The Parish Office will close at 3:00 p.m. today to allow employees to attend the Friday service for Mr. Gross. The weather forecast for the weekend could make travel to Grand Rapids impossible.
Leonard Carl (Len) Gross was born on July 24, 1939 to Carl & Catherine (Poelma) Gross in Conklin, MI. He
left this world for his heavenly reward, after a 10-month battle with cancer, on Tuesday, January 7,
2020. On May 11, 1973 Len married the love of his life, Roberta (Robbie) Garthe. He leaves behind 3
children: Fr. Dave Gross, Spring Lake, Doug (Tina) Gross, Sun Prairie WI and Cathy (Eric) Buehler of Grand
Rapids, and 9 grandchildren: Jack, Alexandra, Adam & Sara Gross and Claire, Evan, Allie, Jane & Henry
Buehler. Len was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Chuck, and his in-laws, Don & Sue Garthe
and sister-in-law Fran Garthe. He is survived by his siblings: Jerome (Phyllis) Gross, Br. Vincent Gross,
CSC, Bert (Tom) McCarthy, Edna (Jim) May, Diane (Brian) Brouwer and his in-laws, Norma (Joe)
Drasiewski, John Garthe, Donald (Pete) Garthe, Paulette (Grant) Parsons & Peter Garthe, as well as many
nieces & nephews. Len spent 29 years with Kent County Juvenile Court, working as a probation officer,
hearing referee and supervisor of probation staff. He was fortunate to work with a terrific group of
people and truly loved his time there. He was diagnosed with a liver disease in 1986, which began
showing effects in 1997. His illness really progressed in 2001 and forced an early retirement. He was
blessed to receive a liver transplant in January of 2002 at UW Hospital in Madison WI, and his family will
be forever grateful for the new life he was given through the unselfish gift of the donor family and the
expert staff at UW Hospital. Len was given almost 18 more years to enjoy the birth of his 9
grandchildren and traveling. Watching his grandkids grow up was his greatest joy, and they knew that
"Grandpa's candy" was Werthers Original, which he always had in his pocket for them. When you have a
Werthers, think of Len. Len and Robbie were parishioners at St. Stephen Catholic Church for 44 years
and Len was always involved in the church, as a lector, Communion Minister and Usher and numerous
projects in the school. Sports were a big part of his life, and he enjoyed playing softball, golf, cards and,
of course, cheering on the Tigers, Lions, Wolverines, and all Catholic Central sports teams. A rosary will
be prayed for Len at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, with visitation from 5-8 pm at the O'Brien-Gerst Funeral Home,
3980 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids with a prayer vigil at 7:00. A Mass of Christian Burial will be
celebrated on Saturday, January 11, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 750 Gladstone Dr SE,
East Grand Rapids. The family will greet guests 1 hour prior to Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family would
appreciate memorials to HELP Pregnancy Crisis Aid or Lori's Voice, two organizations focused on helping
families and children.
New Year's Eve Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 at 4:30 p.m.
New Year's Day Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, January 01, 2020
Be careful on the roads and have a Blessed and Healthy New Year.
The Parish Office will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We will also be closed New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. We wish everyone a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Our Christmas luncheon will be on Wednesday, December 11 @ 11:30 at Porto Bella. Please bring a pair of children’s mittens or a pair of white tube socks and a $5 gift to trade. Call Bonnie Glavich to make a reservation, 616-850-9280.
Cookie Extravaganza after all Masses the weekend of December 14/15. Drop off all day Friday until 4 p.m. in the Bride’s Room. Saturday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (preferred time). Late donations will be accepted. Thank you for making this a success. Proceeds will go toward repair of the Mosaic.
There will be cookie decorating for kids in the gym. Coffee, juice and hot chocolate will be available.
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