Ross Markello, MD
Visitation: No prior visitation.
Service: SUNDAY, August 4, 2019: A Memorial
Service will be held at 3 pm at Christ United Methodist Church, Amherst. **Online condolences will be accessible on Sunday** MARKELLO – Ross, M.D.
July 18, 2019.
Beloved husband of
65 years to Grace (nee Munson)
Markello; devoted father to Ross J.
(Jennifer) Markello, Judith (Ronald)
Beekman, Susan (Charles) Terranova
and Katherine (Brian) Marshall;
loving grandfather of Joshua, Daniel,
Alexandra, Ross, MacKenzie, Charles,
Nicholas, Bailey and Tara; brother
of James (Rhea), Anthony (Nancy),
Samuel (June) Markello and the late
Concetta Howles, Carl, Joseph Markello
and Nina Presher; also survived by
many nieces and nephews. A Memorial
Service will be held on Sunday August 4,
2019 at 3 PM at Christ United Methodist
Church, 350 Saratoga Rd., at Harlem
Rd., Amherst, NY 14226. Flowers
gratefully declined. Memorials may be
made to Beechwood Continuing Care
or Christ United Methodist Church.
Online condolences may be made at
www.TheDietrichFuneralHome.com June 7, 1931 – July 18, 2019
Dr. Ross Markello was so enthusiastic about his studies at the University of Buffalo Medical School that he convinced two of his brothers to enroll there.
“He told them, ‘You’ll love it. It’s fun,’ ” his wife Grace said.
Soon, his brothers James and Anthony became physicians, too.
Dr. Markello, who headed the Anesthesiology Department at Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital and Erie County Medical Center in the 1970s and 1980s, died July 18 in Beechwood Homes, Getzville, after a short period of declining health. He was 88.
Born at home in Clymer, he was the sixth of eight children of Sicilian immigrants Rosario “Ross” and Carmela Markello. After the family moved to North Collins, the children did farm work to help support the family.
“We have a wonderful picture of the three boys who became doctors with bags of beans on their backs,” his wife said.
His parents stressed the importance of hard work and higher education, but when Dr. Markello graduated from North Collins High School in 1948, an older brother and sister were in college and the family could not afford to help him go, too.
He first applied for a job at the Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, but was turned down after a medical exam showed bad heart valves. Later in life, he underwent open-heart surgery twice.
It took two years of work at a canning factory in North Collins before he could enroll in 1950 at UB, where he completed his undergraduate studies in three years.
Before he began medical school in 1953, he and his high school sweetheart, Grace E. Munson, a nurse at Gowanda Psychiatric Center, were married in a double wedding in the First Congregational Church in North Collins, along with her sister, Esther, who married the Rev. Harry Tripp.
In all, three of the Markello brothers married three sisters from the Munson family, which had 12 children. The Buffalo Evening News ran an article about the Markello couples in 1962 with a photo showing the three brother doctors in white lab coats and their wives, three registered nurses from the Millard Fillmore School of Nursing, two of them Munson sisters, in white starched caps.
Dr. Markello at first said he wanted to be a country doctor, inspired by the physician from Eden he befriended when he was 8 years old during the illness that took the life of his father.
After medical school, however, he decided on a specialty – anesthesiology.
“He would have liked to be a surgeon,” his daughter Susan Terranova said, “but because of his heart, he couldn’t be on his feet all that time. He went into anesthesiology because he knew it was not as demanding.”
Dr. Markello completed his internship at Millard Fillmore Hospital on Gates Circle and had a 30-year career at Meyer Memorial after doing his residency there in anesthesiology. He later earned a master’s degree in business administration from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He joined the faculty of the UB Medical School in 1961 and became chairman of its Department of Anesthesiology in 1972. He later was assistant dean of the medical school.
His brother, James, who had been a high school science teacher, became a pediatrician at the former Children’s Hospital and later in North Carolina. Anthony Markello, who graduated from college with a degree in chemistry, practiced in West Seneca as an internist and went on to be medical director at Mercy Hospital.
After retiring in 1987, Dr. Markello was a consulting physician for several years for Independent Health.
In retirement, he became an accomplished photographer and a student of geology. An avid member of the Amherst Camera Club, his photos appeared in books and in The Buffalo News.
He explored the Niagara Escarpment at length in New York State and Canada. In 1994, he and another photographer, Scott Ensminger, rented a helicopter to get shots from the air of lesser-known waterfalls along the cliffs of the escarpment.
Buffalo News outdoor columnist Gerry Rising, who accompanied them, wrote: “Markello and Ensminger are nationally known waterfall buffs. Together they have systematically plotted the locations of hundreds of the falls of Western New York, and they already have visited and filmed most of them.
“On two earlier hikes I had come to understand some of their delight in this unusual hobby.
“It is a fulfilling experience to work your way through woody tangles up a small brook until, rounding a bend, you find yourself looking up at a beautiful white surge of water breaking over a high wall of slate and shale.”
Dr. Markello’s photos of landscapes and architectural landmarks are exhibited at Beechwood, where he was a member of the board of directors and the board of the Beechwood/Blocher Foundation, and at the Airport Bridge Club, where he often played duplicate bridge, a game he took up in retirement. He was a Life Master bridge player with nearly 1,400 master points.
He also played bridge at the Amherst Senior Center, where he was active as a volunteer.
A longtime resident of Snyder, he had been a golfer and his other hobbies included refinishing antique furniture and repairing cane seats in chairs.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Ross J.; three daughters, Judith Beekman, Susan Terranova and Katherine Marshall; three brothers, James, Anthony and Samuel; and nine grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, in Christ United Methodist Church, 350 Saratoga Road, Snyder.