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Passed away on Saturday, July 12, 2014 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Born in Pittsburgh, he'd been a resident of Rockville for over 50 years. Ross worked as a cartographer for the National Geographic Society for many years. He served his country as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne. Well known for his softball playing, he was inducted into the Metro Washington Softball Hall of Fame and was a member of both a US Senior Olympics gold medal softball team and US Senior World Series champions. He continued to play the game he loved so much until the age of 74, and one of the Montgomery County senior leagues is named after him. He was inducted into the Grove City College Athletic Hall of Fame for soccer, where he holds the record for most goals scored in a single game (5) and most goals scored in a single season (18). He held the record for most career goals (48) for 51 years, and remains the only player in school history to have played on two unbeaten and untied teams. He was a gifted athlete with remarkable speed and agility, and his ability to hit a softball with pinpoint accuracy to any spot he chose was legendary. However, the traits his team mates remember most were his kindness, his humor, and his humility - always giving credit to his team mates and never speaking of his own accomplishments. Ross was also an avid photographer and was seldom found without a camera within arms' reach. He was a long time member and former president of the North Bethesda Camera Club, which was more like a family than an organization. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, partner, and friend, and he will be missed more than words can say.
He was preceded in death by his parents - George and Frances Emerson and his former wife - Barbara Emerson. He is survived by his two sons - Paul and Mark, his grandson - David, his daughter-in-law - Carolyn, his life partner and love - Marlene Dunsmore, Marlene's son - Timothy, his wife, Amy and their children Meredith and Paige, Marlene's daughter - Leeanne, her husband Brian Combs, and their children, Alex and Malcolm. A memorial service will be held on August 3, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. at the Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, 9601 Cedar Ln., Bethesda, MD 20814. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation (UMBF), in memory of Ross Emerson, for their work on Parkinson's Disease. Their address is: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Office of Development, 31 S. Greene Street, 3rd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201. Please view and sign the family guestbook at

Funeral Home
Pumphrey Funeral Home
300 W. Montgomery Ave.
Rockville, MD 20850-2805
(301) 762-3939
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Published in The Washington Post on July 16, 2014
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