Russell Gross

Russell A. Gross

1920 - 2018

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Obituary of Russell A. Gross

Russell A. Gross passed away peacefully on May 27, 2018, while at the Happy Valley Town Center in Portland Oregon, where he had resided since 2016. He was only a month away from his 98th birthday.  He and his wife Jeanne Buhler Gross (1921 - 2008) will be interred together at the Willamette National Cemetery.  Russell and Jeanne are survived by an only child, Ronald Gross of American Canyon, California. Russell is also survived by a large extended family of sisters, nieces, and nephews throughout Oregon and Washington. There is also family in Ireland.


Russell was the second son of Glenn and Marguerite Gross, born in Portland, and grew up in Battleground, Washington. He was one of seven siblings.  He inherited his electrical engineering talents from his father and his artistic talents from his mother. He worked for Western Union prior to enlisting in the US Navy (1942) during WWII and served as an Electrician’s Mate 1st Class.  In October 1943, Russell met and married the love of his life, Jeanne Buhler of Bloomfield, New Jersey.  After the end of WWII and his Naval discharge, Russell and Jeanne lived and worked in Yellowstone Park prior to starting and maintaining a successful, nationwide contracting business, Communi-Catering, as part of the booming telecommunications industry.  Their business took them to Chicago-Illinois, Central Colorado, Northern California, and finally back to Gladstone, Oregon in 1972 where they later closed their business of over 42 years, in order to retire.  


Throughout his life, Russell was an accomplished artist creating many oil paintings of the Old West, trains, sea borne ships and many other subjects.  Upon retirement, he continued to paint while also pursuing other artistic endeavors. He collected a substantial number of miniature trains and built an extensive working train and signal layout in one large room of their home.  Also, Russell and Jeanne were avid book readers of history, current affairs, mysteries, and classics.  Both enjoyed forming lifelong friendships with people they met during their various social engagements and travel adventures. Along with traveling to nearly every state in the USA, they were also world travelers, delighting in cruise and working-class ship travel to Australia, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Baltic, and Asia.


They had a full, well-lived, successful, and remarkable life.


Russell and Jeanne will be placed at the Willamette National Cemetery on July 27, 2018.  The ceremony will be at 2:30 pm.  A reception is planned at another location, details to follow


Military Honors

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Friday, July 27, 2018
Willamette National Cemetery
11801 SE Mt Scott Blvd.
Portland, Oregon, United States