Gor­don R. Gross, sup­ported UB, Ride for Roswell

The Buffalo News - - LOCAL NEWS - April 14, 1931 – March 25, 2019 By Anne Neville NEWS STAFF RE­PORTER

In the sum­mer of 2000, when he was pre­par­ing for a seven-week cross-coun­try bi­cy­cle trek to raise funds for the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion for Greater Buf­falo, Gor­don R. Gross shrugged off naysay­ers.

“My wife and a lot of other peo­ple think I am crazy to do this at my age but, hey, I climbed to the top of Mount Kil­i­man­jaro when I was 67,” he told The Buf­falo News.

“It’s my phi­los­o­phy that the more you do, the health­ier you stay. Right?”

With his ride from Wash­ing­ton State to Maine, Mr. Gross, who was 69, raised $72,152 for the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion for Greater Buf­falo.

Some $54,000 of that aided the Alan J. Gross Memo­rial Fund, named for his late brother, also an avid cy­clist, who taught in the UB Den­tal School.

Mr. Gross, 87, a found­ing part­ner of the Buf­falo law firm Gross Shu­man, died Mon­day in Charleston, S.C. He and his wife Gretchen Shaw Gross had spent win­ters on Ki­awah Is­land for sev­eral years.

He grew up in Buf­falo, at­tended Park School and Ober­lin Col­lege and earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from the Univer­sity at Buf­falo in 1952. He grad­u­ated from UB Law School in 1955.

Mr. Gross served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957 as a lawyer in the Judge Ad­vo­cate Gen­eral Corps, sta­tioned in Alaska.

In ad­di­tion to the Gross Shu­man law firm, for­merly Gross, Shu­man, Briz­dle & Gil­fil­lan, he was a founder, trustee and of­fi­cer of the Do­min­ion Mort­gage & Re­alty Trust from 1971 to 1982.

Mr. Gross sup­ported many or­ga­ni­za­tions, with spe­cific in­ter­ests in Jewish is­sues, the arts, ed­u­ca­tion and health care. Ac­cord­ing to the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of Greater Buf­falo, Mr. Gross was a mem­ber of 24 boards and pres­i­dent or chair of 12 of them.

He was a SUNY trustee from 2001 to 2008. The Grosses en­dowed a pro­fes­sor­ship in UB’s Depart­ment of Jewish Thought, where he served on the board of ad­vi­sors; a class­room in the UB Law School is named in their honor and they made a sig­nif­i­cant gift to the UB School of Den­tal Medicine in mem­ory of Mr. Gross’s brother. He also was on the boards of the In­vest­ment Com­mit­tee of the Univer­sity at Buf­falo Foun­da­tion and its Gift Stew­ard­ship com­mit­tee.

UB Pres­i­dent Satish K. Tripathi said in a state­ment, “For more than 60 years, Gordy was an ex­em­plary univer­sity ci­ti­zen and in­spir­ing alum­nus whose ded­i­cated ser­vice, wise coun­sel and un­flag­ging com­mit­ment to UB greatly en­riched our univer­sity com­mu­nity, our fac­ulty and our stu­dents.”

The Grosses re­ceived the 2008 UB Col­lege of Arts and Sci­ences Ju­lian Park Award.

He re­ceived a 1996 Dis­tin­guished Law Alumni Award from UB Law School, and, in 2010, the Sa­muel P. Capen Award, the high­est honor given by the UB Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion.

He was pres­i­dent of the Buf­falo Jewish Fed­er­a­tion from 1982 to 1984, and won the Fed­er­a­tion’s Nathan Ben­der­son Com­mu­nity Lead­er­ship Award in 1998.

He was pres­i­dent of the Foun­da­tion for Jewish Phi­lan­thropies from 1995 to 1997, pres­i­dent of Kadimah School from 1987 to 1988, and served on the board of the Bureau of Jewish Ed­u­ca­tion in the 1960s and the Buf­falo chap­ter of the Anti-Defama­tion League.

In 1972, Mr. Gross was elected to a two-year term as pres­i­dent of the Jewish Cen­ter of Greater Buf­falo.

He was a mem­ber of the JCC na­tional board from 1986 to 1994.

A past trustee of Tem­ple Beth Zion, he served on the board of the Amer­i­can Jewish Com­mit­tee in Buf­falo from 1988 to 1992 and co-chaired the Wein­berg Cam­pus Fund Drive in the early 1990s.

A di­rec­tor of the Roswell Park Cancer In­sti­tute Cor­po­ra­tion and an avid cy­clist who took up the sport at age 50, Mr. Gross was one of the all-time lead­ing fundrais­ers for the Ride for Roswell.

In 2010, three years af­ter knee re­place­ment surgery, he bi­cy­cled from Ann Ar­bor, Mich., to join the Ride for Roswell.

That year, Ride founder Mitch Flynn said Mr. Gross was one of about a dozen peo­ple who had raised more than $10,000 in a sin­gle year. “He’s the top of the heap,” Flynn said.

Mr. Gross re­ceived the Amer­i­can Jewish Com­mit­tee’s 1990 Com­mu­nity Re­la­tions Award, the 1993 Foun­da­tion for Jewish Phi­lan­thropies Award and the Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion for Just Com­mu­ni­ties 2018 Ci­ta­tion Award. In 2013, the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion es­tab­lished the Gor­don R. Gross, Esq., Award.

Be­sides his wife of 39 years, he is sur­vived two daugh­ters, De­bra Gross Weiner and San­dra Wol­chok, five grand­chil­dren and a great-grand­child.

Fu­neral ser­vices will be held at 2 p.m. to­day in the Sanc­tu­ary of Tem­ple Beth Zion, 805 Delaware Ave.

Buf­falo News file photo

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