Mary Ellen Ross, age 67, of Northfield, died Sunday May 5, 2013, at Three Links Reflections Care Suites. She was in Hospice after a long and courageous battle with what was most likely Alzheimer’s disease.

Mary Ellen Ross was born on Jan. 18, 1947, as the daughter of Helen Kemp Ross and Hugh J. Ross. She attended Catholic schools through college, earning a bachelor’s of science degree in psychology from Fordham University in 1968. Mary Ellen earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in 1974 in developmental psychology at Syracuse University with research focused on children. She continued her work with children with a post-doctoral fellowship at University of Colorado Medical Center in 1976-77. She was an adjunct faculty at several universities, as well as an elementary school counselor in Pennsylvania from 1974-1976.

Mary Ellen moved to Northfield and she joined the faculty at St. Olaf College in 1977. She taught in the psychology department for 30 years. Her courses included counseling, development, listening and communication. She was active in the women’s studies program and served as director of the college’s Teaching and Learning Center. She also worked as a therapist, primarily with children, and as an artist using the quilt form as medium to document her struggles with depression.

Mary Ellen was a member of First United Church of Christ and she enjoyed singing in the choir. Her family is grateful for a circle of church members and friends who were important in providing caring support in the last years of Mary Ellen’s life.

She is survived by her older brother, Donald K. Ross and his wife Helen Ross of New York City; and two nieces, Katherine and Margaret Ross. She also leaves behind many devoted friends.

A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at First United Church of Christ, 300 Union St., Northfield.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Mary Ellen’s name to the church and will be designated to the good work of the Service and Social Responsibility committee.

Mary Ellen Ross

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