Obituary | Douglas Ross

· 3 min read

Obituary | Douglas Ross

Douglas Ross

Douglas Ross, 86, died July 27 in his Minneapolis home after a battle with cancer. Ross was professor emeritus in art at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he taught drawing and sculpture until he retired in 1998.

Ross is remembered by his family as a devoted husband, father, professor and an accomplished artist who touched many lives, was much beloved, and will be greatly missed.

He was born Jan. 23, 1937, in Hollywood, California, and graduated from Omaha Central High School in Omaha in 1955. He married Suzanne Olson in 1960 and divorced in 1973. He married Anita Ross in 1976.

He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, in 1959; attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design from 1959 to 1963 and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1965.

He started his career at the Nebraska in 1966 as an instructor of drawing and sculpture. He became a tenured professor there in 1979. In 1969 and 1970, through an exchange program, he taught at the Manchester College of Art and Design, Manchester, England. During his career at UNL, he led an annual fine arts study tour for students to London and Paris.

Ross at exhibition opening with Dorene Eisentrager, Aaron Holz, David Routon, Matthew Sontheimer, Dan Howard
Justin Mohling
“A Celebration of Painting at UNL” opened with an exhibition reception in 2018. Ross (far right) took a photo with (from left) Dorene Eisentrager, Aaron Holz, David Routon, Matthew Sontheimer and Dan Howard.

His award-winning sculptures and paintings were exhibited in galleries around the country including Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha; The Pillsbury Center, Minneapolis; Purdue University-Calumet, Hammond, Indiana; and Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York.

Following retirement, he moved to Minnesota, but remained a teacher his whole life, continuing to give lectures and talks. After retiring, his emphasis switched from sculpture to painting and he became known for his expressionist landscapes including a series of 50 waterfalls, one from each state; a Mississippi River series; an Oregon Trail series; and a Lake Superior shoreline series. He also created collages and block prints. He often traveled to Europe and loved to drive the back roads of the USA and Canada. He continued to produce art in his Northeast Minneapolis studio until the end of his life.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Anita Ross (Murphy); his parents, John Lee and Edith Maxine Ross (Parker); and his granddaughter, Megan Henneberg. He is survived by his children, Jennifer Ross, Charles Ross, Michael (Margaret) Harms, Nicolas (Marie) Harms and Mark Harms; grandchildren, Patrick Harms (Sarah), Chelli (David) Look, Lindsey (Nathan) Doyle, Ali (Colin) Weidmann, Ryan Harms, Drew Harms and Kathryn Ross; and eight great-grandchildren.

Visitation is 1-2 p.m. Aug. 11 at First Memorial Funeral Chapel, 7110 France Ave., Edina, Minnesota, with memorial service to follow at 2 p.m.

Recent News