Frank Herbert Gross, spiritual leader with a passion for helping churches work together

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Frank Herbert Gross
Frank Herbert Gross

On Saturday, March 4, 2017, the Rev. Frank Herbert Gross entered into the joy of his Master, having lived a life of service to his Lord and to others.

He was born in Montpelier, Vt., to Delbert W. and Ethel (Willey) Gross. He graduated from Montpelier High School and then attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he felt the call to the ministry.

He then transferred to and graduated from Hamilton College with a B.A. in philosophy, followed by two graduate degrees from Andover Newton Theological School. It was there he met and married Claire Anne Dietrich, with whom he reared three daughters, Cheryl Sunderland (Rick), Kay Quagliano (Peter) and Laurel Marks. Five grandchildren further blessed his life, Richard Sunderland III, Emily Sunderland, Jim Quagliano, Grace Quagliano and Alyona Marks.

Frank was ordained in the United Church of Christ Sept. 25, 1960, serving churches in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. For 23 years, he served as the executive secretary of the NH Council of Churches and NH Bible Society with a passion and a focus for helping churches work together. He was also active in Tres Dies and Kairos, serving as spiritual leader for both communities. He was frequently seen with his guitar as he went about his ministry.

In 2003, Frank and Claire moved to Williamsburg, Va., to be nearer to family. His family is grateful to Dr. Constantine Lyketsos of Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center, to Respite Care of the Williamsburg United Methodist Church, to the Gratitude Singers of the Wellsprings United Methodist Church, and to Spring Arbor and Hospice Community Care for their loving care of Frank, as Alzheimer’s disease relentlessly fought for control.

The family will gather in Berlin Corner Cemetery in Vermont in the summer to commit his ashes overlooking the Vermont hillside, which he so dearly loved.

Those who wish to do so may make memorial contributions to The Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Please make checks payable to Johns Hopkins University, in memory of the Rev. Frank H. Gross, and mail to Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, 550 N. Broadway, Suite 914, Baltimore, MD 21205; or The Respite Care Program of Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185, in memory of Rev. Frank H. Gross.

Of Frank Gross, it can be truly said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of Your Master.”

Online condolences to the family may be expressed at nelsencares.com.