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Obituary: Ross Edward Johnson

Ross Edward JohnsonRoss Edward Johnson, 68, died unexpectedly at his home in Falls Church, Virginia on September 20, 2006 as a result of a heart attack. Ross was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Special Education and received a Master’s degree form Syracuse University in Education in 1967. He met his wife Sheila while they both were students at Syracuse University and they married shortly after graduation.

Ross had just returned from his 36th consecutive summer in NY’s Adirondack Mountains where he enjoyed the companionship of his family and friends. One of Ross’ proudest accomplishments was designing and building a log cabin with only a chain saw and his hand tools on Tupper Lake’s Spruce Island in 1973.

Ross lived in Falls Church since 1968 and taught reading and computer literacy at Luther Jackson Middle School in Fairfax County until 1993 when he retired. Ross remained active in the Falls Church City community as an educator and an advocate for the environment. His volunteer work focused on protecting the few remaining natural areas in the region and improving the walking and biking trails.

Ross was also active in many of the Falls Church City organizations. He was on the Board of Directors for the Village Preservation and Improvement Society during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. He was an active member of the Falls Church City Streams Task Force. An intermittent stream in Crossman Park has been named Ross’ Run for his work in the Four Mile Run area. There will be a dedication ceremony to honor Ross for his work in the park at a later date. He also worked as a volunteer in Fairfax County’s Family Literacy Program for several years after he retired.

Ross is survived by his wife, Sheila; his son, Kurt and his wife Jill, of Jackson, Wyoming; his son Brent, his wife Veronica and two grandsons, Alexander and Robinson of Mariposa, California; a sister, Carol of Carnegie, Pennsylvania and a brother, Craig of Dana Point, California.

A celebration of Ross’ life is being planned for the summer of 2007 in Tupper Lake, NY.