculpture to our workspace. He’d made it by twisting some wires together. Doug pivoted from commercial art to fine art several years ago, and we’re grateful for the freedom that gave him. His art is unique, memorable, and very recognizable.
His participation. At our coworking “Bounce Hour” get-togethers, Doug explained how he approached art, shared his Toastmaster training,and even organized an evening of sketching for our community. He led a chapter of Toastmasters. He was a beloved longtime member and leader, well known to other coworkers for his warmth and willingness to help.
His care for marine mammals. How many of us look out at the big ocean, full of wild creatures, and think, “I can help with that.” But perhaps the animal world has the most to thank Doug for. He regularly saved stranded sea lions and whales caught in garbage and debris. From time to time he’d get a call at work and he’d rush out to the beach or the bay to help a distressed animal. Doug’s strength, smarts and skill came in handy for cold water rescue operations, and he was summoned for the most difficult jobs.
His mad-scientist passion for solving problems. Doug invented equipment that will improve the process of untangling whales from debris.
Chris Neklason, Cruzio’s CEO, said
“A Venn diagram is a chart of intersecting circles. Each circle could indicate a talent or an interest. A Venn diagram of Doug would be an infinitely petaled flower with a blazing core.”
Most of all, we’ll miss seeing Doug walk toward us, coffee cup in hand, wryly smiling, saying hello. Any community is only as great as its participants make it. We all depended on Doug for his leadership and we will miss him terribly. Much love to his family.