James Edward Gross of Fayetteville, NC passed away May 25, 2020 at UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital. He had been having health problems since February of this year.
Born October 1, 1947 in Watertown, NY, he was the son of Benjamin F. and Ada Lipsy Gross. A graduate of Watertown High, he earned a B.S. degree in business from Rider College in New Jersey and an MBA from the University of Hartford.
He married Betty Rae Rothman of New Jersey on August 10, 1969. They moved back to Watertown, NY in September 1974, where he began a long career in the family business, Berow & Monroe shoe store.
He was active in civic organizations in Watertown. He was a founder and president of Watertown Alive, a member of Rotary International, and served on the board of United Way.
Degel Israel Synagogue in Watertown was his second home. He served as President for three terms and was a mentor to a number of student Rabbis. He was religious chairman and often led services.
Mr. Gross closed the shoe store in 2005 and moved to Fayetteville in 2007. Soon after arriving in Fayetteville, he joined the staff at John Allen Shoe Store. He loved selling shoes and continued working until he became ill this year.
Jim became an active member of Beth Israel Synagogue immediately. He was elected to the board the following year and served every year since then. He has been secretary, treasurer, President and religious chairman. In 2014, he received the Community Aliyah Award for outstanding leadership at Beth Israel.
Jim is survived by his wife Betty, two daughters, Rabbi Paulette R. Posner of New York City, Eileen Davis and her husband Stephen of Dunn, NC and five grandchildren, Abigail and Brittany Davis and Harry, Jacob and Isaac Posner. Also, a sister-in-law, Linda M. Gross of New Jersey, wife of his late brother, Dr. Lawrence Gross.
He was an avid sports fan and shared this hobby with his grandchildren. Jim was a “kid-at-heart” when it came to visiting the Disney Parks and also enjoyed other Florida destinations to escape the Watertown winters.
A Graveside Service will be held on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 1:00 PM at Beth Israel Cemetery. The family would like attendees to bring an umbrella to ensure social distancing.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to: Degel Israel Synagogue in Watertown, NY and Congregation Beth Israel in Fayetteville, NC.
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