Born Harold Joseph Gross (aka Babe or Joe 144), his earthbound journey began on March 10, 1924 in
Chicago, IL, returning to his heavenly home on June 16, 2020 at the age of 96.
Harold grew up in Chicago with two sisters and one brother. He graduated from St. Paschals Grammar
School in 1938, attended Charles P. Steinmetz High School (serving in the 1940 Silver Streak Picked
Platoon), where he graduated with a GED so he could enlist in the Army during World War II (July
1942). Serving in the 3103d Signal Service Battalion, 118th Signal Radio Intelligence Co. Army Signal
Corps as a radio operator, Harold began his military journey at Camp Crowder, MO, and then joined
the European theater including Stations in England, France, Germany, and Luxembourg.
One element of note involved teams of the 3103d Signal Service Battalion. They had set up a simulated
radio net that completely deceived the German command who was convinced, in part by the Allied
electronic deception, that the Pas-de-Calais area constituted the real point of invasion, with Normandy
but a diversion. General Eisenhower reported, "I cannot over- emphasize the decisive value of this most
successful threat, which paid important dividends, both at the time of the assault and during the
operation of the two succeeding months."
Upon return to Chicago, he served as an Apprentice through Master Craftsman in the printing industry.
Harold worked for Central T@E, Lake Shore Electrotype, Chicago Electrotype, McCall Printing Plant,
Atlas Electro & Stereotype, and Dallas Morning News, where he retired from in February 1989. During
his career, Harold was also an entrepreneur; he started and operated a vending machine service and the
Reliable Rebuilt Battery business, as well as dog grooming and locksmithing.
In 1949, he met the love of his life, Alma Jean Oxford, and made her his bride on June 2, 1951; they
were married at St. Pascal's Church in Chicago, IL. Their marriage was a godly blessing, an
unbreakable bond without end. Together they raised four children with patience, discipline, and
humility. With so many precious memories of visiting relatives and life-long friends, drives across
town and country, family picnics and reunions, birthdays and holidays, they truly lived a wonderful
life. Their journey began in an apartment on North Francisco Avenue in Chicago, IL; in 1955 they
moved to Brook Road in Prospect Heights, IL; in 1968 they moved to Rosecrest Drive in Bellbrook,
OH; then to Desoto and Rocket, TX; finally returning to Bellbrook in 2008.
Anchored in the Catholic Church, they dedicated their children to God from their Baptisms and First
Communions, to Catholic School. They instilled their children with common sense and conservative
values; always leading by example.
Another interesting note about Harold - he also had his private pilots license and was John Sutter's
great great nephew of the Sutters Mill California Gold Rush in 1849, which was located where
Sacramento is today.
Above all, his devotion to family and his firm belief in God, ultimately gave him eternal peace. In
memory of father:
"He'd come home late with not much to say, and made us all kneel as he taught us to pray.
He taught life's lessons of right from wrong, and instilled in us the values that would make us strong.
And so through the years, like a hero he stood, working so hard to give us all that he could.
He seemed larger than life - we loved to see him smile, for no one in the world could emulate his style.
And so dear Father, our best memory to recall is the gift of your presence ... the greatest gift of all."
We each have a different way of knowing Harold ... as a husband, father, grandfather, great
grandfather, friend. Harold was hardworking, a man of integrity and honor, well-respected, passionate
about politics, with a patriotic love for his country. He loved to reminisce about days of old and richly
enjoyed time spent with family and friends. Harold will be deeply missed by his loved ones, who
celebrate the fact that he is at peace with his creator. Even as he goes about the Lord's errands, we
know Alma is still the one who puts the light in his eyes.
Harold is preceded in death by his parents, Harold W. and Ruth (Lowry) Gross, sisters June Gross and
Patricia Gross, and brother Donald Gross. Harold is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Alma Jean
Gross, children Thomas Jeffery Gross (Faith), Nancy Ann Snyder (Ted), Michael Joseph Gross
(Debbie), and Timothy Mark Gross, 12 grandchildren Heather McKay (James), Amy Reynoso
(Fernando), Andrew Gross, Jeremy Evans (Veronica), Jenny Hollabaugh, Tracy Sundermeier (Denny),
Brandon Snyder, Josh Gross (Danielle), Jess Gross, Jana Vest (Kevin), Melissa Jones (Burk), and
Melanie Gross, 17 great-grandchildren Alexander and Cameron Reynoso, Jacob, Hudson, and Luke
McKay, Jackson and Ava Hollabaugh, Henry and Elliot Sundermeier, Harper and Ethan Gross, Jamie
and Jessie Young, Jaxson Cowan, Jayson Evans, Ott Layne Jones, and Bennett Vest.
The family would also like to express a special thank you to the angels of Hospice of Dayton who took
such exceptional care of our Father in his last days: Chava, Rachael, Carol, Liz, Emma, Susan,
Lindsey, Chauntina, Chaplin Sharon, and Chaplin Dan.
To help the family celebrate his life, you are invited to share during a Life Celebration visitation on
Thursday, June 25th, from 6-8:00 pm at Conner and Koch Life Celebration Home (92 W. Franklin
Street, Bellbrook, 45305). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Incarnation Church (55
Williamsburg Lane, Dayton, 45459) on Friday, June 26th, at 10:30 am. Burial will be at Bellbrook
Please use Harold's online Book of Memories to share photos, condolences, and memories on his
tribute wall. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Little Sisters of the Poor (476 Riddle Road, Cincinnati,
45220) or Hospice of Dayton (324 Wilmington Avenue, Dayton, 45420) in memory of Harold at
© 2020 (Conner & Koch Life Celebration Home)
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