Mark Joseph Moore Ross |

Mark Joseph Moore Ross

Aspen Times Staff

Former long-time Carbondale resident and co-founder of an alternative education school in Carbondale Mark Joseph Moore Ross died Sept. 9, in Philadelphia. He was 58.Ross is remembered as a man who devoted his life to the support of young children and the adults who live and work with them. He had a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Beloit College, a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Texas and extensive preschool and lower elementary Montessori training, an alternative education program that follows a holistic approach to child development. He served as a Montessori preschool and lower elementary teacher, a Montessori teacher trainer, a leader of parenting classes and a board member at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School. He and his wife Kathryn co-founded the Mt. Sopris Montessori School in Carbondale, which he directed for almost 20 years. He also helped to start a Montessori program within the public elementary schools in Carbondale. In 2002 he became the director of the Greene Towne School in Center City Philadelphia and was an active member of the Montessori community there for the last two years of his life. His intellect was matched only by his profound emotional connection with children and their families. Ross’ attempts to nurture the very early stages of life and development was a testament to his belief in the importance and sanctity of each human life. This belief went hand in hand with his faithful adherence to the Montessori philosophy of education, and his admiration for its founder, the Italian physician and education expert Maria Montessori. Apart from his work, Mark had many and varied interests. He spoke some Mandarin, Cantonese, and German, and was fluent in Spanish. He was a voracious reader, particularly an ardent student and admirer of German philosopher Karl Popper, and many English writers including G.K. Chesterton, George Orwell and C.S. Lewis. He was also a writer, producing a number of essays on early childhood education as well as children’s stories that he illustrated himself. He was proud to be a longtime member of Rotary International and former president of the Carbondale Rotary Club. He was a gourmet bread baker, a gardener, an enthusiastic cultivator of worm farms, a licensed ham radio operator, a master of the Japanese art of fish rubbings and a lover of good music and good food. Most of all, he was a husband and father, and loved to be with his family.A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Oct. 2., at 10:30 a.m. at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School Barn in Carbondale. The family suggests that those attending the service wear Hawaiian shirts, because Mark was fond of wearing them during his years in Carbondale.Ross is survived by his wife Kathryn, their son Will, their daughter Ariel and his brothers Timothy and Matthew.In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Mark Ross Scholarship for Teacher Training at the Mt. Sopris Montessori School, 869 Euclid St., Carbondale, CO 81623, or the Mark Ross Memorial Endowment for Professional Development at Colorado Rocky Mountain School, 1493 County Rd. 106, Carbondale, CO 81623.