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With heavy hearts, we announce that Benedict “Ben” Philip Gross of Medicine Hat, Alberta, passed away peacefully at the age of 92 on November 4, 2023.
Ben is survived by his wife of 64 years, Arliss; son Daryl (Jan) Gross, children - Allison, Kevin (Jeannette), Brian, Tyson (Tamara) and grandchildren - Micaela, Tyrell, Sierra, Rhaella & Perrin; daughter Jeanne (Jim) Holmberg, children - Quinn (Jeff), Zack (Sarah), grandchildren - Alexander and Mackenzie; and daughter Janice (Kevin) Bezler, children - Kaleb and Gracyn; daughter-in-law Karen Gross, her and Derek’s children - Kalene (Jed), Megan; Sister Rose Knibb, Brothers Marvin (Eileen) Gross and Lavern (Evelyn) Gross, sisters-in-law’s Lorilei Gross, Bonnie (Harlan) Borggard, Trudy (Steve) Ratz, Sandra (Fred) Werewka, brothers-in-law’s Harold (Peggy) Brown and Bill Wright
He is predeceased by his parents; Francis (Frank) & Hilda Gross, son Derek Gross, sister Violet (Steve) Ell, brothers Ernest Gross, Francis Gross and Duane Gross, brother-in-law Ron Knibb, In-laws Clarence & Verna Brown, sister-in-law Louiene Wright.
Born September 25, 1931, Ben was the first born to Frank and Hilda (nee Guenther) Gross. His life began in the humble surroundings of his grandparents, Philip & Ottillia Gross’s farm, south of Grassy Lake, Alberta. He grew up on the family farm southeast of Grassy Lake, learning a strong work ethic.
In the summer of 1953, Ben worked for the Department of Agriculture as a Rod man on a surveyor crew. In 1954, he started working for the County of Forty-Mile, a career that spanned 13 years. Starting out running a D6 Dozer and scraper, then operating a maintainer (grader). He spent the summers on the road crew, living in camp and winters at home, working in the county shop repairing equipment. Ben inherited his father’s mechanical skills, Arliss referred to him as “Jack of all Trades, Master of them All”. He passed these skills onto his sons.
Ben met his future wife, Arliss Brown in 1956, marrying her on May 5, 1959. They settled in Bow Island where he continued to work for the County of Forty Mile. Sons Derek, born in 1960 & Daryl born 1961 added to their family. In 1963, when the County closed the shop in Bow Island, they moved to Foremost so Ben could continue his career with them. It was in Foremost that Ben built his own truck camper, making it easier to go hunting with the boys or fishing with his family. In 1964, they added their first daughter Jeanne to the family. In 1967, he purchased a farm southeast of Grassy Lake, a few miles from where he grew up, leaving his career with the County, returning to his roots as a farmer. In 1970, they added another member to their family, a daughter Janice.
In 1975, they made a bold move, selling the farm in Grassy Lake, purchasing a farm near Griswold, Manitoba and moved their family east. In 1982, they started their journey back home, moving to Abby in western Saskatchewan where Ben was the foreman for the RM of Miry Creek.
In 1986, they moved to and purchased a service station/ garage in Leader, SK, operating it until 1990. After that, Ben worked odd jobs around Leader, drove a rock truck in the mountains, operated a grader for the MD of Taber. In 1993, they completed their journey back home to Alberta, settling in Taber where he continued to work for the MD of Taber until he retired at the end of 1999.
Not content to sit around, in 2000 they moved to Lethbridge, becoming on-site caretakers of the Victory Church property where they stayed for the next 17 years. There, Ben passionately pursued golfing and crafting things out of wood; building shelving for the greenhouse next door, in-wall cribs for the church nursery, wishing wells or one of many wood projects that he dreamed up.
In 2017, as Demetia began to creep in, they moved to Medicine Hat to be closer to family. Ben loved to sit in the chair in their bedroom window, watching the activity on the South Saskatchewan River as it flowed below. The geese, beavers, deer and human activities gave him much peace and enjoyment.
Celebration of Life will be held at 2:30 pm, November 11th, 2023, at First Assembly, 395 – 9th St SE, Medicine Hat, AB. For those wishing to attend, a visitation will be held Friday, November 10th, 2023, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at First Assembly. A private family interment will take place prior to the Celebration of Life at Assumption Cemetery, south of Grassy Lake, AB. The service will also be live streamed for those who are unable to attend by visiting First Assembly//Medicine Hat on YouTube.