Serving West Michigan Since 1899

D. Ross Edman

July 14, 1936 - May 28, 2017
Holland, MI



Saturday, June 3, 2017
10:00 AM EDT
Dykstra Funeral Homes
Northwood Chapel
295 Douglas Avenue
Holland, MI 49424
(616) 392-2348
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At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Ross Edman Fund - The University of Illinois Department of Art History
935 West Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Life Story / Obituary


Mr. D. Ross Edman, 80, of Holland, Michigan for 42 years, died on May 28, 2017. He was born on July 14, 1936 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the son of Alice Gould Edman and George William Edman.

Mr. Edman was educated at The Fessenden School and The Hotchkiss School spending summers abroad with his parents in Rome and Athens while his father served in the U.S. State Department. Mr. Edman then attended Harvard University, and enjoyed managing and traveling with the Harvard Glee Club. After employment at the Seattle Art Museum, he earned his Master’s from Oberlin University, then began a 30-year career as a professor of art history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He taught introductory courses in Japanese, Chinese, and Indian art, as well as in Japanese architecture and art appreciation. His dedicated commitment to the education of undergraduate students there earned him the Silver Circle Award for Excellence in Teaching and the respect and appreciation of generations of students. In recognition of his great interest in and contributions to the lives of his students, the University’s Department of Art History established an endowed fund, the Ross Edman Fund, to support undergraduate students in art history through scholarships, awards, and travel for undergraduate research. While living in Chicago, Mr. Edman became a noted appraiser of art and antiques before retiring to Holland, Michigan.

Mr. Edman derived great pleasure from cooking, gardening, reading, music, writing long letters to his friends and family, his Pekinese dogs, and simply “staying put” on his beloved dune in Holland. A warm, generous, and caring person, Mr. Edman delighted his colleagues, friends and family with his elegant turns of phrase, intelligence, and unflagging sense of humor. He enjoyed and appreciated the extraordinary loyalty and devoted friendship shared with him by his neighbors and friends. His family wishes to express their gratitude for the happiness given to him by these friends.

Mr. Edman leaves his brother, F. Talmage Edman of Lakewood, Washington, and eight nieces and nephews. Mr. Edman was predeceased by his other brother, Silas G. Edman and long-time partner, Jon Waltz.

Funeral Notice: A memorial gathering will be held at the Dykstra Funeral Home - Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Avenue, Holland, Michigan on Saturday, June 3 at 10:00a.m. Following cremation, burial will be in the Pittsfield, MA cemetery. Remembrances may be made to the Ross Edman Fund at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Art History, 935 West Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607-7039. The family was served by the Dykstra Funeral Home - Northwood Chapel.