Obituary for Sat., March 23, 2019

Published 1:01 am Saturday, March 23, 2019

Thomas Laverne Gross

Thomas Laverne Gross, 83, passed away peacefully at his home in Andalusia, Alabama, on March 13, 2019. He was born on July 5, 1935, to Thomas and Rose (Polczynski) Gross. Funeral services provided by Keahey Funeral Home.

He grew up in Benton County, Indiana, attending school at St. Mary’s School in Dunnington, Raub School, Earl Park High School, and graduating from Freeland Park High School in 1953. In high school he played baseball, basketball, and was on the track team. He was married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dunnington on August 25, 1956, to Margaret Ida Buchanan.

Tom joined the Knights of Columbus at his home church at age 18, becoming a lifetime member and really being a help as a charter member to the Council at Christ the King almost 20 years ago.

Tom served first in the National Guard then in the United States Army from 1956 to 1959. He was a member of the 2nd  and 3rd Armored Divisions stationed in Germany. One of Tom’s claims to fame was that he served with Elvis Presley and they were both Jeep drivers for officers, and  occasionally spoke as they were parked side by side waiting for meetings to end.

Tom lived in Danville and Watseka, Illinois, until he moved near Redlands, California, in 1968 and lived and worked in the Los Angeles area until he retired. He owned his own printing shop, and was a talented printer and tradesmen. He retired to Andalusia, Alabama in 1993.

He was a faithful member of Christ the King Catholic Church in Andalusia. He donated his time to the church, and was generous to anyone who needed a helping hand wherever he went. He was a caring husband, and was married to his wife for 62 years.

He liked animals, and along with his wife would not turn away any stray dogs or cats that came to their door when they lived on a small farm near Andalusia. It was common for the animals to find a home with Tom and Ida, and some became lifelong pets, as did a boxer puppy named Effie, who enjoyed a nice long life by their side.

Tom enjoy life in Andalusia. He liked the warm weather, reading hundreds of Western novels, and he was a member of the Red Level VFW Post 4388 where he went each day to visit his friends. He also enjoyed watching NASCAR racing, Atlanta Braves baseball, and Auburn football.

He was preceded in death by brothers, (infant Georgie), Frank, Aloysius, Jacob, and Albert Gross; sisters, Mary Ann Gross Childers and Theresa Gross Benson Cope. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Ida Gross of Andalusia, Alabama; sisters, Catherine Gross Evers and Martha Gross Mugge, both of West LaFayette, Indiana. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, and other extended family who loved him greatly and will miss him dearly.

The Right of Christian Burial will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church on Wednesday, March 27, at 11 a.m. Preceding the Mass the Knights of Columbus will lead in a Rosary beginning at 10:30 A.M. In lieu of flowers, a  donation may be made to Saint Jude or to The Society of St. Vincent DePaul Christ the King Parish. A luncheon will follow at Lyons Hall.