It is with great sadness that the family of Alice M. Gross shares the news of her passing on October 15, 2019 at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, JoAnn and Craig Blum. Alice had been lovingly cared for by her family for the past year. Even at 99.5 years of age, dying wasn’t Alice’s idea – she still had a great love of life and was not ready to leave her earthly family.
Alice was born on March 7, 1920 in a log cabin on a farm near Lastrup, Minnesota to John Adam and Kathryn Virnig. On October 28, 1941, she married Clifford Gross at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church in Lastrup. During WWII, she followed the love of her life, Cliff, with their infant daughter to Colorado and Florida where he was stationed with the US Army.
Alice & Cliff moved to Neillsville on October 29, 1950 because of his job and embraced Neillsville as their home. After being a sales representative for Foxbilt Feeds, in 1952, Cliff started Grassland Feeder Pigs which he later sold and bought the Chevrolet-Oldsmobile dealership in 1956. After Cliff died on September 20, 1976, Alice became an owner and officer of Gross Motors. She was proud to be involved in the family business until the day she died.
Anyone who knew Alice, knew how much she loved to play cards and dance or listen to old time music. Being proud of her German heritage, she always enjoyed a polka and, in her later years, looked forward to watching Mollie B’s Polka Party on TV. For years, she went on bus trips and made some good memories as well as good friends. She had a contagious laugh and sharp wit which she kept up to her last days. She enjoyed the summer weekends with her growing family at her cabin on Lake Arbutus and especially looked forward to the pontoon rides. She loved working and being outdoors and tending to her flowers. Her house always had a warmth and was decorated for every season of the year. She always found a way to keep busy and cleanliness was one of her virtues. Some of her other best virtues were that she was not critical or judgmental. Her family was lucky to benefit from her love of cooking and baking – especially her cranberry steam pudding, chocolate chip cookies and best-ever turkey dressing at Thanksgiving. She had a great memory and would remind us of things and details we long forgot. She sent birthday cards to all of her children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren which always included a gift. She was thankful for the wonderful friends she had over the years, especially her close-knit group of girlfriends that she treasured and looked forward to playing cards with on Mondays.
Alice was a member of St. Mary’s Church and still an active member of their PCCW. For many years, she helped serve funeral luncheons. She was proud to be a member of the American Legion Post 73 Women’s Auxiliary and peeled many potatoes for potato salad for their Friday night fish fries.
Alice is survived by her children, JoAnn (Craig) Blum, Wayne (Peggy) Gross, Karen Kuchenbecker, and Jerry (Marcia) Gross all of Neillsville who are grateful for her motherly love, generosity and gentle spirit. She will also be lovingly missed by her 12 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren and also a brother, Gerald Virnig and his wife Pat, and sister-in-law, Rosemary Welinski all of Little Falls, Minnesota.
Alice was preceded in death by her husband Clifford, her parents, two brothers, two sisters and son-in-law, Mike Kuchenbecker.
Services to honor her death and celebrate her life will be held at Gesche Funeral Home on Friday, October 18, with visitation from 4:00-7:00 and then on Saturday, October 19, from 10:00-11:00 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Neillsville prior to her funeral service at 11:00. Music will be provided by organist, Vicente Cortez, and the St. Mary’s Choir.
Her pallbearers will be all of her grandsons, Steve Blum. Michael Gross, Adam Kuchenbecker, Jared Kuchenbecker, Dylan Gross and Roman Gross. Honorary pallbearers will be all of her granddaughters, Christine Geffers, Renee Husman, Emily Kreiner, Jasmine Gross, Megan Brooks and Jade Gross.
At the family’s request, memorials may be given to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the Neillsville American Legion Post 73 or any charity of your choice.