Floral 12

Mary Carolyn Ross

April 19, 1938 ~ September 21, 2022 (age 84) 84 Years Old


We are heartbroken to announce the death of our dearly loved Mother and Grandmother Mary C. Ross, on September 21, 2022. Beloved mother to Greg Ross (Dianna) and Janet Boswell (Glenn), and cherished grandmother to John and Claire Boswell. Mary was predeceased by her husband Donald A. Ross and her parents Verna and Earl Davidson. 

Our mother, Mary, was born in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario and remained there through her completion of Grade 13. She attended Queen’s University in Kingston, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, and met her husband Don at a Queen’s afternoon dance. After their marriage in 1959, they moved to Hamilton, Ontario where Don completed another degree, and then moved to Brockville, Ontario.  Mary worked as a Social Worker until Greg was born in 1962. Janet was also born in Brockville in 1966.  In 1967, they moved to Mississauga, Ontario and in 1974, moved to Calgary, Alberta where they remained. 

After Don suddenly went blind in 1975 and could no longer work, Mary completed a Bachelor of Social Work (1976) at the University of Calgary and worked as the sole Social Worker for Airdrie and Crossfield with Alberta Social Services. Following Don’s death in 1979, she completed her Master of Social Work (1981) also at the University of Calgary.  She worked in various Social Work positions over the ensuing years, including teaching Social Work Methods at the University of Calgary, Marriage and Family Counselling at Calgary Family Services Bureau and finished her Social Work career at the Bethany Care Centre, where she was Coordinator of Social Work. 

However, if you were to ask our Mother what she “did”, she would tell you she was an Organist. From the time of her getting a position at Queen’s University playing the organ, until 2 weeks before her death, our Mother was a professional Organist. She played in various Churches in Ontario in both the Anglican and Presbyterian traditions.  In Calgary, she was the Organist and Choir Master at Knox Presbyterian, Varsity Acres Presbyterian, Hillhurst United, St. Laurence Anglican, St. John the Evangelist Anglican, St. Mark and St. Philip Anglican, and All Saints Traditional Anglican Church. 

Nobody could play a hymn like our Mother!  The depth of feeling and passion she put into her playing was palpable, and people could hear and feel it too. Although Mary often felt very weak and tired in this last year, once she got to Church and got up the aisle and on the bench, she was suddenly renewed and could play beautifully.  She attributed this to the Divine; that she was fulfilling a higher purpose and calling to God’s Glory.  Often she was two days recovering from the effort, but she continued playing, until her last service on September 4, 2022. She played magnificently that day.  

Her Organist friend, Dr. Neil Cockburn, conducted an interview with Mary in July 2021, where she provided her musings on over 45 years of playing the Organ in Calgary.  It was a precious glimpse into her philosophy of life and what made her the incredible person she was.  We were so proud! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkY5d3Gv9kk.  

Our Mother was a woman of Faith.  She was the ultimate Ecumenical soul.  She was always interested in various faith traditions, studying them and sharing genuine inquisitiveness.  The Orthodox tradition was very important to her, as was her beloved Anglicanism.  Yet, as mentioned above, she played in both Presbyterian and United traditions as well.  She also taught the course on “The Messiah” in a number of faith communities over the years.  She lived her faith in visiting many people who were dealing with serious illnesses and/or dying, and would do this over the long term, I.e. every Tuesday for years.  She did this quietly and without fanfare, but would do it faithfully so that her friends could count on her coming every week.  

Mary was also a Duplicate Bridge player and had many friends in the Bridge community.  She was very proud of achieving the rank of Ruby Life Master in January 2016, with the American Contract Bridge League.  Certainly the online duplicate Bridge games that continued during the Covid times sustained her mind, and she usually played every afternoon and sometimes twice daily.

Mom loved to travel. In 2019 she and Janet made a list of all of their trips together, numbering 43. Mostly they would travel to Europe or warm golf destinations. People of all ages were always attracted to her, in spite of often vast age differences, and at any resort she might be at, she often got to know every single person around the pool and their life stories. Everyone knew “Mary”. She was interested and interesting.

Mom was a beautiful, clever soul. She had a sparkle in her blue eyes, a dazzling smile, and a wonderful sense of humour. She was a strong personality, with well thought out, but strong opinions. She was a presence.  She loved hard.  We will miss her terribly.

A woman of great Faith, her Funeral/Rite of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 at 2 PM, at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (Anglican) 604-1 Street SE.  For those who wish an opportunity to pay their last respects, visitation will begin at 1:15 PM at the Cathedral. For parking information please visit https://www.anglicancathedralcalgary.ca/visiting-us

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to any organization that supports abused or neglected animals, such as the Meow Foundation which is from where Mary adopted her beloved rescue cat Cynder.



September 28, 2022

1:15 PM to 2:00 PM
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer
604 1 Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 5H8

Funeral Service
September 28, 2022

2:00 PM
Cathedral Church of the Redeemer
604 1 Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 5H8


MEOW Foundation
35 Skyline Crescent NE, Calgary AB T2K 5X2
Tel: 1-403-230-6033
Web: http://meowfoundation.com


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