Ludwig J. Gross

Obituary
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Gross, Ludwig J., aka L. J. "Sonny", 79, passed away November 6, 2012 at home in Hollywood, following a brave battle with cancer. A 55-year resident of Florida, Sonny left a lasting impact on this community. Born and raised in the Bronx, he was the son of Henrietta and Ludwig Gross of Germany, both of whom predeceased him. After serving in the Army from 1953-55, Sonny moved to Miami and graduated from the University of Miami in 1959, with a major in education. He later earned his MS at UM in Guidance and Administration. During his tenure at Dade County Public Schools, Sonny was employed as a PE Teacher, Counselor, Asst. Principal, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent. In the early 70's, as the Principal of South Dade Senior High, Sonny was the moving force in changing the name of the mascots, the "Rebels", and removing the Confederate flag as the school symbol. Sonny pushed tirelessly to remove these racially charged symbols. Sonny was instrumental in the successful paradigm shift in the Homestead community. As a result of his success at Homestead Junior and South Dade SHS, Sonny was promoted to Assistant Superintendent. He worked in the MDCPS District office under ten different superintendents. Sonny was pivotal in the creation of the Student Case Management system, truancy guidelines, and many other student service initiatives. Colleagues referred to Sonny as "the most creative mind in MDCPS". Upon his retirement in 1991, he established the Miami Special Olympics and served as the Director for five years. Sonny also had leadership roles in the Miami Grand Prix. Sonny traveled extensively with his wife, Judith S. Martin. They took many trips around the world and had residences in North Carolina, Fort Pierce, Coral Gables, and Boynton Beach. He also enjoyed improving his golf game with friends. Sonny was known for his sense of humor and his good nature. Although he was extremely proud of his work as an educator, his greatest sense of accomplishment was for his children and grandchildren. Sonny is survived by his lovely wife, Judith S. Martin, his sister, Loretta Castellano (Robert), two wonderful daughters, Deanna Dolores Rasco (Guy), Melanie Ann Morales (Alex), and delightful stepdaughter, Lori Smith (Doug). Sonny and Judy were blessed with six intelligent, lively, and athletic grandchildren: grandsons Cameron, Ryan, and Zachary and granddaughters Alexandra, Carolina, and Isabella. Sonny spent many hours sharing his jokes, tricks and "Gross-isms", with his grandchildren. The family visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 21, from 3-6 pm at Stanfill Funeral Home, 10545 South Dixie Hwy, Miami, 33156. A memorial service, with military taps, will be held at 5:00 pm. A Celebration of Life will be held immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, a tax-deductible donation in the memory of L.J. "Sonny" Gross may be made to the , http://www.cancer.org/involved/morewaystogive/donate-by-mail-or-phone

Published in Sun-Sentinel on Nov. 18, 2012
Funeral Home
Stanfill Funeral Homes
10545 South Dixie Hwy. Miami, FL 33156
(305) 667-2518
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