Beau Ross was a wonderful, caring and fun-loving person, who passed away on March 10, 2017 from an extended battle with glioblastoma brain cancer.
Beau was one-of-a-kind -- outgoing, adventuresome and generous. He was a loving husband and father. He was a loyal friend, an astute business man, and world traveler. He was intelligent, professional and a mentor to many others.
Born on July 13, 1960, Beau and his three siblings grew up in Uptown New Orleans. He spent his youth riding his bike around the city, getting caught setting off fireworks and participating in all things surrounding Mardi Gras. He loved the outdoors, especially water sports and spent hours fishing, skiing and exploring on Lake Pontchartrain where his family had a weekend house.
Initially a below average student at Isidore Newman School and after a "fun filled" academic year at Hampten-Sydney College, Beau took off a year and worked for Canal Barge Company as a tugboat deck hand on the Mississippi River. Though he greatly respected those hard-working men, he decided finishing college might be a better path for him. He entered Tulane on probation and went on to make excellent grades and graduate. He moved to Houston to work in the training program of First City Bank and made many, wonderful lifelong friends. Beau really wanted to continue his education at the University of Texas Austin business school. Not letting an initial rejection letter deter him, he persevered and was accepted into the MBA program where he made excellent grades and became President of the Student Body.
After graduation, Beau moved to Chicago where he worked for Andersen Consulting (later Accenture) and two other consulting firms where he had outstanding mentors. Throughout his life, Beau in turn mentored many young people into skilled career paths, and as a result, made many lifelong friends.
While hosting a dinner party in Chicago, he met and fell in love with Kathryn, a young woman from Mississippi, who also worked at Anderson Consulting. After a whirlwind romance, they were married a year later and moved to Austin to establish their home. In Austin, they were blessed with two sons, Boland and Winston.
In 1996, Beau started his own consulting company, Premier HR, growing it into an international company. Beau later sold his company to a large public consulting company where he stayed for some time as the COO of North America. After he resigned from that position, Beau and his brother Bruce co-founded a Houston based private equity company, Oil Field Services (OFS) Energy Fund, where he participated on many Boards and acquired, grew and sold over ten companies. He also became an angel investor in many start-up companies. Beau was financially astute, and he enjoyed creating financial strategies, complex spreadsheets, running QuickBooks, and doing tax returns.
Beau not only loved, but had great success working with his brother and friends on business deals. He took on some projects just to have fun such as becoming the executive producer of a documentary movie about Jerry Jeff Walker. On another project as CFO of Mug Muscles, he had a blast promoting rippin' and sippin' from a beer mug with a grip for exercising while imbibing.
Beau was an adventurer and traveler. From naked spear fishing in Hawaii - to climbing Machu Picchu - to participating in a sage cleansing in Mexico, he was ready for anything. Beau loved being on the water, fishing, water skiing, and wake surfing with friends and family. He, Kathryn and their two sons had many memorable trips scuba diving and fishing.
Beau was multi-dimensional and talented. He taught himself to play the guitar and harmonica at the same time, he played bridge and dominos regularly, ran two marathons, and graduated from the FBI Citizen Academy. He was however not fond of dancing. One of his greatest joys was flying. Beau was a commercially licensed jet pilot and did many extended training programs at flight safety schools. He loved flying and took family and friends on many wonderful trips. Their last trip was a three week jaunt flying to various locations in Central and South America. One of the boys' favorite memories was celebrating Beau's birthday aboard a boat in the Galapagos. It was a great trip which Kathryn and his boys will treasure.
Beau was generous and caring. He was especially interested in the welfare and education of children. He and Kathryn were supporters of the Eanes Education Foundation. He was so humbled, thrilled and proud to serve as a trustee and President on the Eanes ISD School Board. He brought his significant financial experience to the Board, and he believed in working with all parties to reach a common solution. He listened to others' viewpoints and treated people with respect.
Beau served on the Communities in School (CIS) board where he served twice as co-chair of their Food and Thought event. Beau was a strong supporter of public education for all children of Texas. He was often at the Capitol lobbying for school funding. He was a member of Texas Education Grant Makers, Pastors for Children and the Austin Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. Beau also served on the community advisory board for Helping Hand Home and acted as a buddy to several children there. Putting his financial skills to use, Beau also supported Foundation Community's tax program for low income people.
He was a Knight of the Women's Symphony, Boy Scout Troop 30 adult leader and Elks Lodge member. He was honored at the Safe Place's Day to Shine and Children at Risk galas.
Beau was a Longhorn and supported the McCombs business school throughout his life. He served on the Alumni Council, Texas Venture Lab Advisory Board, 2006 Student Excellence Committee, and the Graduate Alumni Advisory Board. He loved being part of the Graduate Business Challenge as a judge. He was a member of UT Texas Venture Lab, the Littlefield Society and President's Council. He established the Kathryn and Beau Ross Endowed Excellence Fund in Entrepreneurship at UT.
But mostly, Beau loved a good time and spending time with his family and friends. He was overt in telling his friends he loved them. He had an irreverent sense of humor and was often outrageous – at least according to his wife. He took Kathryn and his sons to Mardi Gras many years to be with his dear NOLA friends.
Beau loved to cook and his specialties included his Thanksgiving turkey gumbo, ratatouille, and boeuf bourguignon. He did not like Brussels sprouts or his wife's cooking, but he loved his wife Kathryn dearly. Married for 23 years, Beau loved telling people the story of how they met in Chicago, how they got engaged, and the birth of their boys. He was so proud of his sons and their achievement as Eagle Scouts. He was happy in knowing how they are growing up as fine young men.
Beau displayed such strength and positive attitude throughout his illness. He found so much to laugh about. We will so miss his sense of humor, his laughter, and his presence in our lives.
Beau is survived by his wife Kathryn and sons Boland and Winston Ross; his parents Louise and Ken Ross; his siblings and their spouses, Louise and Bill Masters, Bruce and Barbie Ross, Cricket and Mike O'Connor; his mother-in-law Nancy Wegener and brothers-in-law and spouses, Curtis and Pat Wegener, Allen and Kim Wegener, Eric and Connie Wegener, Blake and Dora Wegener and many, many beloved nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Beau's family wishes to thank so many people who supported and loved us through his illness, including the wonderful extended family and friends who visited and laughed with us. A special thank you to those who traveled from all over the country. Thank you to the breakfast tacos boys club and the many, many meals that were delivered with loving and caring notes. Thank you to the wonderful medical, rehab and home care community especially Ouida, Fanta, Bob and Allison.
"We are heart broken, and yet we remember the wonderful times we had together. We will love and miss you Beau until we see you again."
The funeral will be held at 3:00pm on Tuesday March 21 at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that contribution be donated to the charity of your choice.