Ross Clark River

Nov 22, 1928 - Feb 22, 2021

Ross Clark River

November 22, 1928 - February 22, 2021


Ross Clark River, 92, passed away on Monday, February 22, 2021 at Clover Ridge Place in Maquoketa. He was born on November 22, 1928 to Roy and Lois (Marshall) River on their farm near Chester, Iowa . As Ross always knew how to make an entrance, his mother was in the middle of butchering a hog when he let her know it was time to be born.

He attended high school in LeRoy, Minnesota and later Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa where he met his wife of 68 years, Vivian (Mukin) River. They married March 25, 1951. Three days later, they left for Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where Ross served as a First Lieutenant.

In 1953 they settled in Maquoketa, Iowa where they raised their five children and lived the rest of their lives. Ross was a lifelong farmer and agricultural salesman. He owned and ran a feed mill and chicken hatchery and later began selling Harvestores and Wick Buildings. His career with Wick Buildings lasted over 60 years.

Ross had originally wished to continue farming upon his graduation from high school, but his father sold the farm, telling Ross that he wanted him to go to college and "have a better life." However, Ross persisted with his own farming, demonstrating that you can take the farm from the boy, but you can't take the farm out of the boy. Later in life, one of Ross's small farms, where he raised a few cattle, was referred to as "The Rossarosa."

Ross is survived by one daughter, Sue River; two sons, Bruce (Chris) River and Dave (Paula) River; grandchildren, Peyton River, Carter River, Ben Buchner, Amanda (Tyler) Fleck, Ashley River and Robert River; one great-grandchild, Hallie Harrison; a sister, Donna Cook; a sister-in-law, Dora River and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Lois River; his wife, Vivian; daughters, Jean River and Kay River; brother, Dale River; sister, Ruth Robinson; brother-in-law, Roland Robinson and brother-in-law, Forrest Cook.

A private family service will be held to honor Ross. The service will be livestreamed on the First United Methodist Church Facebook page at Memorials may be made to the Maquoketa First United Methodist Church or the Maquoketa FFA.

The Carson Celebration of Life Center in Maquoketa is caring for the family. Please feel free to call with notes of support or leave words of comfort on the funeral home website at


First United Methodist Church

Wesley Drive
Maquoketa, Iowa 52060

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