Austin Ross, 16, died Thursday, Nov. 15, 2001, in Pine Cove. He was born April 22, 1985 and lived in Pine Cove with his father, Larry Ross.

Austin loved the outdoors and spent much of his time hiking the local mountains. He was well-trained in mountaineering and recently received his ham radio license.

Austin loved all animals and wildflowers. He was an excellent guide in identifying constellations and was talented in building intricate model cars.

His tragic death has compelled his father to activate a lifelong goal of an outreach program for children: "I want the program to give kids hope. It's about providing opportunities to show kids a safe way through life.

"The idea is to provide a safety net for those kids who might fall through the cracks. My hope is to turn this terrible loss of my son into a memorial that contributes to a better future for other children."

Memorial services are noon Saturday, Dec. 1 at the County Park under the old "Grandmother Tree" toward the end of the field. This was Austin’s place of prayer and quiet time. All friends are invited.

As well as his father, Austin is survived by his mother, Loraine Owen of Idaho; a sister, Amber Ross of Idyllwild; a brother, Larry D. Ross Jr. of Georgia; and a half sister, Jessica Owen of Idaho, along with his stepfather, Mike Owen.

He also left behind an extended family: a greatgrandmother, Minnie Lee Claridge Foster of Hemet; a grandmother, Evelyn Sims of Boise, Idaho; grandparents David and Donna Ross of San Diego; a grandmother, Patricia Vaughn of Hemet; a grandmother, LuWaun Day of Arkansas; aunts and uncles Scott Vaughn, Lisa Upton, Jeanne Hagerman, Rebel and Danny Lillo, Neal Sims, Michele Gardner, John and Lisa Renee Chotis, Angel and Don O’Brien, and Cambria Sims; and numerous cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made to the Austin Ross Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1429, Idyllwild, CA 92549. All funds will be applied toward the children's outreach for hope program.