Paul Brian Gross, 87 of Kenner, Louisiana, (but 88 in Ukraine, his ancestral home) passed away on November 5, 2021, from heart failure at the VA Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. He died peacefully surrounded by his daughters, Teri Gross and Beth Gross-Santos and son-in-law, Michael Hertzig (Teri).
He was born to parents Ida Gross and Benjamin Gross, on November 6, 1933, in Providence, Rhode Island. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Lenore Gross, with whom he enjoyed 59 wonderful years of marriage. He is survived by his daughters, Teri Gross (Michael Hertzig) of Mandeville, Louisiana, Beth Gross-Santos of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and his son, Fred Gross (Yvonne) of Redondo Beach, California. He is also survived by his brother, Irwin Gross (Elaine) Boynton Beach, Florida and his six grandchildren, Jacob Hertzig of Denver, Colorado, Samantha Hertzig of Atlanta, Georgia, Erica Gross (Charlie Mcinnis) of Dallas, Texas, Jamie Gross (Michael Boyle) of Lakewood, Colorado, Matilda Gross-Santos of Olympia, Washington, and Remi Gross of Boston, Massachusetts. He is also survived by his dear friend Carey Hammett, who holds a special place in our hearts. Paul also is survived by sister-in-law, Sandy Gross of Cranston, Rhode Island, predeceased by his brothers, Edwin Gross and Jerry Gross, and survived by several nieces and nephews, including Howard Tolchinsky of Rocky Point, Mexico.
He graduated from Hope High School, Providence, Rhode Island in May, 1952, and was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. In his later years he went on to study Business Administration at Johnson & Wales College, Providence, Rhode Island and graduated with an Associate’s Degree.
Paul worked as an Industrial Engineer/Welding Superintendent for 21-years at General Dynamics in Groton, Connecticut and Quincy, Massachusetts. He then worked on special assignments at Armour-Porter as a Plant Superintendent in North Grafton, Massachusetts, as a Field Welding Engineer for Nuclear Installation Service Company, in Taft, Louisiana, and as Plant General Manager for Taco, Inc. in Cranston, Rhode Island. He spent the remainder of his working years as a Nuclear Welding Superintendent for Stone & Webster Engineering until his retirement in 1995. Paul had assignments all around the country, including the Riverbend Nuclear Power Station in St. Francisville, Louisiana. His last assignment with Stone & Webster brought him to Madison/Huntsville, Alabama, where he and Lenore lived until November, 2013.
Paul had a thorough knowledge of all codes, guidelines, and regulations regarding nuclear power plant welding construction. He qualified and implemented the first commercial application of metal beam welding in the United States.
One of his proudest accomplishments was his tenure as president of Temple B’nai Shalom in Huntsville. He and his close friend, Rabbi Jeffrey Ballon were a dynamic pair that brought togetherness and comfort food to services and events. One little boy came up to Teri and told her how Mr. Paul made the best macaroni and cheese he ever had. “Well, dad, explain yourself, you never made it for me, and I love mac and cheese.” To which he replied, “I can only make it for 100!” Paul really loved to cook, including meatballs, baked stuffed shrimp and his famous “S.O.S.,” mostly for special occasions!
Once Paul began working in the nuclear welding field, he often supervised over 2,0000 employees, and it was during that time that he started calling everyone “turkey,” because there were too many names to remember. Since he did it to everyone, they thought it was a term of endearment!
He was a tough, but fair boss, and his children knew that he was fair because they heard him talking (aka swearing) on the phone to some of his supervisors. Paul was proud that his children leaned to swear at home and not on the streets!
As a father of teenagers, he was very involved with the youth groups at Temple Beth Torah in Cranston, RI, where many thought of him as the “cool dad” because he wore jeans when other dads didn’t. Besides family, his greatest joy was the joy and love he had for dogs.
If Paul hadn’t worked in Louisiana, Beth would not have gone to Loyola, Fred would not have had his two daughters, Erica and Jamie, and Teri would not have met Michael at Loyola Law School, gotten married and had two children, Jacob and Samantha.
The family would like to thank the caregivers at Nancy’s Private Care, and the wonderful staff and medical teams at the V.A. Medical Center of New Orleans, who provided the kind of care we all deserve.
A Memorial Service for Paul will be held in the Spring. The family will observe shiva, mourning and visitation, at the home of Teri Gross, 1206 Bay Court, Mandeville, LA 70471, on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 9th and 10th from 7:00PM to 9:00PM. COVID Vaccination required or proof of negative COVID test within last 24-hours.
Donations in memory of Paul can be made to the New Orleans VA Medical Center, Northshore Jewish Congregation, Mandeville, Louisiana and Temple B’nai Shalom in Huntsville, Alabama.
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