Joseph Ross, MD

Longtime member of First Parish

WAYLAND — Joseph Ross, MD, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007. A resident of Wayland for the past 38 years, he had been ill with lung cancer.

Dr. Ross was born in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 1, 1934, the eldest son of the late Emanuel F. and Josephine (Sonneborn) Ross, and spent his early childhood in Bedford, Pa., before moving to Pittsburgh. He attended the Fessenden School in Newton and graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover with the Class of 1952. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Yale College in 1956 and his master’s in philosophy two years later from Yale Graduate School, where he was a Woodrow Wilson fellow. He continued his education at Yale Medical School, graduating in 1962, and completed his training in psychiatry at University Hospital in Boston.

During the Vietnam era, he served as a lieutenant commander with the U.S. Navy at Quantico, Va., providing psychiatric care for over 17,000 servicemen and their families. In 1968, he married the former Ann Haslerud, a social worker, and the couple moved to Wayland a few years later and raised two sons there.

Dr. Ross was appointed assistant director and later director of Trinity Mental Health Center in Framingham and was also on the medical staff at Framingham Union Hospital, now known as MetroWest Medical Center. He also maintained a private practice in Natick from 1981 until December 2006 and served for over 25 years as a psychiatric consultant for St. Patrick’s Manor in Framingham.

Dr. Ross was a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the Massachusetts Psychiatric Association and the Massachusetts Medical Society. He was a longtime member of First Parish Unitarian Church in Wayland. His youthful love of ice hockey and golf gave way to enthusiasm for tennis in his middle years, and most recently he developed a passion for the Argentine tango. For over 11 years he was a devoted student of the dance and a member of the Tango Society of Boston. He and Mrs. Ross traveled extensively and made it a point to sample the local tango scenes in places as far flung as Tokyo and Oslo. He was a keen follower of politics and current events and welcomed spirited discussions. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Ann (Haslerud) Ross of Wayland. He was the father of Nicholas G. Ross and his wife, Heather Kelly, and Daniel J. Ross and his wife, Allyson, all of Cambridge, and the grandfather of Sophie K. Ross, Luka N. Ross and Bennett H. Ross, all of Cambridge.

He was the brother of Ann Heymann and her husband, Philip, of Belmont, and S. Stephen Ross of Sacramento, Calif., as well as the stepbrother of Sara Moser of La Jolla, Calif., Ellen Hirsch of Oxford, England, Susannah Falk Shopsin of New York, N.Y., Sigo Falk and his wife, Jean, of Pittsburgh, Pa., and David Falk and his wife, Judith, of Washington, D.C. He is also survived by several cousins, nieces and nephews.

At the request of his family, there will be no funeral home visitations. A private interment will be held at Lakeview Cemetery in Wayland.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 5 at 2 p.m. at First Parish Unitarian Church, Route 20, Wayland Center. The family will be at home following the service on Saturday, and also on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, his family appreciatively suggests memorial gifts in honor of Dr. Ross be sent to The Wellness Community of Greater Boston, 1039 Chestnut St., Newton MA 02464.