Edward Gross Obituary
 
In Memory of

Edward Gross

October 18, 1921 - July 21, 2013
Obituary

Edward Gross died after a gratifying life both professional and personal. He was born in 1921 in a small town in Romania. When he was 6 months old, his parents emigrated to join other family in Vancouver, Canada. He attended schools showing early aptitude and love of education which continued throughout his life. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1942 where he was awarded the Governor General's Gold Medal as the head of the graduating class. He pursued postgraduate work at the University of Toronto in economics and sociology, and at the University of Chicago where he took a Ph.D in sociology. He had many academic...
Edward Gross died after a
gratifying life both professional
and personal. He was born in
1921 in a small town in Romania.
When he was 6 months old, his
parents emigrated to join other
family in Vancouver, Canada. He
attended schools showing early
aptitude and love of education
which continued throughout his
life. He graduated from the
University of British Columbia in
1942 where he was awarded the
Governor General's Gold Medal
as the head of the graduating
class. He pursued postgraduate
work at the University of Toronto
in economics and sociology, and
at the University of Chicago
where he took a Ph.D in
sociology.
He had many academic positions
at Washington State University,
the University of Minnesota and
the University of Washington
until his retirement in 1989. He
was also a Fulbright Fellow at
the University of Queensland
and Griffith University in
Australia. In 1987, he was invited
by the government of China
to lecture on American higher
education, which he carried out
in several Chinese cities. He
was the author of a number of
widely used studies in books and
numerous academic journals.
These dealt with the goals and
structure of universities and
of bureaucratic organizations,
as well as with the careers
of academic administrators.
A second interesting those
publications was on the subject
of embarrassment which he felt
to be a fundamental index to
character and social life. He was
fond of saying that although we
all experience embarrassment,
how we handle it ells us much
about our inner life.
His studies in embarrassment
led him to a brush with media
attention even to appearing on
TV talk shows as well as many
radio shows. Although friends
assumed he was then entering
a new career, he regarded it as
providing only some amusement
in a serious academic career.
In his 60s, his interests turned
from sociology to research on
corporate crime, an involvement
that led him to spend time in law
libraries. Later he enrolled as
a full time student to pursue a
law degree. Although his fellow
students sometimes thought
he was getting a free ride, he
was not-- taking all exams (and
paying al fees- his wife Florence,
MSW used he Social Security to
finance his education). Few of
the designers of Social Security
likely could have envisaged that
it would result in the production
of another lawyer. Although he
did receive a law degree and
practiced briefly in a small firm
he soon was teaching again in the
university honors program on the
subject of law and community
-- a happy combination of law
and sociology. These and other
achievements led to his being
included in Who's Who for many
years.
After retirement, he began
to offer film-commentaries
to various audiences on legal
subjects, an activity he continued
until his death. He found film
studies fascinating, wishing he
had started such work earlier.
He felt the same way about his
involvement in law. He often
commented that his father
sometimes complained that he
could not really understand what
sociology had to contribute and
occasionally was even puzzled
that he was paid for it.
His life was enriched by his 7
years of marriage to his beloved
wife, Florence. They met as
students at the University of
British Columbia. She carried
on her own career as social
worker in agencies and family
court. While Ed was enjoying
himself as a visiting scholar in
Australia, she was working to
introduce family therapy to the
Australian courts. His life was
also fulfilled by their son, David
and daughter, Deborah, as well
as granddaughter, Melana, and
Melana's three sons. He is also
survived by his sister, Evelyn, a
resident of Vancouver, Canada.
Over the years, he was active
as member of Temple Beth
Am in Seattle serving on the
governing board. He will be
fondly remembered by his many
audiences, colleagues, family
and friends. He had a splendid
sense of humor that all will miss.

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Seattle Times, The
Edward Gross Edward Gross died after a gratifying life both professional & personal. He was born in 1921 in a small town in Romania. When he was...

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