Rachel Hereford Ross, 65, passed away early Saturday morning on March 21, 2020 after waging a strong fight against peritoneal mesothelioma.

She was born on July 23, 1954 in Gurley, where she grew up very much the country girl on a cattle farm raising and showing steer, working in the fields with her siblings and riding her horse, Miss July.

She attended Auburn University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School where she graduated top of her class in 1981. She completed her residency in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at Bowman Gray/Wake Forest Medical Center and went on to practice in Salisbury, North Carolina as a pathologist for 34 years.

She was currently medical director and chief of the Rowan Regional Pathology Associates as well as a current member of the Community Care Clinic of Rowan County Board and Curi Capital’s executive board.

If anyone tried to sum up Rachel in a phrase, then it would be that she was a modern-day renaissance woman, that she was a superwoman, that she did it all. She was an avid gardener, an incredible cook, a beekeeper, a rose grower, an active community member, a wise business leader and physician, an incredibly hard worker and a dedicated mother, friend, sister and wife.

She loved all things in life, simple and grand. She relished a great meal, a starry sky, a good book and her book club, a play, lunch with her colleagues, the perfect shade of red lipstick and pop of color.

She lived for a beautiful garden, an adventurous trip, a long and meandering conversation with her daughter, a night out with girlfriends, a great band and a whole night of dancing. She made sure she saw the world visiting everywhere from Kenya to the Galapagos Islands to Peru to the Czech Republic.

She went to work each day with purpose and loved every minute of it even through her four year fight with cancer. And even on her most exhausted of days, she always found time to speak to her daughter.

She will continue to be seen and felt in every sunrise, fragrant flower, blooming tree, warm breeze, gentle rain and quiet night. She has not truly left us as she will live on in the hearts and memories of all who knew and loved her.

Rachel is survived by her adoring daughter, Kelly Ross; son-in-law, Steve Stromp and first grandchild on the way, Luca Hereford Stromp; husband, Winston; sisters, Elizabeth Hereford and Mary Kay McArdle; brothers, Tom Doug Hereford and Lee Hereford and their wives, Sarah Hereford and Alison Hereford, along with loved nieces and nephews as well as an incredible group of close friends, including Carrie Poole who was chatting with her till the end.

And end of life celebration will be held at later date once all her loved ones are able to gather.

Summersett Funeral Home is serving the Ross family. Online condolences may be made at www.summersettfuneralhome.com.

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