Posted: February 27, 2017

The Honorable Herbert A. Ross Has Passed Away

Herbert A. Ross
January 31, 1935 – February 16, 2017

The Honorable Herbert A. Ross ("Herb"), 82, passed away on February 16, 2017, in Anchorage, Alaska, with his devoted, loving wife, Donna Ross, at his side. The cause of death was amyloidosis, a rare and fatal heart disease.

Judge Ross was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his B.A. from Western Reserve University in 1958, where he majored in psychology, and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco in 1964. He was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1964, and the Alaska bar in 1966. In 1967, he became a partner in the law firm of Ross & Tunley with offices in Anchorage and Seward, Alaska. He opened his own office in Anchorage in 1974, where he specialized in commercial and bankruptcy law. In 1986, he was appointed as a bankruptcy judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Alaska. He proudly held this position for more than 30 years, once writing that he considered it "serendipity to have been appointed to the best job he could have ever hoped to have." He presided over some of Alaska’s most significant and infamous bankruptcy cases, including the Peter Zamarello, MarkAir, Inc., and RaeJean Bonham cases. After his retirement in 2000, Judge Ross was recalled to serve in Alaska, and later in the District of Nevada as well.

Judge Ross was a remarkably effective mediator. He received a degree from the Straus Institute for Conflict Resolution at Pepperdine School of Law, and served as a mediator for various courts throughout the Ninth Circuit during his judicial career, including the last nine years as a settlement judge in Las Vegas, Nevada. He continued to work up to his illness, successfully mediating one of the largest and most complicated cases to come before him while on his last trip to Las Vegas.

Many know Judge Ross as a voracious reader, always eager to discuss new ideas involving law and society. In his early years in Alaska, he had also been a pilot and marathon runner. Judge Ross was a very kind, warm, gentle, witty human being who will be deeply missed by his wife Donna, his family, and his friends, including his court families in both Anchorage and Las Vegas.

A public viewing will be held at Evergreen Memorial Chapel, 737 E. St., Anchorage, on Thursday, March 9, 2017 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., and a memorial service will be held at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, 600 West 7th Avenue in Anchorage, on Friday, March 10, 2017, at 4:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Anchorage Project Access to provide access to health care for low-income uninsured members of the Anchorage community,; the Kerman Leizman Moses Family Fund: Fairmount Temple, 23737 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood, OH 44122, to support the New York City high school confirmation trip; or a charity of your choice. Cards may be sent to: The Family of Judge Ross, c/o U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 605 West 4th Avenue, Room 138, Anchorage, Alaska 99501.