PLEASE NOTE: This obituary is being placed on our website as a courtesy to the family. The Hullinger Mortuary is not handling any part of these services. To leave a condolence or purchase flowers, please visit: https://www.nelsonmortuary.com/obituaries/leon-ross-2023
Marvin Leon Ross, age 88, passed away peacefully on November 11, 2023. He was one of the good ones!
Leon was born on July 26, 1935, in Arcadia, Utah, to Marion and Gladys Ross. He was the fourth of seven children and he loved his parents and siblings very much. You could see Leon’s joy and contentment, especially when he was talking and laughing with his brothers. Leon loved playing sports. He played football and basketball at Union High School, winning the state championship in basketball his senior year. He was on the winning team of the All-Church Basketball Tournament in 1954, which was a highlight of his life.
Cheering him on was a special cheerleader who caught his eye, and after following her to BYU to complete one year of school, he married Janet Stevens in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 30,1955. She’s been cheering him on ever since and together they formed the best team he’d ever been on. In the first year of their marriage, Leon and Janet were called to serve an Indian mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Randelett, Utah, while they were living in Roosevelt. During this time, Leon played on two basketball teams and coached the Indian young men’s team. Leon and Janet served there on Sundays and evenings and were often called on in the middle of the night to assist the people they were called to serve.
Leon grew up on a farm, and after a few different jobs he and Janet decided to make farming their career by purchasing land in Pleasant Valley, Utah. Always looking to expand, Leon added Desert Entry land and eventually ended up with over 1,000 acres of farmland. He was the first farmer in the area to install a power sprinkling system, laying the underground pipes and pumping stations himself.
Leon farmed various grains and raised cattle, sheep, and pigs, while creating a space where he could teach his children to work hard and play hard.
No one was more surprised than Leon when together he and Janet chose to sell the farm and move to Provo, Utah, with their seven children. After 20 years of farming, he embraced a second career buying, selling, and developing real estate as a licensed agent to provide for his still-young family. Leon was a lover of God, his country, and his family. He served in many leadership callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but his favorite, and where he spent most of his adult life, was serving and caring for the youth. He loved them and they loved him. If Leon Ross was your leader, you learned to respect your elders, help clean up, and show gratitude for what you’d been given. “He always made me feel like he was happy to see me” is a common feeling among those he served. Leon and Janet also brought two children into their home to live with them through the Indian Placement Program. They also loved and cared for Lilly, who lived with them while she attended college.
In 1998 Leon and Janet left their home and family to serve an 18-month mission in Greece and Turkey. They loved the missionaries and the people of these lands. Leon was known for his honesty, reliability, and work ethic. He loved sports in general and basketball in particular, especially watching his children, grandchildren, BYU, and the Utah Jazz play. It didn’t get better for Leon than gathering with his family to talk, laugh, argue about politics, and play games.
In addition to his 26 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren, Leon is survived by his wife, Janet Stevens Ross, and his children, Vicki (Gary) Winterton, Brett Ross (partner Oless Mauigoa), Cindi (Kimber) Barton, Robert (Mindy) Ross, Douglas (Becky) Ross, Kristi Reeves, and Angie (Jamie) Arnold; brother Lanny (Kathy) Ross; and many nieces and nephews who loved him.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Alan Dale Ross, Loryn Ross, Orlene White, Shirley Ernest, and Larry Ross; and great-grandson Maverick Kranendonk.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. at the Edgemont 8th Ward chapel (3050 N Mojave Lane, Provo). Friends and family are invited to attend viewings on Friday evening, November 17, 6:30–8:00 p.m., at Nelson Family Mortuary (4780 N University Avenue, Provo) and Saturday morning, 10:30–11:45 a.m., at the Edgemont 8th Ward chapel. Burial will be at the Highland City Cemetery, because Janet got a deal—buy two plots, get one free :)