On November 23, 2019, the irrepressible William Ronald Ross aka ‘Fireman Frank’ died in his sleep from heart failure. At almost 92, Ron lived large. He traveled, played piano at McKay Dee Hospital, taught voice and speech, attended Senior Sneakers and The Golden Hours Seniors Center. He was still active in Ogden’s music scene.
Ron played piano and marimba in the family band and attended Ogden High School where he honed debate, singing and dancing skills. Ron acted, sang, danced and directed more than 100 community, college and professional theatre and ballet productions. He was Willam F. Christiansen’s assistant at Ballet West and the U Ballet Company. He danced many roles in The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker doll was even fashioned to mimic Ron’s distinctive nose. Ron danced two seasons with the San Francisco Opera and Ballet Company. In 1957 he auditioned for a new children’s TV show on KSL and became Engineer Ron, whisking viewers to Cartoonville aboard Cecil the Diesel., moving on to become popular cartoon show host ‘Fireman Frank’ on KCPX Channel 4. Ron also introduced KCPX’s weekly “Nightmare Theatre”. Ron’s original scripts always ended with “It’s Niiiiightmaaaarreee” and a haunting laugh. Ron sang, played the piano, marimba, trombone and studied classical guitar. He was a scuba dive master and ballroom dance competitor. He moved to Las Vegas where he became ‘Doc Ross’ and worked as a high school teacher, TV weatherman, film stunt actor, theatre director/actor and an Oldsmobile Ad Exec.
Preceded in death by his parents and sister Betty Jean Haskins. Survived by children: Robyn Christine Ross Maitland, Heather Lynne Ross (Randy Rasmussen), William Ronald Ross II (Rio). Grandchildren: Adam, Ian, Aidan, Acier, Lily. Niece: Becky Sue DeLawder.
Ron’s family has asked in lieu of flowers donated to Utah Open Lands.
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