Ross was born and raised in St. John’s Parish, Portsmouth, Commonwealth of Dominica on November 4, 1941. He was the son of Robert Edouard of Guadeloupe and Fortunée Michineau Edouard of Commonwealth of Dominica.
Ross was educated in the Jesuit tradition at St. Mary’s Academy in Roseau, Dominica. He began his career as an English teacher, soccer coach and scout master in Dominica. After leaving Dominica for the United States in 1966, he went on to receive a Bachelor of Science Degree from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY and a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from the City University of New York.
Professionally, Ross was employed by the State of New York Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities first as a Speech Pathologist, then as a treatment team leader at the Manhattan Developmental Center. He rose through the ranks to Deputy Director of The Long Island Developmental Center. Ross’ outspoken candor, generous spirit, warmth, humor and dedication to improving the lives of his clients and left a mark wherever he went. He was named Employee of the Year at the Manhattan Developmental Center in recognition of his efforts to meet the needs of the intellectually and developmentally disabled population, in addition to receiving many leadership awards from the New York State Public Employees Federation for his work in the field of mental health and his display of genuine human qualities towards the staff and residents of the 129 Street Unit .
In 1974, Ross had the good fortune to meet the love of his life, Emmeline. They were married that same year and embarked on a wonderful journey that included a number of new career opportunities. The family moved from New York to Maryland as Emmeline assumed a faculty position at the University of Maryland-Baltimore. For nine years Ross worked at the East Baltimore Mental Health Partnership School Based Program, a component of John Hopkins Hospital Child and Adolescent Community Psychiatry Programs, where he was admired for his unwavering commitment to the children and families of the East Baltimore Community. As a school based clinician at Johnston Square Elementary School, his work with the police department G.R.E.A.T. program, in his establishment of a non-contact rugby program at his school and his supportive relationships with colleagues, Ross has touched the lives of many in positive and far-reaching ways. Following his tradition of excellence, Ross received the Outstanding Service Award from the G.R.E.A.T. program and the Johnston Square Elementary School. In addition, he was honored through the City of Baltimore Citizen’s Citation and Mayor’s Citation for his splendid quality of public service at the East Baltimore Mental Health Partnership School Based Program. Lastly, Ross was granted the Senate of Maryland Resolution for his years of service at the John Hopkins Hospital.
Personally, Ross loved gardening, working with his hands, dancing, entertaining family and friends, playing soccer, tennis and dominos as well as traveling. He was quite the romantic and was not shy about showing the love and admiration he had for his wife, Emmeline. Ross loved life and had a passion for the music, people, and food of his beloved Caribbean culture. His baby sister captured him best as she affectionately called him “spicy”. For many years, Ross would never be seen without his cowboy hats and shirts casually unbuttoned at the top. He was always the life of the party. Affectionately known as "Papa" by his grandchildren, he was able to make them laugh using his witty humor and love of words to make a corny word pun or joke.
Ross is survived by his wife of 44 years, Dr. Emmeline Edwards of Ellicott City, MD; his children, Earl Edwards of Bowie, MD (Dayna) and Dr. Sunny Pippins of Odenton, MD (Sebastian). He is also survived by his siblings: Roslyn, Leon, Roberta, Giraud, Justin, Paulette, Blanche, Sholastica, Yvonne, Bernard, and Patrice. In addition, he is survived by five grandchildren: Morgan, Nyomi (Mimi), Blake, Chloe, and Theodore (Teddy) as well as a host of family members, friends, and colleagues. He is predeceased by his parents, Robert and Fortunée Edouard.
Though Ross received many accolades, he will be most remembered as a dedicated and loving husband, a wonderful father and grandfather, favorite uncle and dear friend. He has been a wonderful role model and inspiration to his wife, children, grandchildren and colleagues of how to approach life with integrity, courage, persistence, creativity and wisdom. Ross had a way of saying what was on his mind in a quiet (or not so quiet) way, with a patient (or not so patient) demeanor, with a sly, knowing smile as he handled all that life put before him with grace and professionalism. If you think of the analogy of the ripple that is created when a pebble is dropped into the water, Ross’ contribution to his family and work environment would have caused a tidal wave.
“There is a link death can never sever, love and memories last forever”. Ross will forever be in our hearts.
Donations in tribute may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research – Jefferson Health, in memory of Ross A. Edwards at https://www.michaeljfox.org