about south river federation

The South River Federation was built on the shoulders of dedicated and caring community members who wanted the best for our river and community.  Looking back on how far our organization has come over the years, it is with heavy hearts we take a moment to reflect on the recent passing of Ross Voorhees, a former South River Federation Board Member.

Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and neighbors for their loss and thoughts are with them during this ever so difficult time.  Ross was a very special person and we wanted to celebrate and share all the good he has done for his community.  To say he was loved by his friends and family was an understatement. Close friend, neighbor, and fellow former Federation Board Member Missy Cassidy captured the essence of Ross’s spirit in her memories of a close friend:

Just last Friday Ross came rushing across the backyard with a huge smile on his face. Once again he came over to share his catch bringing us two beautiful rockfish fillets. Another great afternoon on his boat and out enjoying the river. He was always ready to share his happiness.

Ross will always be the guy that never held back when trying to make the world a better place. He served more than once as President of his community and on the Lee Farm Conservancy Board, one time as its President guiding the organization through some turbulent moments. He served on the South River Federation Board. Members will remember seeing him work hard at the fish frys- setting up, cooking, cleaning up,- always with a great smile. He loved helping with then annual river snapshot, and pushed hard for communities to participate in the water quality testing. He encouraged new people to join the Federation and help improve the river in any way they could. Ross never hesitated to show up at hearings to speak up and work for sensible land use decisions. He helped John Flood to be sure development on Warehouse Creek was not excessive by participating in the zoning appeal hearing.

Ross was an environmental engineer and truly believed in using science to make the best case, which is part of what drew him to Federation. Plus, he loved being on the water whether it was fishing, boating, canoeing - if anyone had an idea for going out, he was up for it.  He loved birds and wildlife. He understood the importance of creating and caring for the shorelines. He was genuinely worried about the decline of the river and the creeks in the last 20 years. He never sat by: he went to work to help make a difference.

To us, Ross was a friend, an advocate, and a leader - but he was also a caring father and family member. He has left us, his neighbors and friends, with a world that is a better place because of his efforts. Our hearts are heavy with the sadness of his passing. We will remember him fondly because of his enthusiasm and the way he put words into action to help others. He was always willing to lend a hand. He was a good friend to many- we will remember him with love and respect- and always, with that happy kid smile on his face.

Thank you Ross, for all that you have done for the South River and our community.

Information on Celebration of Life Services can be found here.