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Bernard David (Barney) Gross

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Bernard David (Barney) Gross Obituary
February 11, 1921 - December 17, 2015 Barney Gross was an only child who lost his father early in life and left New York City for Los Angeles with his mother when he was sixteen. He enrolled at UCLA at an early age and earned a degree in mathematics. He met Peggy, the love of his life, at a UCLA fraternity-sorority mixer, and neither his service in World War 2 nor thousands of miles were going to keep them apart. Upon UCLA graduation, the US Navy ordered him to stay for an additional year to earn a masters degree in meteorology. He was stationed in Australia and New Zealand during the early part of World War 2, as a 21 year old naval officer, pilot, and meteorologist. Peggy waited at the home front and they were married 5 days after his return to the states in 1944. That marriage would last 71 years through compromise and commitment. While there were challenges and illnesses, there was an abundance of good times. Following the conclusion of the war and his Naval duties, Barney went to work in the men's clothing industry. He joined Peggy's father, Ben Lassar, in what would become Lassar and Gross Company, a designer and manufacturer of men's suits and sports coats. First working as a traveling salesman, then in the office on Santee Street in the Los Angeles garment district, later as a partner, and finally as the Principal. He expanded the business and made it a great success, including becoming a leading national manufacturer of the leisure suit. Barney had such a wide range of interests that he became the source of information on virtually any subject. Long before there were Internet search engines, Barney enjoyed providing an answer regarding almost any subject. Barney was an active member of Temple Beth Hillel in North Hollywood, the Valley Jesters, and El Cabarello Country Club. Following his retirement from the clothing industry, he spent over 30 years assisting his son in the establishment and growth of his survey research business. Barney was very close to his three grandchildren. He never boasted, but was pleased that he played a role in modeling to them how to make life decisions and grow up to become mensches. Barney was a good friend to so many, generous of time, thinking of others before himself, and assisting others without wanting recognition. In his college yearbook, the following was written about Barney, "Honest and shy, on him we rely". Whoever wrote that must has known the kind of life he would lead. He is survived by his wife, Peggy, daughter, Suzy Gerard, son, Ken Gross, daughter-in-law, Sharon Rowe, and grandchildren, Rachel Gross, Benjamin Gross, and Rebecca Friedman.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 25, 2015
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