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Gone too soon, forever in our hearts.
He was predeceased by his father Rowland Kristjanson, grandparents, Thorstein and Sigridur Kristjanson, Kristjan and Phyllis Sigvaldason.
Ross was born in Arborg on June 6, 1970. He grew up on the family farm in Vidir surrounded by a large, extended family. In his early childhood he spent a lot of time playing with his brother and his cousins - most often with Scott and Todd Sigvaldason on his grandparent's farm.
Ross attended school in Arborg. He loved sports and excelled in hockey and track and field. He was athlete of the year and had a shelf full of trophies from various sports. He was very outgoing and made friends easily, many of whom are still his friends today. Kristinn Finnson and Brian Aitken remained his closest friends. They were always there for him to lean on in hard times, especially after the death of his dad which had a profound effect on him. Ross and his brother Wes had a special bond and he loved to spend time with him and his boys, joking around and reminiscing about the good old days.
Ross's greatest attribute was his caring nature. He was devoted to his parents and when his dad was in the hospital before he died Ross came home for two weeks to care for him. He would be at the hospital every day, helping to feed him, combing his hair and shaving him, and trying to keep Dad's spirits up. He would tease Dad, saying "come on Big Guy". He could always bring a smile to Dad's face. After Dad passed his attention turned to Mom and he would call her often to check on her. He was always giving her gifts or money to buy "what she needed". Ross was kind and generous. He will be truly missed by all that loved him.
After high school Ross was offered a hockey scholarship. He attended Dakota College at Bottineau, North Dakota, after returning from the States he attended the U. of M. studying psychology for a year. He worked at Haldorson Group Homes for a number of years. He also worked at Classics Bar and Grill for many years making lifetime friends there, notably Mario and Gary. In 2006 Ross went up to Cross Lake, Manitoba to work for Karl at the Cross Lake Inn, managing the hotel, bar and vendor.
Ross had a big, hearty laugh and a wonderful sense of humour. He loved to laugh and always had a big smile on his face. Ross loved Vikings and was very proud of his Icelandic heritage.
The family would like to thank the staff and doctors at the Cross Lake Nursing Station, the Cross Lake RCMP, his friends, Troy and Peter, and his dear friend Karl.
Due to Covid restrictions a memorial service will be held at a future date.
When I get where I'm going
There'll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I'll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
When I get where I'm going
Don't cry for me down here
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 20, 2021
Condolences & Memories (8 entries)
Ross, you were a remarkable man, of great strength. Learned of your passing today, and am deeply saddened to hear the news. Always enjoyed our conversations, and your depth of character was multifaceted. You had a great take-charge attitude that commanded respect. After 15 years of working alongside one another, you will very much be missed. - Posted by: Katherine Hawkins (Associate ) on: Apr 07, 2021
Hearing of Ross’ passing fills me with sadness. It’s hard not to feel lost now. I’ve missed him terribly during my years away from home. I sincerely regret losing touch with him. He was my coach, my mentor and my friend. If I had my choice of big brothers, Ross would go first in the draft. I always looked up to him, and for good reason. He was a remarkable character. The Ross I knew lived by a code of honor. I saw how he would never abandon a friend in need. He’d give the shirt off his back for those he loved. This fella wore his heart on his sleeve with resounding authenticity. And Ross was a protector too. With his watchful eye and timely words of wisdom I felt safe in his presence. He was perceptive that way and seemed to have a sixth sense for knowing when he was needed most. When I was 15 years old Ross coached us in hockey. It was the most fun I ever had playing the Canadian game. We were all in the best shape of our lives thanks to Ross’ grueling drills at every practice. Thirty years later whenever I’m training hard, my legs screaming at me to stop, I just drift back to those Ross Kristjanson mountain climbs, and I know that the pain I’m feeling is really not so bad. I think, I gotta push through this. Rosco hasn’t blown the whistle yet. Coach Ross was an inspiration to us all. After high school a bunch of us attended the University of Manitoba. It was an exciting time full of new discoveries. In those years, Ross was with us at the U of M where he quickly rose to the status of folk hero. While we were all sporting the latest preppy fashions or transitioning into that Seattle grunge thing, Ross was ahead of us all. He had a look all his own. I’ll never forget how he promenaded through University Centre wearing full mukluks and a coon-skin hat. In the mid-90’s that was a big deal, and hardly a soul attended the U of M who didn’t know of “that guy”. With his signature haircut and gift of gab Ross also dominated the nightclub scene. His people skills were magical. His laugh could raise the roof. In a club of 500 people, he seemed to know them all. Our Ross possessed the admirable quality of making friends everywhere he went, and I don’t think he ever forgot a name. I’m still in awe of him. It consoles me to learn how he stayed close to his buddies Brian Aitken and Kristinn Finnson. Ross was fiercely proud of Brian’s musical accomplishments. I remember when Brian’s band played Sunfest in Gimli. Ross was their biggest fan and had us all there to watch the show of a lifetime. He was in his glory that day. It was his habit to spread that special zest for life every chance he could. I also had the pleasure of being entertained by Ross and Kristinn’s hilarious antics on several occasions. Goodness, I can only imagine what mischief they were up to as kids. Their mothers must be saints. Anyway, the two were inseparable. Once I shared an especially comical moment with them in Polo Park. If memory serves correct, the guys were waiting in a ridiculously long lineup to have their taxes done. I happened upon the scene when they had just about reached their breaking point. Now, have you ever been to the mall when the heat is cranked way too high, and you see some exhausted kid trying to swim away from his mom who has clearly been dragging him around for hours? That was Ross right about then. He could barely speak or function. On the other hand, Kristinn had retained full powers of speech. His vocabulary, colorful. At the time, I was under the impression Kristinn was finishing up his umpteenth year at the U of M, specializing in conflict resolution and some other touchy-feely-happy-huggy humanity that certainly was impressive. Nevertheless, he assured me that if they didn’t get through this line soon, he was going to punch that tax-prep lady right in the face. How I wish I’d stayed to watch the rest of that story unfold. What exactly did they have planned for their tax returns anyway? Seriously though, in my conversations with Ross he revealed that he held his brother Wes in the very highest regard. He also spoke of his sister and mom with great affection. And that was the Ross I knew. The man. The myth. The legend. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends everywhere. Rest in peace dear friend. Tyler Stadnek - Posted by: Tyler Stadnek (friend) on: Mar 28, 2021
Ross aka Rosscoe. He cared for so many. We connected over the last few years watching Winnipeg Jets and he had so many great stories to share. He was so passionate about his family, friends, sports. He loved sharing about his past travels to Italy as well. He always wanted to go back. I was often supporting him with his technology questions so he could keep in touch with the people he loved. He was always so thankful and enjoyed the times we did connect. RIP. Will miss you my friend. - Posted by: Shane Stiller (Friend ) on: Mar 26, 2021
So hard to believe he’s gone. Going to miss my visits with him and his sense of humour. Not going to be the same trucking north without him. My sincere condolences to all Ross’s family - Posted by: Troy Robertson (Friend ) on: Mar 22, 2021
You are, because I can’t say were, the most generous dude I’ve ever known it’s been my honour to have called you my friend and brother (skoal) 🇦🇽 - Posted by: Kirkwood Kristjan Burnett Hilton (Friend and I would like to think brother ) on: Mar 21, 2021
I am saddened by the passing of a friend that I grew up with, from Kindergarten all the way to High School graduation. A very outgoing and energetic guy. And a great athlete as well! We had some good times together, and I’ll miss him. I want to pass my deepest sympathies to his family and to all of our friends and classmates who we spent so much quality time together. Rest well my friend.You’ve run your race well. My prayers are with his family. Goda nott. - Posted by: Norman Danielson (School friend from Arborg Elementary and Arborg Collegiate (ACI)) on: Mar 20, 2021
Ross, Loved you like a brother. I’m so sad but know some day we will see each other again. You loved and loved to be loved, you never judged but were judged. Your heart was big for others and am thankful for your friendship. Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, You willingly gave Yourself up to death so that all people might be saved and pass from death into a new life. Listen to our prayers; look with love on Your people who mourn and pray for their brother. Lord Jesus, You alone are holy and compassionate; forgive our brother his sins. By dying You opened the gates of life for those who believe in You; do not let Your brother be parted from You, but by Your glorious power give him light, joy, and peace in heaven where You live for ever and ever. Amen - Posted by: Kristinn Finnson (Friend ) on: Mar 20, 2021
I was very close to Ross in the past. Met him through friends, and he became like family to me. Rosco had a huge heart, and beautiful kind eyes. I loved his smile/laugh and sense of humour so much. Friends were important to Ross, and everyone that knew him loved him. I do remember that some of the customers he dealt with at work, would even give him gifts because he was loved so much. :) Rosco taught me how to play pool, how to cook a great omelette, and he was very kind to my kids. I always think of Ross when I see a Chicago Blackhawks jersey, because that was his thing. Thank you for being a part of my life, Ross. You will be missed but never forgotten. My sincere condolences to the Kristjanson family ...I wish you peace and only happy memories of Ross’s life. He touched many people, and his smile could light up a room. - Posted by: Michelle Holdsworth (Friend ) on: Mar 20, 2021
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