FARMERS BRANCH (CBSDFW.COM) – At the age of 70, Don Ross is finishing something he started 50 years ago, proving it’s never too late to reach your dreams.
Ross now works as a part-time Farmers Branch Fire Inspector. He started his Bachelor’s degree in Illinois as a 20-year-old, before being called to serve in the Army during the Vietnam War.
Ross spent two years serving his country, fighting in Southeast Asia, before returning home. He tried to return to school, but described the atmosphere for returning Vietnam Veterans as “unwelcoming,” prompting him to enter the workforce.
He spent the next 30 years working for an insurance company and a home improvement retailer.
A house fire 10 years ago, at the home he shared with his wife Nancy, would change the course of his life again. Ross was so fascinated with the fire investigation process, he studied to become a Firefighter, Fire Inspector, Investigator, and Certified Texas Peace Officer at the age of 60.
Then in 2011, he started to work again on his undergraduate degree. Three years of night classes later and with a 3.8 GPA, Ross earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas.
“At age 70, Don is really hitting his stride,” said Farmers Branch Fire Chief Steve Parker. “We’re looking forward to having Don serve the citizens of Farmers Branch well into the future.”
Ross has decided he wants to continue his education and has started working on a Master’s Degree with a concentration of Criminal Justice. This one won’t take decades to complete, he says. He plans to finish it by 2018.
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