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Ib Rossen

Ib passed away on May 1 at the age of 99-1/2 years. He fully enjoyed life until just a few days before his passing.

Ib was born in 1924 in the small town of Kolding, Denmark. He experienced the hardships of the war in Europe as a young teen, and when the war ended, he served in the Danish Occupation Army. In the early 1950’s, Ib emigrated to the U.S. via Canada, where he worked for 6 months on a Canadian farm. Once in the U.S., Ib traveled the country for several years as a traveling salesman, selling magazine subscriptions and pots and pans. He also worked for several years in a lumber camp in Ocean Falls, northern British Columbia.

By 1955, Ib had settled in Seattle and worked with Bar-S meat packing company. He met his wife Ellen, a classical pianist, through a distant relative who advised Ib that she knew the “perfect young Danish woman” living in Seattle. They married in 1957, settled in a small house near Leschi Park (where they lived for 50 years) and raised two children, Christine and Peter. They loved classical music, hiking and camping. They were active members at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, and later at St. Clements Episcopal Church. An important part of life was fellowship with a group of recent Danish immigrants in the “Danelag” folk-dancing group. This group became an extended Danish family.

When Ib retired from Bar-S, he started a 2nd career with the Seattle Parks Department doing what he loved most– gardening! He had the good fortune to work in the Japanese Tea Garden and to spend 6 months in Kobe, Japan doing a landscaping internship. Upon his return, Ib gardened many years at Kubota Gardens. In their later years, Ib & Ellen enjoyed a close bond with their grandchildren, Hanna and Carsten.

In 2011, Ib and Ellen moved to the Horizon House senior living community which they enjoyed for the fellowship and cultural activities. Ellen passed away in 2017. Ib always said it was important to learn and try new things. As an example, at age 90 he entered and completed the annual “Base to Space” climb of the Space Needle (winning in his age group!). Ib had a zest for life and a special ability to connect with people. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.


I had the great fortune to work with Ib at the Kubota Garden and the Seattle Parks Department. His zest for life and all its wonders were and always will continue to be an inspiration to me and I'm sure all those fortunate enough to know him. He lived a full life and will be missed.

Don Brooks

My mother spent over eight years at Horizon House and she, I and my sister in law all enjoyed and were grateful for Ib and Ellen's presence there. My condolences to all the family.

Lisa Bauer Holley

I remember many good times in Danelag with Ib and Ellen, enjoying dancing and playing music as well as some of the trips Danelag made together. I saw him just a couple of years ago. He was so glad to see me. I hoped to see him again some time but that never happened. I will miss his sweet smile and wonderful friendship.

Trella Hastings

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