E.T. “Tom” Gross, 98, died Nov. 30, 2018, on Jekyll Island, Ga.
He was born July 16, 1920, to U.S. Army parents in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ever diligent, he attended Hawaii University, transferring and graduating from Emory University, Phi Beta Kappa in 1942. He enlisted in the Army, taking OCS training at Duke University where he met his bride-to-be, Frances “Randy” Madeline Gross. They married Sept. 3, 1944, and enjoyed 74 years together.
Tom is survived by his wife, Randy, four children, Stephen (Tami) and Richard, both of Atlanta, John (Edith) of Jekyll Island and Anne Gavin (Bill) of Raleigh N.C.; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granchild.
Tom spent the bulk of his career working in Atlanta for the R.A. Siegel Co., both as Treasurer and President, retiring in 1982. He and Randy split time between Lake Arrowhead, Ga., and Jekyll Island, until moving full-time to Jekyll in 1990.
Tom was a faithful servant wherever he lived. In Atlanta, he served on the Vestry of the Cathedral of St. Philip, and was part of a team that established a U.S. branch of the Community of the Cross of Nails, which began in Coventry, England after World War II. Their ongoing work was dedicated to peace, reconciliation and healing the wounds of history. He served as their Treasurer from its inception. He actively supported Emory University as an Alumnus serving as president of the Alumni Association. As a resident of Jekyll Island, he served in leadership positions with The Lions Club, Friends of Historic Jekyll Island and the Jekyll Island Men’s Golf Association. He was a long-time volunteer and board member of Habitat for Humanity serving as Treasurer and assisting in building numerous houses. He also served as a volunteer at the Thrift Store of St. Mark’s Episcopal, his local church affiliation, where he was on the Vestry, receiving the Sublett Award for his many years of dedicated service.
Tom was a great family man dedicating his life to his children and extended family. He was the last surviving son of five siblings. Family gatherings of brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren were a regular occurrence both in Atlanta and Jekyll Island over the years.
He was an avid golfer, playing tennis as well, and was known to be a bit “competitive.” As a member of the “Greatest Generation,” he was particular about the way things should be done and held to strong principles. He was a friend to many and was both loved and respected by all who knew him.