John Brackney once described him as “perhaps the most active member of the community who did not hold an elective office.” Pete Ross, one of the …
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John Brackney once described him as “perhaps the most active
member of the community who did not hold an elective office.”
Pete Ross, one of the five founding fathers of Centennial, died
at the age of 68 in 2001 after a six-year battle with melanoma.
“He was always there when you needed him,” Centennial Mayor
Randy Pye said. “He was very strong-willed. He had very definite
opinions, but he always would take the very stringent and narrow
Ross was chairman of the Walnut Hills Civic Association when he
started to attend Arapahoe County Council of Organized Development
meetings. He eventually became president of the council.
When Pye took over as president, Ross continued as the Walnut
Hills council representative.
“It was very easy to work with Pete. He really cared about
Walnut Hills and Arapahoe County,” said former Centennial City
Councilmember Andrea Suhaka, who was active in the incorporation
movement. “From the [pancake breakfast] until his death, Pete
campaigned long and hard for the formation of Centennial. He was a
very passionate campaigner and did everything he could until cancer
forced him to cut way back. He was sorely missed by all, fighting
the Centennial fight.”
During Centennial’s battle for incorporation, Ross served as
treasurer of the Centennial incorporation committee, keeping track
of thousands of donations generated by the grassroots effort.
Ross also was a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who served two
tours in Vietnam as a navigator and bombardier. He was appointed in
1998 to the Centennial Airport Board Authority, where he launched a
campaign that convinced officials to repair the crosswind
“He was not just a participator. He was an active leader,”
Ross died just 11 months after Centennial’s incorporation.
“I still do miss him in odd moments and find myself wondering
whether he would approve of where Centennial is now,” said civic
activist Sue Rosser. “I believe and hope that he would.”
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