Longtime Lake Oswego resident honored with parade
"You know, my mom has a hundred billion friends."
That's how Julie Downes half-jokingly described her mom — longtime Lake Oswego resident Viv Ross. As Downes talked with the Review, friends of Ross were scouting the location — Lakeridge High School— for Ross' surprise farewell drive-by parade that took place Saturday, June 27.
Ross will be moving to Oahu, Hawaii to live out her retirement with Downes. Downes said Ross always planned to move to Hawaii eventually and will be surrounded by lots of family.
Ross has lived in Lake Oswego for over 50 years and has made many friends along the way.
"I can't tell you how many people this woman knows," Downes said.
Downes said it's Ross' personality that has garnered her so many friends over the years.
"She has the best personality. She is compassionate, she's kind, she's dedicated," Downes said.
She shared that at one point, Ross went down to California to take care of a friend dying of cancer.
"If somebody needs something she will stop everything (to help) … She goes above and beyond," Downes said. "And she's funny."
When Downes was growing up, Ross worked as a secretary at Lake Oswego High School, and after her daughter's graduation Ross crossed the lake to work as a secretary at Lakeridge High School until she retired in 2005.
Downes said she was an approachable staff member, someone kids would go to when they were having a tough day.
"Those kids were her passion," Downes said.
She was later told by past students that they felt they wouldn't have graduated if it weren't for Ross' influence while they were in high school.
Over 100 vehicles participated in the drive-by goodbye for Ross. Downes said Ross was definitely surprised. Ross had expected to meet some friends for finger sandwiches that afternoon. She got a neighborhood parade instead.
Even the fire department drove by to send Ross off onto her next adventure.
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