In loving memory of Alicia Ross

“Our love, Our Dove, Our Tender Vine, Our Lily Among the Thorns”

Alicia Heather Ross was born in February 1980, and was adopted by Sharon and the late Marvin Ross immediately after birth. She had blonde hair, and blue eyes which turned green when she laughed or cried. As a baby, Alicia had the chubbiest face Sharon had ever seen. Today, many of Sharon's friends say that when they remember Alicia, they remember a beautiful chubby baby with white-blonde hair and beautiful blue/green eyes.

When Alicia was three years old, a new baby came home — Jamie: her best friend and confidante, her comrade in arms, her canoe partner, her baby brother. When Alicia was 11 years old Sharon married Julie, and Marvin married Anna. Alicia then had seven brothers and sisters: Jamie, Trisha, Randi, Andrew, Shawn, Stephan and Adam.

On August 17, 2005 Alicia went missing, and during the next 5 weeks, one of the largest missing person searches in Canadian history developed. Thousands were caught up in the search for Alicia, and the hope that she might be found alive. She had become "everyone's daughter". Police officers involved in the search gave up personal time — this had become more than a job to them. Thoughts and prayers, and unbelievable support kept her family, relatives and friends hopeful. But, on September 21, 2005 York Region Police advised Alicia's family that she had been killed — and an outside public that had come to know this family and this beautiful young woman personally, was stunned. On October 7th, over 1500 people attended her funeral, and the mourning process began.

In her eulogy, Sharon said "She was an adorable and good baby, a precocious toddler, a blossoming pre-teen, and... a terrible, terrible teenager!" Teenage years were filled with rebellion, adventure, the birth of her 'no fear' attitude to life, and a fierce loyalty to friends and family. This was the beginning of her growth into a spirited, yet warm and understanding young woman.

One mother wrote:

“Everyone's relationships with their children are unique. What you must be going through is not just a mother's worst nightmare which is a too often quoted cliché ... but the loss of Alicia in this heartless act has to be more than one can bear. Alicia has and will continue to hold a very special place in all our hearts for always.”

Today, people are still affected by Alicia's disappearance and untimely death. There isn't a day that passes, that Alicia is not thought of and missed by family and friends. Strangers still send cards and letters to her family, trying to reach out and help ease the burden of sorrow — just as Alicia would have done.

Another wrote:

“Alicia's life was much too short, but through everything we've learned about her, it is clear that her life was rich with love, friendship, amazing experiences and family. You succeeded in painting a beautiful picture of your dear Alicia so that we all felt that we got to know her personally. Alicia was very special, coming from a family that is so strong, warm, supportive and connected to one another.”

Alicia and Jamie Canoeing When Alicia and Jamie were young, they were introduced to 'tripping' — camping out and canoeing — by some of Sharon's friends and cousins. Their first canoe trip in the summer of 1988 took them to the Thirty Thousand Islands of Georgian Bay. They were hooked. Next summer it was Algonquin Park. As she got older and independent, Alicia tripped with Jamie and friends to various points in Northern Ontario. Alicia eventually became a tripper at Camp White Pine, leading groups of children on canoe trips through the beauty of Northern Ontario that she so loved.

Alicia's love of the outdoors and her adventurous spirit took her to the Negev and Judean Deserts in Israel, Ontario's Algonquin and Temagami, Australia, Peru and whitewater rafting down the Amazon River. Before her death, Alicia had been planning a trip to the ecosystem rainforests of Costa Rica.

Because of her passion for 'tripping', Alicia's family has carefully chosen Project C.A.N.O.E. as the worthy recipient of funds donated to the Alicia Ross Memorial Fund for Youth, so that in her memory youth at risk can enjoy the wonders of Northern Ontario that Alicia so loved.

Please enjoy our website. We look forward to reading your posted thoughts and memories, stories and poems, so that others can enjoy the short but memorable life of Alicia Ross.

We will forever remember your smile, your zest for life, your love of all living creatures, your mature understanding of the frailty of human nature, your "no fear" attitude, your blue eyes and soft hair, your perseverance, your inner beauty.