Obituary: Susan Ross, nonprofit leader, dies at 71

Susan Ross, a senior nonprofit executive for more than 40 years, died surrounded by her family at home in Easton, Conn., on May 17, after valiantly battling both pancreatic and breast cancer for over seven years. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, she spent the past 45 years living in Putney and Westminster West, Vt., and Wilton and Easton, Conn. She received her BA from the University of Michigan and her MA from Boston University.

She served as the President/CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation from 1996 to 2011, focusing on improving public schools, increasing affordable housing, improving the lives of low-income working women and children, and building the capacity of area nonprofit organizations. During her tenure the Foundation’s assets grew from $10 million to over $150 million and community grants totaled more than $125 million.

Prior to her position with the Foundation, she served as CEO of the United Way of Southern Vermont, and on the boards of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, the Connecticut Council for the Advancement of 21st Century Skills and Careers, the Vermont and Connecticut Planned Parenthood affiliates, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and Vermont’s largest mental health center.

She is survived by her husband Charles MacCormack, President Emeritus of Save the Children, her sons Cameron and Fraser, and her granddaughter Harper.

Services will be held at The First Church of Christ, Congregational at 25 Cross Highway in Redding Center, Conn., on Saturday, June 3, from 11 to noon, followed by a reception at the Church Hall from 12:15-2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Susan’s name may be made to the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Fund for Great Leadership, Save the Children’s Ainsley Ross-MacCormack Fund, or Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.