MACNAB, Ross Bernard James

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

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Tribute wall - a place to share your memories and condolences

Rajotte Family

Carol, Sandy, and Bruce,
Our sincere condolences to you and your families. Our
family has fond memories of Ross. We considered him
a friend and acknowledge and thank him for the great
skating skills and techniques he taught our boys. Ross did
more to raise the skill level of young hockey players then
anyone in the Edmonton region. He was also instrumental
in helping students to attain their professional goals.
The Ron Rajotte Family

Cathy Rainey

In the early to mid 1980’s I was a student in Phys Ed and I asked Dr Macnab to be my advisor; he was great. There as nothing pretenious about him – just a down to earth good guy.

Tom Dea

As one of a cohort of Bruce’s friends growing up in Edmonton we spent a lot of time in the Macnab kitchen with Ross and Sherry. First green house I ever saw; immaculate lawn; space-age Airstream, early mac/apple adopter, scientific training expert ahead of his time, sports lover, nature lover, helper of friends. A great role model will be missed.

Diane Kaiser

Dear Sandy, Carol, Bruce and families.
So sad to hear of your father and grandfathers passing. I remember when Ross would invite Sandy and myself for lunch at the faculty club for a few years in the summer.
I know you will be taking good care of each other!
Diane O’Neill Kaiser

Larry and Helene Yarmuch

Ross was one of the first people we met when we bought in the development. We walked to the park behind the houses and as we noted the nice park and variety of trees and shrubs, out of blue, Ross appeared. He introduced himself and walked with us, proudly showing us around the park he spent years overseeing and maintaining. We attended the ceremony to name the park in his honour last fall, but to us and many residents it was always Ross’ park. We got to visit and chat with him outside on our deck or on his deck. He was a remarkable man and it was a honour to have known him. Our condolences to the family.

Gloria Cazes

So sorry for your loss, but so glad your dad got home, and passed peacefully! Murphy and I are missing our almost daily visits with Ross after our walk-in the park. He was always watching for us and would wave us over. We would chat on the deck and Murphy looked forward to getting a treat from Ross. It was an honor to help him the last couple of years with the weeding, whipper snipping in the park, watering his maple tree and arranging with our neighbor Brendan to use Ross’s mower to cut the grass this past year as Ross admitted it was just getting to much for him. We were both looking forward to our tomato growing competition again this year!
Thinking of you all at this difficult time!
Matt and Gloria

Tom Laviolette

Look forward to visiting Blackburn Nature Park to enjoy Ross’s trees. My condolences to you all. Tom – Whistler, BC.

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