On March 11, 2021, Dr. Ross Bernard James Macnab passed away peacefully in his sleep at 86. He was recently predeceased by his wife of 64 years “Sherry” (Sharon) Lynn (Chynoweth) Macnab. Ross was a champion athlete, dedicated husband and father, a friend whose generosity and warmth shone brightest when friends needed it most.
Ross will be deeply missed by his three children: Carol (Ron Rault), Sandy Hansen, Bruce (Kathryn Ruckman); six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He will also be deeply missed by sister-in-laws, Joan Macnab of Guelph, Ontario, and Dawn Fortson of Fairfield Glade, Tennessee; his many nieces and nephews; and his many friends.
Ross was also predeceased by his father James Macnab, mother Doris (Mercer), and brother, Wayne (all of Montreal). He was born February 19, 1935, raised in Montreal’s east end, attending Montreal High. The teen-aged Ross was an accomplished sprinter who held the Canadian Junior record for 220 yards (22.0) for more than a decade.
His academic and athletic accomplishments brought him to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he graduated in 1956. While at Michigan, Ross met native Michigander, Sherry, and they married in 1956. After spending time at Michigan State University in Lansing, where Ross received his Masters and PhD, and back in Montreal, they moved to Edmonton in 1963.
In Edmonton, Ross was a professor at the University of Alberta from 1963 until his retirement in 1991. Ross was a passionate teacher, a mentor to many students, and served in key roles for both the 1978 Commonwealth Games and 1983 Universiade Games (as VP of Organizing Committee).
Ross practiced his extensive and evolving interests and hobbies with great enthusiasm and a high level of skill. A love for travel and adventure was one that he shared with Sherry. From taking 3 young children camping through the USSR and much of Europe in 1969 to countless visits to family in Montreal or Michigan. In later years, trips seeking a first fish for grandchildren were planned with equal love and care.
In retirement, Ross and Sherry wintered for many years in Palm Springs, California. When his travelling companion was unable to join him on trips due to declining health, Ross remained active. He spent countless hours planting – seedling by seedling – the Blackburn Nature Park next to his home, something that he was recognized for in October 2020 and still planning next steps for in March 2021.
Announcement of a service to follow. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Sport Central.
Serenity Funeral Service – South Edmonton, (780)450-0101