Dec 29, 1947 - May 6, 2020
Harold Allen Ross was born on December 29, 1947, in Bryan, Texas, to proud parents, Sandy and Myrtle Ross. The eighth of 10 children, Harold was an athletically talented addition to the union that was grounded in faith, family pride and devotion.
While his loving parents cherished the familial ties that the small countryside community afforded, they relocated him and his siblings to Seattle, Washington, in 1951, in pursuit of a better life.
“Son #5” was all about family and loved being both a little and big bro. He was equally passionate about basketball, a love that was sparked while hanging at the Central Area Rotary Boys Club. When he wasn’t in school or at home, you could find him on the courts in the “C.D.”, his home away from home.
Harold attended Leschi Elementary and Washington Junior High before graduating from Garfield High School in 1966, where he earned numerous awards for being a standout basketball player, including selection to the All-City and All-State teams as a senior. His star continued to shine at Highline College where he was all conference both years and selected the conference Most Valuable Player. He held six school records, including most assists, most free throws, and most points scored.
It was that basketball prowess that netted Harold a basketball scholarship, guard position at the University of Montana (UM), and description by their coach as “one of the quickest guards in the entire Northwest.”
1968-69 Grizzlies publication read:
“HAROLD ROSS 5-10, 170, Jr., Seattle, Wash. Could be the greatest guard in UM history… Has every move and shot in book and some that will surprise everyone, including maybe himself… Tremendous speed… Does well in key… Also a great outside shot… Transferred from Highline College in Seattle… Averaged more than 25 points and 12 assists per game there… Reminds one of former Grizzly dazzler Zip Rhoades, only Ross is better… Great defensive stealer.”
While at UM, “Key” as he was affectionately called, met and later married Francine Clark. They had one daughter, Shana Ross. She blessed him with his only grandchild, Imari Ross.
Despite Harold’s storied basketball achievements, those who weren’t blessed to witness his amazing court performances first-hand would rarely know of his greatness. He didn’t speak of his athletic prowess, showcase the many awards and trophies he earned, or the articles written about his awe-inspiring abilities.
Basketball did, however, remain an integral part of his identity. He retired from Pacific Maritime Association after an extensive career as a well-liked and respected Class A registered Longshoreman and a proud member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local #19, but he never retired his jersey. “Kali Kion Gozi”, as he renamed himself in an era of rebellion, continued to thrill crowds on PRO-AM courts and at 3-on-3 competitions. He and teammates won the first ever “over 35” competition.
Smart was how the man who always had a smile and kind word liked to step out. If he wasn’t in his sweats and a cap, he was in a hat and Stacey Adams driving his Cadillac to hang with the fellas, head to Roman Casino to play pull tabs, or chauffeur his baby sister to a celebration with friends from the ‘hood.
Forever will be missed, the laid-back good-hearted jokester with a serious penchant for Crown Royal and good times, an unquenchable passion for basketball, and an unconditional love for family.
Left to cherish Kion’s memory is his daughter, Shana Ross; granddaughter, Imari Ross (both in Colorado); sisters, Ethel L. Hollingsworth and Esther R. Ross (both in Washington); brothers, W. Wade Ross (Pauline, Texas) and Clark E. Ross (Washington); and a host of relatives and friends too numerous to name.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Sandy and Myrtle Ross; his sisters, Alberta B. Ross Newton and Lois L. Winston; and his brothers, Howard L. Ross, Hanable O. Ross, and Raymond E. Ross.
Kion’s Homegoing Service is Saturday, June 6, 2020, 12:00 p.m.
Watch it live via Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85429310245
Meeting ID: 854 2931 0245
Find your local dial-in number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbItnelORg