|Marlene Marie Munson Ross
Published in The Washington Post on Mar. 25, 2019
Marlene M. Ross (Age 87)
Marlene Marie Munson Ross
Passed away peacefully at her home in Northwest DC on February 18, 2019.
Marlene was born in Sioux City, Iowa on September 11, 1931, the second child of
Cecil H. Munson and Ilena Viola Bergman Munson, both of whom were educators.
She lost her mother to cancer when she was nine years old, after which Ruth Pieper
Munson became a loving stepmother to her and her two brothers, Thomas and
William. When Marlene was a teenager, the family moved to Southeast Washington,
DC. She graduated from Anacostia High School (1949), and later received both
her bachelor's and master's degrees from George Washington University in
Washington, DC. Like her father, Marlene spent her career as an educator, first as a
teacher, then as a school principal in Montgomery County, Maryland where she
served until her retirement.
It was at her family church, First Congregational United Church of Christ in Northwest
DC that she met her husband, Ralph R. Ross. They remained active members for
over 60 years, also serving a long period in the church office after her retirement.
Together with Ralph, she was committed to social justice, becoming active in the
civil rights movement during the 1960s. She also devoted herself to increasing
opportunities for education for all children. Through their church, Marlene and Ralph
became dedicated advocates of the needs of the homeless of DC.
Marlene and Ralph traveled to many corners of the world together and developed
close friendships with people throughout the United States.
In later years following the death of her beloved husband, she lived at The
Residences at Thomas Circle in Washington, DC, enjoying the visits from friends
and family from all over the country.
She is survived by her nieces, Susan Birmingham (Bill) of Annapolis, MD, Barbara
Albrecht (Karl) of Bath, ME, Pamela Ross of Wayzata, MN, and her nephew, Steven
Munson (Ellen) of Geneva, IL.
Memorial and interment services will be held at a later date.
Marlene will be interred with her husband, Ralph, at Arlington National Cemetery.