Heinz J. Gross
Apr. 8, 1929 - Apr. 17, 2013
Resident of Scotts Valley
After a 14 year battle with Parkinson 's disease, our dear Papa Bear has taken his final flight. It was an especially difficult journey for a determined, stubborn and exacting Swiss!
Heinz's passion for flying began in his native Switzerland where he became an aircraft mechanic. His work experience there included time with the Swiss Air Force, Datwyler Air Service and then Swiss Air. But still feeling the need to fly, Heinz immigrated to the US in hopes of flying professionally. Shortly after arriving in Pittsburgh, he was drafted into the US Army and served during the Korean War. After his discharge, Heinz attended Northrop Aeronautical Institute and then Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While in Los Angeles, he met and fell in love with his wife, Therese, also of Swiss heritage. After years as an airline mechanic and design draftsman, Heinz began his flying carrier as a flight engineer with World Airways and continued to work for them for 34 years until his retirement in 1999.
Heinz is survived by his wife of 56 years, one sister in Switzerland, two children and three grandsons.
The family wishes to thank all of Heinz's especially caring and dedicated caregivers, as well as Hospice for their continued support of both Heinz and family these past few months.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 4th at San Agustin Parish in Scotts Valley.
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on May 1, 2013