Ross was born in Macklin, Saskatchewan and went to school in Unity where he played hockey, basketball and volleyball. He married Marilyn, a Saskatoon teacher in 1968. Ross graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a bachelor of Education. After teaching for eight years at Riverview Collegiate, he sold real estate and then entered the construction industry where he found his niche.
Ross Brown’s philosophy of life comes from his mother who taught him, “you should leave the world in a better place than you found it.” Giving was embedded in his upbringing. Paying it forward has always been part of his DNA.
Ross said, “I never realized how blessed I was growing up in a small Saskatchewan town, until I was in my mid 40’s and heard what a wonderful place Unity was to grow up in. Every child was given opportunities to grow and learn. It was a real community. For example, two years after the rink burned down it was rebuilt, that was the kind of spirit that made the community strong.”
“My first contact with Sherbrooke came when my daughter Erin, who lived with MS, came to the community Day Program when she was 24 years old. While in the program, my wife and I decided to take a holiday to Hawaii and Erin needed a place to stay. She came for respite at Sherbrooke and a year later in November 1998 she moved into her new home on 3rd floor where she lived for 19 years.” Erin made a life at Sherbrooke. As a former Goldfin, she loved the pool and attended as many of our events as she could. Ross explains how Sherbrooke became Erin’s home, “Sherbrooke is like a small town and that is a good environment for Erin and our family. Those same small town values I grew up with exist at Sherbrooke and that is why it is different.”
Ross lovingly called his daughter “Jake” from a Dr. Seuss book he used to read to her as a child. Their loving and close relationship was inspiring and showed how the bonds of love and commitment are nurtured and celebrated in our community. Sadly, Erin passed away April 10, 2017. Ross remains one of the Sherbrooke family and continues his regular visits with the staff.
Ross recalls, “When my wife Marilyn passed away, our donations went to Quest for a Cure as we didn’t realize Sherbrooke could receive donations and I could get a tax receipt.” Since that time Ross and Erin became generous donors to the Sherbrooke Foundation. Ross and Erin supported many equipment purchases including: the MotoMed Bike, the dental studio and a piano. In addition to his generous donations to Sherbrooke, Ross also gave to his home town, Unity, by building a concession at the ball diamond and picnic tables and chairs at the high school in memory of his wife Marilyn.
Ross jokes about signing up for a bed at Sherbrooke when and if the time comes. He hopes it won’t but, if he needs it this is where he would like to be. He says with a smile, “this is the only place. It is easy to be proud of Sherbrooke because Sherbrooke takes great pride in its commitment and passion for creating a good quality of life for the people who call Sherbrooke home.”
We are blessed to have Ross in our community.