1923 - 2012
Fred A. Gross Jr., 88, of White Rock, N.M., passed away Friday, February 17, 2012, of natural causes.
He was born in Fulton, Mo., on April 2, 1923.
He was a resident of White Rock, N.M., since May 1978. Prior to that he lived in Albuquerque, N.M., and many other cities during his military career.
Fred was an honor high school graduate in Fulton, Mo., where he also starred as an All-Conference and All-State football player and captained the debate team. He studied chemistry at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri. After World War II, he completed the Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Physics at the University of Wisconsin and has completed additional work at the University of New Mexico and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Fred joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 and retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1963 serving as a navigator, instructor, post engineer, and nuclear weapons research and development officer. He served with the B-24 Heavy Bombers in Italy during World War II and with the B-29 Heavy Bombers in Okinawa, England, and Kansas. His decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Presidential Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf cluster, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Air Force Longevity Service Award with four Oak Leaf Clusters. After retiring from the Air Force, he spent four years with Sandia Corporation as a staff member and supervisor, nine years as Vice President of NDRC, Inc., and two years as Associate and Interim Director of the Western Interstate Energy Board/WINB in Denver, Colo. He retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1988 after serving as group leader in the Budget Division and as an analyst in the Engineering and Analysis Division. In 1968, he was appointed to fill an unexpired term in the New Mexico State Senate and was re-elected in 1970 and 1972. He served on the Finance, Rules, Conservation, and Education Committees; the Land Use Advisory Council; the Legislative Interim Energy Committee and the Energy Task Force of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Active in conservation work in the legislature and through the New Mexico and Colorado Wildlife Federations, Fred was also active in the Boy and Girl Scouts for over 50 years. He served as Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Explorer Advisor, and as a member of the Executive Council of the Great Southwest Council. He completed Woodbadge training and was awarded the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow. He received the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts. He also was Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Sangre de Cristo Girl Scout Council. As a life member of the National Wildlife Federation, he served as Vice President, as a member of the Board of Directors, and on the Executive Committee. Fred also served on the Board of Trustees of the Thorne Ecological Institute, as Vice Chairman of the Los Alamos County Planning and Zoning Commission, and on the Board of Directors of the Rocky Mountain Center of Environment. Fred was the Vice Chairman of the Los Alamos County Planning and Zoning Commission. He served as Chairman of the Los Alamos County Public Utility Board. During Fred’s service in this position, Los Alamos County purchased the electrical and gas distribution systems from the Public Service Company of New Mexico, and issued $110 million in bonds to finance both the expansion of the Utility Department and the construction of two hydroelectric plants on the Chama River. Fred was President and a board member of the Los Alamos Sportsmen’s Club. He served as Director, Vice-President, and President of the Roadrunner Chapter of the Retired Officers Association. He was a life member of the New Mexico, National Rifle Association. Fred was also a member of the 455th Bomb Group, (the group he flew with during World War II.) Fred and his wife Susan were active with the Los Alamos Hospital Auxiliary for many years. He served as president and volunteered on many different committees. Fred was a member of the White Rock United Methodist Church, where he served as chairman of the Finance Committee, the Board of Trustees and the Permanent Endowment Fund. For the last two years, Fred resided in Santa Fe, N.M, where he was a member of St. John’s United Methodist Church of Santa Fe, N.M.
He is survived by daughters, Joyce G. Freiwald and Cheryl A. Boone of Albuquerque, N.M., Narra S. Tsiagkouris of Los Alamos, N.M.; son, Fred A. Gross lll of Santa Fe, N.M.; sister, Helen Marie Sisler of Tulsa, Okla.; 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his brother, John H. Gross of Rockport, Texas, and by his wife of 64 years, Susan Kist Gross.
Memorial services will be conducted at White Rock United Methodist Church in White Rock, N.M. on Monday, February 27, 2012, at 10 a.m.
A private interment service will be at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the White Rock United Methodist Church Permanent Endowment Fund, the Los Alamos Hospital Auxiliary or the Lewy Body Dementia Association.
Berardinelli Family Funeral Service. 1399 Luisa Street Santa Fe, NM 87505. (505) 984-8600
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