John Ross Marsland
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John Ross Marsland
  • June 8, 1956 - November 19, 2017
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

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John Ross Marsland passed away Sunday, November 19th surrounded by his family. John bravely and courageously lived with cancer for two years.
John was born June 8, 1956 in Cincinnati, OH, but spent most of his childhood in Raleigh, NC. He graduated from Broughton High School in 1974, where he met the love of his life, Ellen Wishon. After pulling Ellen's hair in Calculus, delivering her flowers on his bike when she stayed home sick from school, and crooning love songs to her with his guitar, he married her in 1979. He earned an Electrical Engineering degree from NC State, worked for both IBM and Cisco, and passionately taught investment strategy to students from all over the country.
John was a wonderful husband and incredible dad. He loved his family fiercely and with a creative flare unique only to John. From late night chemistry homework help to all day set-builds for the school play, John loved his family sacrificially. He had a unique gift for being the perfect "guys guy" with Ross and "girl dad" with Emily, and he adopted both of their passions as his own. With Ross, he enjoyed playing basketball in the driveway, cracking jokes about Ellen and Emily, and talking about business ideas. He enjoyed singing with Emily for numerous years in charity talent shows and church productions, and he was always an eager volunteer for her creative whims and clever photo ideas. With both Emily and Ross, he was an active participant in the Y Guides program, where he was appropriately called, "Big Sun." When he built a rose garden in the yard for Ellen for Mother's Day, he made sure to include a bush of "Opening Night Red," for Emily's future performances, which he never missed. When Emily and Ross both attended UNC, he put on a blue sweater and cheered for the Tar Heels, despite his NC State roots.
In addition to his beloved family, John cherished his friends. He had many lifelong friends, students, and colleagues whom he adored. He also loved his Men's Bible Study, and the deep friendships formed through his church. In the last six months, he spent a lot of time with his dear friend and caretaker, Alieu Sanneh. John's sense of humor was unmatched even days before his passing. He used his humor very strategically to lighten the mood of a heavy hospital room or to spread a little joy to someone else. The world lost quite the friend in John, but we have no doubt he's greeting his friends in Heaven with his famous jazz hands.
John was preceded in death by his father, David B. Marsland.
John is survived by his wife, Ellen Marsland, his daughter and son-in-law, Emily Marsland-Farmer and Bob Farmer of New York City, and his son, Ross Marsland of Raleigh. He is also survived by his mother, Annette Marsland of Chapel Hill, and siblings Anne (Nigel) Agger of London, Paul (Anne) Marsland of Raleigh, and Laura (Emmanuel) Charron of Longboat Key, FL.
Following a private interment, a celebration of John's life will be held at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 25th at 12:00 noon.
The family will receive friends following the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in John's memory to Hayes Barton United Methodist Church - 2209 Fairview Road; Raleigh, North Carolina 27608.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary's St., Raleigh.