Cover photo for J. Ross Vincent's Obituary
J. Ross Vincent Profile Photo

J. Ross Vincent

August 9, 1942 — July 7, 2018

J. Ross Vincent

J. Ross Vincent of Pueblo, Colo., died peacefully on July 7, 2018. Ross was born Aug. 9, 1942, in Wilmington, Del.; the son of the late John R. Vincent and Margaret Byrnes Vincent. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Dr. Velma L. Campbell. Ross had a chemistry degree from University of Delaware and graduate studies in chemical engineering at Washington University, St. Louis. In New Orleans, he first worked in pollution control research. He was a co-founder of the Ecology Center of Louisiana in 1969, and a member of the official U.S. delegation to the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972. He was an environmental activist with the Ecology Center of Louisiana and the Sierra Club, and an advisor and consultant to various national, state and local agencies and organizations during a long career in Louisiana and Colorado. Ross and Velma moved to Pueblo, Colo., in Jan. 1988. He was a leader in the Sangre de Cristo Group of the Sierra Club, as well as at the chapter and national levels. In 2004, Ross received the national Environmental Alliance Award by the Sierra Club, and in 2014, he received the Grassroots Conservationist of the Year Award by the Colorado chapter. He believed that bringing environmental activists together with other groups results in more powerful solutions to issues, including environmental justice/ equity, worker safety and public health. In Pueblo, he worked on issues including, chemical weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot, Fountain Creek water quality, energy costs, renewable energy, air quality, lead and mercury pollution, preserving Picketwire Canyon and other public lands, and legislative means to protect the environment and the people's right to participate in decisions. Ross found inspiration and joy in the diversity and energy of the people of the Pueblo area. As he summed up in one of his presentations about the chemical weapons issue, "we will send a message far and wide that Pueblo is a community that recognizes its problems and comes together to solve them that we are doers and innovators with the kind of global vision and commitment to the future that makes this an attractive place for people to live and work." Ross is also survived by sisters, Terry V. Starkey (Richard) of Bear, Del., and Kate Vincent of Vancouver, BC, Canada; brother-in-law, W. Dennis Campbell III (Barbara) of Asheville, N.C.; sister-in-law, Patti C. Williams (Rex) of Morganton, N.C.; nieces, Christina Starkey Magid, Laura Chappell-Campbell, Julia Chappell-Campbell and Jaime W. Handley; nephews, Andrew V. Janczewski, Theo A. Vincent and Rusty T. Williams; and other extended family. Ross leaves as well his activist family in Pueblo, New Orleans, Washington DC, Massachusetts and other areas nationally and internationally, with whom he so valued his work and relationships. Ross requested no funeral or wake but did like the idea of a party and/or event where the people he appreciated could enjoy each other and celebrate the issues that brought them together. Planning for such events is incomplete. Memorial donations in Ross' name may be made to Sierra Club Foundation Memorial Giving or Sierra Club Memorial Giving, which may be found at the Sierra Club website.
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