Ann Louise Ray Ross, 92, passed away peacefully after a valiant fight with pancreatic cancer on Friday, March 6, in Cedar City, Utah. Thanks to the miracle of technology, all four of her children were by her side. Ann was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho on Jan. 31, 1928, to Thomas Lloyd Ray, Sr. and Ruth Ann Andrus. She and her lifelong sweetheart, John Alton Ross, were married in the Idaho Falls Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 15, 1949. He preceded her in death on Jan. 13, 2016. This year marks the 71st anniversary of their eternal companionship.
Ann was raised in Idaho Fall in an active LDS family. She enjoyed gatherings with extended family and Mutual activities with her mother as Stake Bee Keeper. Her love for flowers and talent for floral arranging developed as she worked in Harry and Louise Holmgren’s City Floral shop. Ann also loved playing the piano under the tutelage of Professor Clive and 1st chair clarinet under the direction of Mr. Gifford. She was a presidency member in both band and seminary and also played the keyboard for community dances in her grandfather’s orchestra. This was just the beginning of her contribution “to the entertainment and blessings of the Saints” through her musical talents.
After graduating from high school in 1946, Ann went on and graduated with her BS from the University of Utah’s School of Nursing in 1949. It was during this time that she met and married J. Alton Ross, a handsome medical school student. The couple moved to Chicago in 1954, on to Camp Pendleton in 1956, and finally settled in Great Falls, Montana to raise their family and establish Al’s private medical practice. This would be their home for the next 40 years.
Ann gave her whole heart to being an extraordinary wife and mother and to fulfilling her church callings and community responsibilities. She supported her children in all of their academic, band, choir, and drama activities, never missing a performance. Snow skiing, water skiing, boating, and spending weekends in Big Sky, Montana were some of her favorite family activities. She served as an 18-year Red Cross volunteer, President of the Cascade County Medical Auxiliary, and long-time member of the Great Falls Symphonic Choir. She also filled in as a registered nurse at Alton’s medical clinic occasionally. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ann was a Primary Stake Board member, a Relief Society Stake Board member including four years as president, Primary chorister, and stake and ward organist for countless years. Her testimony never wavered, and she was loved, highly revered and respected by all she worked with.
In 1994, Ann and Al retired (“Does a nurse ever retire?” she would ask,) and moved to St. George, Utah to be closer to their children and enjoy the sunshine. She became a founding member of the Southern Utah Heritage Choir and also served on the Board of Directors. She fulfilled “her contribution of entertaining and blessing the saints” as she toured and sang in the Czech Republic, Carnegie Hall, Mexico, Armenia, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and numerous Utah and Idaho concerts. Ann also sang with a trio and barbershop quartet comprised of her closest friends. Ward music chairman and St. George Temple organist were two of her favorite callings. She and Alton worked in the Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic and assisted in laying the groundwork and fundraising for the clinic building. She also served as Security Chairman for the Legacy Homeowner’s Association.
Ann is survived by her four children, John (Susan), Carlsbad, California; Linda Ross, American Fork, Utah; Robert (Lori) Ross, Highland, Utah; and Kristina (David) McGuire, Cedar City, Utah; 18 grandchildren, and 28 great-grandchildren. Our mom, grandma, trusted friend and confidant, “old nurse,” and beautiful example of endurance and long-suffering will be greatly missed. “You’re good, Mom, and you are loved!”
We express our deepest gratitude to the staff at the Cedar City Brookdale Assisted Living Center, IHC Hospice staff, Beehive Cottages staff, Southgate 3rd Ward, and Metcalf Mortuary for your tender and sensitive care.
A family viewing and short service will be held Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 10 a.m. in the Relief Society room at the Southgate LDS 3rd Ward Chapel, 1068 W. Chandler Street, St. George, Utah. Interment will follow in the Tonaquint Cemetery, 1777 S. Dixie Drive, St. George, Utah. A memorial service will be announced and held later this summer.
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, (435) 673-4221. Please visit our website at www.metcalfmortuary.com for condolences, complete obituary and funeral listings.