Jack Bair Gross was born 19 July 1911 in Gratz, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, the son of Abraham Gross, a merchant, and his wife Rosa [Sachs] Gross. When he was two years old, the family moved to Harrisburg.
He died on 23 March 2006 in Harrisburg.
His obituary appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot, 7 April 2006:
JACK GROSS – Air Force Association Leader
Jack Gross , a charter life member of the Air Force Association and one of its most important leaders, died March 23, 2006 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was 94.
Gross was born in Gratz, Pennsylvania, in 1911. He graduated from the Harrisburg Academy and Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and served in World War II in the European and African Theatres, where he was Executive Officer of a fighter group, reaching the rank of Colonel.
He retired from uniformed life in 1971, after a combined 30 years in active and reserve service. At Gross‘ retirement, then secretary of the Air Force, Robert C. Seamans, flanked by Chief of Staff General John D. Ryan, personally decorated Gross with the Legion of Merit for “outstanding service” with Headquarters Command.
He made his mark in business and civics. A highly successful businessman, with interests in real estate, drilling and the auto dealership, Francis for Fords, he donated generously of his money, time and financial expertise to numerous causes in Pennsylvania and nationally. Chief of these was the Air Force Association.
He was the Air Force Association’s “Man of the Year” in 1958 and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1953. He served 21 years as the Air Force Association’s National Treasurer, simplifying the Association’s complicated finances, guiding it through various economic challenges, and putting it on a solid foundation with expanding assets.
In 1991, he inaugurated a series of financial awards recognizing AFA staff for excellence, and in 2005 launched another financial program rewarding the Air Force Association staff for longevity of service. He was also the sponsor of the Jack Gross Membership Award, which provides grants to those chapters that most expand their memberships. He was one of the most generous donors to the Air Force Association and the Aerospace Education Foundation.
Gross had many interests from collecting art to playing jazz piano and was a charter member of the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz. He was a member of Ohev Sholom Temple.
Prominent family members, all from Harrisburg, who predeceased him are Mary [Gross] Denison, Ida Louise Thorpe, Vivian Goldstein, Robert Gross and Harold Gross .
He is survived by a niece, Suzanne Denison of Washington and a nephew, Jerome Goldstein of Florida.
There will be a memorial service on Friday, April 14th at 11 a.m. at the Bookstaber Chapel, Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Colonial Park.
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