March/April 2014
Eighth Circuit holds memorial for Judge Ross

On March 24, 2014, the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held a memorial session for Judge Donald R. Ross of Nebraska. Judge Ross died on December 18, 2013, at the age of 91. Family, friends, former law clerks, and colleagues, including judges from Nebraska’s federal and state courts gathered in his honor in the Special Proceedings Courtroom at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse in Omaha.

The special session opened with a trumpet tribute played by USAF Staff Sergeant Carl Eitzen of “Amazing
Grace,” and ended with his playing the “Air Force Song.” U.S. Court of Appeals Chief Judge William Jay Riley and District of Nebraska Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp presided over the memorial session, and District of Nebraska Senior Judge Richard G. Kopf, former law clerk and mentee to Judge Ross, served as master of ceremonies.

Distinguished speakers were the Hon. William H. Webster, who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals 1970-1973 and then as Director of both the FBI and CIA; U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Myron Bright, who sent a pre recorded video; Becky Ross, Judge Ross’ daughter, who delivered the eulogy; Nebraska Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Stephan, Judge Ross’ son-in-law; and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Roger L. Wollman.

They shared their special relationships with Judge Ross and conveyed his stellar legacy: his decorated military career in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, his outstanding career in the Nebraska legal and business communities, his national prominence in the political arena, his remarkable service as a judge on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and his love for his family.


A reception followed. On display memorializing Judge Ross were framed photographs, awards, a four-panel display and biographical booklet made by the U.S. Courts Library, and a video of his oral history interview.

To watch the video of Judge Ross’ memorial session and read more about Judge Ross’ legacy, visit Judge
Ross’ page on the Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit web site.