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Dr Mac M Ross

Born: 2/23/1952, Vernal, Utah
Death: 8/24/2020, Moab, Utah
Service: Private
Interment: Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery

“My father died on the porch outside on an August afternoon.” It’s a line from one of our dad’s favorite John Prine songs, and it’s how we expected him to go. In the end, he didn’t make it to the porch, but he took his last breath at home, in the company of family, just after 4 o’clock on the afternoon of August 24, 2020. He was born Mac Molen Ross on February 23, 1952 to Keith and Doris Taylor Ross in Vernal, Utah. He joined the family nine months after the tragic death of his 13-year-old brother Bryce. When Mac was nine, his brother Jake died at age 21. His oldest brother Terry died in 2000. As the last surviving member of this charming bunch of jazz lovers and joke tellers, he was ready to find and join them again.

Mac attended elementary through high school in Vernal. Smart but not studious, he was always borrowing pencils and paper from Sandra Hatch. He was a catcher on his little league team, and played football at Uintah High School with good friends Glen Downard, Derrell Stagg, and Levi Smuin (his future brother-in-law). He lettered not only in football but also in typing, which he tried to keep secret. As a gas station attendant at the Vernal Save-More, he worked for Kent McCurdy (another future brother-in-law).

On July 21, 1970, Mac married Marinda Murray, and finally collected on those in-laws. He gladly embraced Marinda’s parents, Penny and Rin, as well as her four brothers and four sisters — Meriel, Joe, Bob, Bill, Dave, Deanna, Saralyn, and Mary — as his own.

Mac and Marinda attended Snow College in Ephraim, where Mac acquired the study skills to equal his smarts. They both transferred to Utah State University in Logan, then moved to Chicago where Mac attended Northwestern University Dental School.

In 1979, Mac opened his dental practice in Moab with Marinda as his office manager, assistant, and indispensable partner. They ran the practice together for 20 years. Dr. Ross was known as an expert, kind, and gentle dentist who didn’t forget a name or a face, and who never refused treatment to anyone who couldn’t pay. Kelly Cather, Shirley Cather, and Diane Tangren were his trusted assistants and also his best friends. After retiring from dentistry, Mac and Marinda built and ran the Spanish Trail Shell gas station in Moab for 15 years, working side-by-side with their daughter Kelly and son Charles.

Mac was a Freemason and Past Master of La Sal Lodge #30. He was an El Kalah Shriner and Past President of the Arches Shrine Club. He was also a skilled carpenter and drafter, a pretty good golfer, and a prolific reader, often finishing a book a day, reading and smoking on the front porch in the hot sun. He went everywhere on his bike and was a friendly and familiar face for people all over Moab.

The greatest joy in his life was being a dad and grandpa. He loved and was immensely proud of his three kids — Mary (Derek), Kelly (Troy), and Charles — as well as his five kind, smart, athletic, and artistic grandkids — Maisie, Doris, Bryce, Cole, and Maria. He was also a beloved uncle to dozens of Murray family nieces and nephews.

Because Mac was usually on the front porch at the house on Opal and then on Palisade, it became a focal point for the family. Everyone, even the dogs and cats, wanted to sit outside for conversation, coffee, candy, or whatever Grandpa Mac was having. He had a magnetic personality and a warmth that could only be matched by the hottest of August afternoons. His family will gather privately to lay him to rest on his forever porch at Spanish Valley Cemetery in Moab. Thanks for everything, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Mac, Dr. Ross.

Visit Mac’s tribute page to share photos and stories at


Dr. Ross was my dentist since the early 1980's until his retirement. He was funny and very patient with me. I much respected his talent as a dentist. Even today, when I go to a dentist and they look at the bridges Dr. Ross put in my mouth almost 40 years ago, they are impressed they have lasted so long. That is a testimony to the superior work Dr. Mac performed. I've thought of him often over the years and feel fortunate I knew him. My sincere condolences to his family.
- Adele Osusky

One if the nicest men I knew. He kept each of my kids with healthy teeth when they were growing up and none of them were afraid of the dentist. We grew to love the whole family and have cherished our continued friendship. I'll miss Mac's bright smile and friendly greeting. Much love to all the family.
- Claudia Page

We were so sorry to hear of Mac's passing. We saw him recently and he was his usual happy, friendly self. Mac was truly a "nice guy."
- Connie and Rich Haycock

We were very sad to hear of the passing of Doc. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the family.
- Dan & Ruby Robinson

We are so sorry to hear of the loss of this gentle soul, he was a good friend and we truly loved him. As our dentist, he took good care of our family and was and will always be our favorite dentist, something the entire family shares. After retirement, he was a friendly face that we encountered regularly and we will miss him. Love and Peace to you all.
- The Hofhine Family, Bill, Mary, Sean, Angie, Crissy, and Tessy

I'm so sorry to hear this! I absolutely loved Mac. He was the best dentist and friend. He never could remember my new last name so he just called me Murph. My condolences to Maranda and the family. I will miss talking to him!
- Kari "murph" huts

I'm so sorry for your loss. Dr. ROSS, at that time, gave me my first assisting job. I was right out of school and he took a chance on me pretty much site unseen. He was a great guy and will be missed.
- Kellie Cather

Dear Marinda: You are in our thoughts and prayers. May your family bring your comfort and peace. God bless you that your natural positive outlook on life will carry you through this lonely season with peace and joy in the memories of your lifelong experiences together. Crying with you. Hugs!
- Mike and Debra O'Neil

Mac was an intelligent, noble, man and it was a privilege to have known him. He usually had a few minutes to chat when we'd see each other on our bikes, and I'll miss his curious take on life. My condolences.
- Roy Nelson

I first met Mac in 1981, after moving to Moab in August of that year I soon found myself in need of a dentist. Mac was the one everyone recommended, he remained my dentist until his retirement. Mac was surprised to learn I knew who John Prine was as not many people knew of him in those days, especially in Moab. Mac was the biggest John Prine fan I had ever met, he and John helped me through a very difficult time in my life and for that I will be forever grateful! Mac Ross was the special kind of human being that this big ol goofy world could use more of. I like to think Mac is getting to ask John Prine all those questions about his songs that we spent so much time wondering about. My deepest condolences to Marinda, Mary, Kelly and Charlie.
- Terry McGann

Condolences to the Ross family. Mac was our loyal neighborhood dentist, you could call any time if you had a toothache! He truly cared about his patients. He was a friendly neighbor, we will miss. Thanks Mac Ross and family for your caring nature to the Moab community.
- Woody and Marsha Marshall

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