Washburn, Wisconsin Mourns the Death of Phil Ross

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Madeline Island Realty 50317-90

Phil Ross loved boats, snowmobiles and the outdoors.  But most of all, Phil loved people.

His Washburn, Wisconsin repair and retail shop, Ross Marine, was as much a social center as it was a retail operation.  On any given day, you'd encounter a handful of locals chatting with Phil while his wife Jan labored in the back of the shop. 

Phil was a past chairman of the Washburn Chamber of Commerce, an avid outdoorsman and snowmobile enthusiast (a member of the Washburn Val Hellers snowmobile club) and a sort of town historian.  I learned more about Washburn area history from chatting with Phil than I ever found in a book or travel guide.

He was also a genuinely nice fellow who would take time away from whatever he was doing to help someone.  Boat owners counted on Phil and his crew to take care of necessary repairs and to button up their boats for the winter each year. 

I was first introduced to Phil about twelve years ago by my friend Ric Gillman (a well-known guitarist and songwriter who has performed many times at Big Top Chautauqua and on Madeline Island).  Ric is the chartermaster for the Apostle Island Yacht Charter Association (AIYCA) and he connected me with Phil when I brought my 27-foot power boat to the Island.

Phil will be sorely missed, not only by folks in Washburn and the Chequamegon Bay area, but also by the many summer residents and Lake Superior boating enthusiasts who had the privilege of getting to know him.


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Danny Thornton
R & D Art - Knoxville, TN
WordPress Guru
The death of anyone should make the world MOURN. It is sad anytime that we lose a dear soul to us.
Dec 31, 2007 01:26 AM #1
Inna Hardison
ha media group - Orlando, FL
Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group

A fitting tribute for a great person, Eric. I am with Danny... May he live on in memories of all who knew him, and may they always remember him...

Dec 31, 2007 10:23 AM #2
Linda Scanlan
A Fan of AR - Burleson, TX
Eric, communities are always lacking when they lose someone like Phil Ross. They just don't make them like that any more.
Dec 31, 2007 02:10 PM #3
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Happy new year, my friend!  What a kind, thoughtful memoriam.  Much success to you in 2008.

Mike in Tucson

Jan 01, 2008 01:22 AM #4
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

I'm going to group this comment together for all my friends who have commented above.

Phil was a friend.  He wasn't a highly-visible person, except in his own community and I doubt if he was ever very interested in being "in the public eye".  But he made things happen and was someone who'd roll up his sleeves and make things work for people who needed his help.  He was always cheerful and enthusiastic, someone who seemed to embrace life.  And in a world where some people find it an effort to be nice, Phil stood out as someone who was genuinely kind to everyone he met.

When people like Phil pass on, I think they are too easily forgotten.  I was looking for a way to say thank-you to him.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this and for commenting.


Jan 01, 2008 04:10 AM #5
Boston, MA


My condolences!  It is always tough to lose a friend.

Jan 07, 2008 06:22 AM #6
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
Martin, thank you!
Jan 07, 2008 01:13 PM #7
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Eric Kodner

CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
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