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1928 Robert 2006

Robert Ross Gross

December 3, 1928 — May 24, 2006

Robert Ross Gross, son of Garland and Johnny Gross, passed away on the morning of May 24, 2006. Known by a very long list of friends as “Bob,” “Bobby” and “Ross” he was affectionately referred to as “Pop” by his kids. Born on December 3, 1928 in a small farmhouse in Days Creek, Oregon, he spent his formative years attending school in Winston and then Roseburg. He graduated from Roseburg High School in 1948. His heritage includes an extensive list of pioneers in Oregon, including his Grandparents, Ella and Jack Hanks who owned and operated the Perdue General Store and Post Office. Mail and supplies were delivered via mule train.

He was very proud of his ancestry and was related to Abraham Lincoln on his mother’s side. Correspondence was retained where our famous president was urged to give up politics and move to “God’s Country” (Oregon). He was an active member of the Canyonville Historical Society and contributed heavily to the publications the society has generated concerning Douglas County.

An environmentalist in the truest sense of the word, he was a dedicated activist in preserving the salmon runs and forests. He believed in sustained yield and sanity in logging practices, and properly constructed dams for flood control, temperature regulation for fish health, hydroelectric power, and irrigation and recreational purposes.

He was an active member of the Golden Eagles Kiwanis, Masons, NRA and various charity organizations. He was a mentor for troubled teens and a voluntary driver for the elderly. He was the kind of person that would give you the shirt off his back and never hesitated to help out anyone in need. Pop had a great love for life that was contagious. His sense of humor was remarkable, even legendary. To know him was to love him.

Pop was an avid hunter, fisherman, gardener, and master chef until the day he passed. He was a master at making pickles and smoked meats and gave away cases of pickles every year to friends and loved ones. He loved everything about the outdoors and spent a lot of time camping when he wasn’t fishing, hunting, and gardening.

Pop went to work for COPCO (which later became the PP&L utility company) shortly after his discharge from the Navy. He was a dedicated employee until his retirement after 42 years of service. He was very well liked and developed many life-long friends in the power company. A tribute to Pop was a statement made that his retirement party had the largest turnout of any that had occurred previously. One coworker in particular, Bill Wilcox, became more like a brother than a friend. They were inseparable hunting and fishing buddies and Bill is an exceptional friend to the entire family.

Pop was a patriot with a great love for our country. He served in the Navy as a cook on an Aircraft Carrier and remained in the Naval Reserves until he retired.

Pop married his high school sweetheart, Juanita “Sapphire” Pollard. They raised four sons: John (married to Karen), Sandy (married to Shannon), Dave (married to Robbie), and Wayne (married to Denice). He was an outstanding and devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Grandchildren include Jodi Sunitsch, Rob Gross, Kelli Anderson, Samuel Gross, Tera Gross and Heather Gross. Great grandchildren include Jordan and Kamryn Sunitsch, Grayce Robertson, Hunter Gross, Mackenzie Gross and Nathanuel Gross.

Pop had two sisters, Joann Parker and Doris Henigan. He adored them both and referred to them as his “treasures.”

His beloved wife Juanita, his older sister Doris and his oldest son John, preceded Pop in death.

A memorial service will be at 1:00 pm, Saturday, June 3, 2006 at Hull & Hull Funeral Directors (612 NW A Street – Grants Pass).

If anyone in this world has earned a ticket to Heaven, it would be Robert Ross Gross, our Pop. He will be sorely missed by many. Note to God: be prepared for some serious laughter and some great pickles.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Ross Gross, please visit our flower store.


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