No services are scheduled for long time Roswell resident Ross L. Prentice who passed away Friday, December 30, 2011 at age 88. He was born March 30, 1923 in Medicine Mound, Texas, one of nine children, to Bradley and Gladys Prentice.
He joined the Navy during World War II, achieved the rank of Coxman and navigated the landing boats for many Pacific frontal assault landings. While assigned to the troop transport ship USS Sheridan, he operated pom-pom guns in defense against Kamikaze attacks.
Prentice had married his high school sweet, Doris Olabel Pannell in November 1942. After WWII ended, Prentice and his wife had a daughter, Katharine and the three traveled throughout New Mexico while he worked operating a bulldozer with road construction crews laying the first mountain roads in northern New Mexico. In 1952 the family moved to Roswell where Prentice became a mechanic at the Roswell Body Shop. A few years later, he took a position as sales representative for the Hoover Company and very successfully sold a large line of Hoover products throughout southern New Mexico for many years.
After retiring from Hoover, Prentice started flying lessons, one of his favorite activities. Combining his body shop experience with the flight instructor’s knowledge, the two built a small, beautiful two-seat airplane in his backyard workshop. Prentice’s flying training continued and he ultimately graduated to flying larger planes, which he enjoyed immensely. He also stayed active by walking, bicycling and working in his yard and garden.
Prentice is survived by his loving wife of sixty-nine years, Doris Olabel Prentice and daughter Katharine Thompson and her husband Jerry of Camarillo, California; two grandchildren Derrick Thompson and his wife Nicole of Ruidoso, NM and Dalaney Thompson and Chip Gill of Camarillo, California; four great-grandchildren Hunter and Kayla Thompson and Saranna and Violet Gill; two sisters Marilyn Alexander and Irma Horton and one brother Little Pete (Melvin) Prentice.