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Herbert Ross Smith went home to our Lord on November 29, 2022. He was born on the family farm in Prowers County, Colorado on August 19, 1937, to Clarence and Opal Smith.
Ross was the youngest of 6 children. He grew up on the family farm southeast of Lamar, Colorado, riding horses, working cattle and farming.
He attended high school in Lamar, and lettered in football, wrestling and track. He attended Otero Jr. College in La Junta, Colorado, where he continued to excel in football and wrestling. After Otero Jr. College, he attended Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado, where he continued his outstanding performances in football and wrestling and developed a lifelong passion for rodeo.
Ross met his forever love, Margi, at Adams State College; they married in 1961 and celebrated 61 years of marriage in August 2022.
Ross and Margi moved to Ignacio, Colorado in 1961; Ross taught school at the Ignacio School District for 31 years. During his tenure at Ignacio, he taught physical education and woodshop, and coached High School and Jr. High football, basketball, wrestling and track.
Rodeo was a large part of Ross’ life; as a school teacher cowboy, summers were spent travelling to as many rodeos as he could. As a steer wrestler, Ross jumped off perfectly good horses several times a year. In 1995, Ross won the Senior Pro Rodeo Steer Wrestling Finals. Eventually, Ross realized it was as much fun to stay on the horse as jumping off and he started team roping and won saddles and buckles as a header. He was the URP Champion Header in 2006, and continued team roping until age 80.
Ross and Margi built their life together in Allison, Colorado, raised three daughters and had horses and cattle. In addition to school teaching and ranching, Ross was a skilled woodworker and jewelry maker.
Ross is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence Herbert Smith and Opal Baker Smith, of Lamar, Colorado; sister Clarene Osborn and nephew Gary Osborn of Lamar, Colorado; brother Ray Smith and sister-in-law Doris Smith of Nebraska, brother-in-law Fred Osborn of David City, Nebraska; brother-in-law Jim Van Buskirk of Lamar, Colorado; sister Doris Moore and brother-in-law James Moore of Pueblo, Colorado.
Ross is survived by his beloved wife, Margi, of the home; daughters Terri (Lance) Taylor of Arboles, Colorado; Tammy (Eric) Whaley of Raton, New Mexico; Traci (Michael) Bartalo of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Grandchildren Shasta (Jason) Pontine, Brooke (Kirk) Cundiff, Jessica Pennington and grandson-in-law Brian Pennington, Kristen (Benjamin) Douglas, Justin (Gina) Whaley, Landon (Stephanie) Whaley, Hannah (Caleb) Joles, Abigail (James) Floyd, Lydia Bartalo and Gianna Bartalo; Great-grandchildren Chaston and Emily Cundiff, Alexis and Zane Pontine, Cody and Baylie Pennington, James Douglas, and Raina Whaley.
Ross is also survived by his sister, Faye Osborn of David City, Nebraska, and Pauline (Darrell) Craghead of Jetmore, Kansas and numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Ross's name to Hospice of Mercy or Spring Creek Hall.
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
1:00 - 2:00pm (Mountain time)
Spring Creek Hall
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