Stephen A. Gross
A memorial service will be held for Stephen A. Gross, 66, of Des Moines on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, at 2 P.M. at Temple B'nai Jeshurun, 5101 Grand Ave., Des Moines. Friends and family will gather afterwards for light refreshments.
Stephen died Aug. 28, 2013, at UnityPoint Health Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. A graveside burial service was held Aug. 30, 2013, at Woodland Cemetery.
Stephen was born Aug. 10, 1947, in Marshfield, WI, to David Gross and Annis Asherow Gross. The family later moved to Keokuk, IA, where Stephen graduated from Keokuk High School in 1965. He also was graduated from the University of Iowa.
Throughout his personal and professional life, Stephen dedicated himself to helping others better their lives. He served 33 years with the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) in a broad range of capacities including supervision of youth and family services, interstate compact administration, adoptions, family therapy and unaccompanied refugee minors. Stephen also was instrumental in the development of the DHS Fatherhood Project for the Child Support Recovery Unit.
Outside of work, he committed hundreds of hours as a volunteer for Community Telephone Counseling (CTC), a former service of the American Red Cross that provided confidential counseling assistance. He was a CTC trainer and a member of the CTC board of directors. Stephen also served on board of directors for the Iowa AIDS Project.
In 1984 Stephen was awarded the Governor's Volunteer Award for his work with the Iowa Refugee Center.
Stephen also poured his energy into music as a member of the Summer Operetta Workshop, Des Moines Choral Society, the Temple B'nai Jeshurun choir and the Des Moines Gay Men's Chorus.
Stephen lived to learn - that's why his living room had many floor-to-ceiling bookcases. In addition to being a voracious reader, Stephen took pleasure in cooking, knitting, gardening and taking care of his cats-actually, Stephen loved all animals.
Survivors include his beloved partner, Eisa Mahgrabi; sisters, Kayla Meadows-Varney (Tom) of Willits, CA, and Julie Meadows (Dave) of Durango, Colorado; nephew, Taj Meadows of Singapore; and many friends around the USA and the world. Stephen was preceded in death by parents, David and Annis Gross; his grandparents, many aunts and uncles, and special friends including Barbara Ettleson, Steffie Bressler and Pam Taylor.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Temple B'nai Jeshurun, 5101 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312, or the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, 5452 N.E. 22nd St., Des Moines, IA 50313.
Published in Des Moines Register from Sept. 15 to Sept. 26, 2013