Shirley Marilyn Ross

September 8, 2020 15 Condolences Print Obituary

Ross, Shirley Marilyn

Shirley has moved on to another garden, leaving an empty space in many lives. She was born in Camrose in 1953 and grew up on a dairy farm, on the banks of the Battle River valley, in the Duhamel area.

Shirley enjoyed being a student and after spending 23 years in post secondary education gaining her PhD in Agriculture from the University of Alberta, as well as a Diploma in International Development at the University of Ottawa. Her working career included medical laboratory technology, international development and cropping system research. Shirley worked in Africa; two years in Sierra Leone with CUSO and three years in Zimbabwe as a United Church missionary with adult literacy programs.

Through work and vacations she was able to see some amazing places around the world. After camping in the backyard she broadened her horizons and camped around Canada and the USA; she camped on Baffin Island; she lived within 500 metres of a beautiful beach at Freetown, Sierra Leone; she hiked in Nepal; she drove her Volkswagon bug on safari in Zimbabwe; and she snorkelled over many coral reefs around the world.

Shirley met the love of her life, Richard Davy, in 1992, at a CUSO function. They happily lived their lives together in Edmonton; working to make the world a better place for all.

Gardening had been a passion of hers from a young age. In her adult years she continued gardening with her parents at the huge family farm. Along with others, she initiated The Green & Gold Community Garden, which supports the Tubahumurize Association in Rwanda. It gave her the opportunity to garden in the city, support a worthwhile cause and enjoy a wonderful community of fellow volunteers. These people and the garden held a special place in her heart. Her volunteer work was recognized with a UAlberta Advocate Award 2017 for sharing her time, expertise and passion for gardening.

Shirley was an exceptionally special Auntie. She delighted in being involved in her nieces, great nieces and great nephews’ lives. From initiating impromptu theatre productions, cheering at volleyball, softball, and hockey games, watching school concerts and dance recitals, or just enjoying the enthusiasm of youth.

Shirley passed away September 3 from complications from her gall bladder cancer. She will be greatly missed by her partner, Richard Davy. Sisters: Beverley Ross, Louise Welsh (Jim), Dorothy Weimer (Allan) and Linda Ross. Nieces Louella Petherbridge (Keith), Dawnaca Martin (Stan), Alisa Kolenosky (Arron) and their families. She was predeceased by her parents Herb and Marian Ross and brother Tom.

Due to Covid a private service will be held. Memorial donations can be made to: United Church of Canada Africa Missions; Stephen Lewis Foundation; or the Green & Gold Garden Edmonton.

I love seeing things grow, you plant some seeds and its magic. Shirley Ross

  1. I offer my sincere condolences to Richard, Shirley’s sisters and the wider family. The world has lost an exceptional human being.
    Shirley was a wonderful student, colleague and friend.
    She was highly intelligent, kind, compassionate,hardworking and principled. She rarely talked about herself but was an amazing listener, and she held out a hand of friendship to everyone she met.
    She taught me a great deal, and I was blessed to have her as a friend.

  2. We’re so deeply sorry and our heartfelt condolences to all my cousins.
    A huge loss making the world a smaller place for all of us.

  3. So sorry to hear such sad news. Sincere condolences to my cousins and Richard.

  4. We’ve lost a beautiful lady, sister, cousin, friend, partner. I always loved talking to her. Her gentle spirit will be so missed.

  5. My heartfelt condolence to Richard and Shirleys family. I was shocked and saddened when Beverly phoned me last Sunday with the news. It was a pleasure to sit on Shirley’s PhD committee. She was an excellent student with incredible writing and communicative skills. She will be sadly missed.

  6. I can’t believe she is gone. What a full wonderful and accomplished life she had. I still remember the fun I had visiting her parent’s farm when we were kids. Shirley was always the calm and gentle cousin. Condolences to Richard, her sisters and extended family.

  7. Richard and Shirley’s family, please accept our sincere sympathy and understanding. We have lost an amazing friend whom we will always remember fondly. Shirley, thanks for everything. God bless you.
    Gabe & Szidonia

  8. Her loving spirit will linger in the G & G gardens for a long, long time.

  9. My condolences to Shirley’s family and friends. We connected over the years during her time with the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. Shirley’s commitment to the Green and Gold Garden at our University Farm on South Campus brought out so many of her skills, interests and abilities. Leadership, community-building, commitment to global issues-and an incredible understanding and love of plants.

  10. I worked with Shirley when she was a CUSO staffer; as you can imagine, she was a wonderful boss. With a quiet dignity and full of integrity, Shirley will be so missed by this world and her loving Richard, family and friends. Our condolences to all. Barb Baer Pillay, Joe Pillay and family.

  11. Very sorry to learn of Shirley’s passing. To her family and friends, please accept my sympathy.

  12. An adventurous life well lived. Touched a lot of people with her warm heart. Gone too soon. My condolences to Richard, Beverley, Louise, Dorothy and Linda

  13. I will forever remember Shirley for her passion and dedication to the Breton Plots, through her involvement with the History Project, Management Team and Conservation Society. I will remember her smiling face, ease to laughter and quiet confidence. May this memory remind us how to live our own lives! Condolences to all who feel this loss.

  14. On behalf of Donald ROSS Smyth, our sincere condolences to Richard, Beverley, Louise, Dorothy, Linda, and our Ross cousins. If Dad could respond, he would express his heartfelt sadness. The Ross’ of Brigend were dear to him (and us), so Shirley’s passing is a terrible loss. We cherish the moments we shared and are thankful that we have those moments to remember. God bless… .

  15. I am sorry to hear of Shirley’s passing. We worked together for a time at the Camrose One World Centre, holding common experiences of being local rural and having served in Sierra Leone.

    Jack Ross joins me in extending condolences to all who shared life paths with her and will miss her.

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