The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #120096   Message #2622741
01-May-09 - 01:46 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 2009
Subject: RE: Obit: Seattle's John Ross, Mudcatter, April 09
Here's the planned obituary for John. It will eventually be printed in the newspaper, but we wanted the Mudcatters to get a "sneak preview":


John Maxwell Ross died April 6, 2009, of natural causes at his home in Seattle following a sudden heart attack. An only child, he was preceded in death by his parents.

John was born April 3, 1947 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland and served four years in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he was stationed in St. Louis, Missouri. His world travels eventually brought him to Seattle, where he spent the next few decades following his personal and professional interests.

An accomplished author of technical books for Microsoft Press, No Starch Press and other publishers, he also pursued other writing projects for various entities, including a planned study of the writings of E.B. White. He combined his Coast Guard radio engineering experience and his love for music and folklore to become an asset to many local organizations, including KRAB Radio, Northwest Folklife, and the Seattle Folklore Society. He was a dedicated archivist and was deeply committed to preserving the musical heritage of the past in new and different media. He was a frequent contributor to the WELL and a member of the Mudcat Café (along with other "Folk Scare alumni").

In addition to his literary and musical pursuits, he enjoyed collecting (and drinking) local Pacific Northwest wines and was familiar with many of the wineries. He was interested in tinplate trains and frequently volunteered at the train shows held during Thanksgiving weekend at the Pacific Science Center. He served on the Wallingford Community Council and enjoyed making homemade apple cider with members of the Northwest Cider Society.

John was a philosopher, a contributor, an iconoclast and a source of knowledge; and he will be missed by the many friends he made through all his different interests.

A memorial service is being planned for some time in the future. If you are interested in knowing more about it, please contact Doug Manana at

For those wishing to honor his memory and the many contributions he made to various groups, donations to the Seattle Folklore Society, Northwest Folklife, or St. John's College (Annapolis, MD) are suggested.