Joe Gross, 99, entrepreneur and friend, passes away in Massachusetts
Joseph H. Gross, owner of The Roberts Company mail order catalog and longtime supporter of Industrial Fire World, died Saturday at age 99. Services are set for 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, at Stanetsky Memorial Chapel in Canton, MA.
Gross, 99, of Framingham, MA, specialized in selling gifts and memorabilia designed to appeal to firefighters and law enforcement personnel. In 1984 he became the first merchant to purchase exhibit space for the inaugural Industrial Fire World Conference and Exposition. He remained a fixture in the exhibit hall throughout much of the event’s 27-year history, with booth number one reserved in his honor.
In 2001, as a memorial to his late wife Constance Gross, he founded the Connie Award, given annually to whoever had done the most in the preceding year to promote industrial emergency response behind the scenes. Gross also sponsored the annual Joe Gross Award celebrating important innovations in industrial firefighting. In 1998, Gross was the recipient of the prestigious Red Adair Award for his contribution to the American fire service.
Gross was a US Navy veteran of World War II and a survivor of the sinking of the USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway in 1942.
Services will be held at Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, 475 Washington Street, Canton, MA on Tuesday, April 3, followed by burial in Sharon Memorial Park, Sharon, MA. Expressions of sympathy in his memory may be donated to the National Fire Heritage Foundation.
His friends miss him.