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Joseph W.'s Story

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Joseph W. Gross, 68, of Gloucester died peacefully in the morning hours this past Friday, November 24, 2017. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 29, 1949, Joe was the third of four siblings. He moved with his entire family to Gloucester, Mass., in 1955. He has been a lifelong resident of Gloucester since that day.
Joe spent his formative years attending St. Mel’s School in East Gloucester before heading up the line to St. John’s Prep, from which he graduated high school in 1967. He enrolled at the University of Cincinnati and spent a semester there before leaving to join the peace movement. He spent the next 20 years protesting, reading, driving a school bus in Maine, raising a family, and working as a fisherman out of Gloucester before deciding to return to school to earn his Associate’s Degree in Physical Therapy from North Shore Community College. Joe began his career as a Physical Therapist’s Assistant at Addison Gilbert Hospital before joining VNA Care Network and working as an in-home PT assistant around Cape Ann -- a role at which he would excel and enjoy for the next 16 years of his life. Joe was welcomed into the homes of countless Cape Ann families and often forged friendships not only with the people for whom he was providing care but also with the families to which they belonged. Joe’s family could not walk around Gloucester without hearing some form of compliment about how great he had been to a person’s loved one in a difficult time, compliments which were always then passed on to Joe.
He was a lover of reading, science, politics, music, bodysurfing, fishing, storytelling, and cooking, but the thing he loved more than anything else was helping people in a time of need. There was never a moment where Joe would be too busy to help a friend or stranger with any task, no matter how small or large. He loved to take his children and grandchildren for walks along the beaches and rocks of East Gloucester, where he grew up, and to take his dog for walks through the Seine Field, Dogtown, and Ravenswood Forest. He loved his family.
Joe was predeceased by his father, Bill Gross; his mother, Katherine “Renee” (Mayer) Gross-Nutbrown; his stepfather, Richard Nutbrown; his son, Wilbur “Willie” Joseph Gross; and his niece, Lauren Rendell. He is survived by his eldest brother, Mate of Los Gatos, Calif.; his sister, Gretchen Graziano of North Kingston, N.H., and her children, Steven, David and Melissa; and his younger brother, Tony, along with Tony’s wife, Abbie Lundberg, and their children, Alex and Lucy Gross of Gloucester.
He is loved and survived by his wife of 47 years, Judith (Moser) Gross of Gloucester; his daughter, Mary (Gross) Russell and her husband, Robert of Tampa, Fla.; and his grandchildren, Jackie, Kevin, Julie, Emily, and Alyssa. He is also survived by oldest son, Leaf of Manhattan, N.Y.; and his youngest child, Julius and his fiancée, Emily of Gloucester, all of whom loved him dearly.
Visiting hours will be in the Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester, on Wednesday evening, November 29, 2017, from 4 to 7 p.m. A Celebration of Joe’s Life will take place at the Gloucester House, 63 Rogers St., Gloucester, on Thursday, November 30, 2017, from 6 to 9 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joe’s name to the League of Women Voters Katherine E. Gross Nutbrown Scholarship Fund, payable to LWVCA and sent to June Michaels, P.O. Box 244, Rockport, MA 01966. For online contributions and register book, please visit www.pikenewhall.com.
Published on  November 27, 2017
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