James Edward Gross
1947 - 2020
James Edward Gross
Fayetteville—James Edward Gross of Fayetteville, NC passed away May 25, 2020 at UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital. He had been having health problems since February of this year.
Born October 1, 1947 in Watertown, NY, he was the son of Benjamin F. and Ada Lipsy Gross. A graduate of Watertown High, he earned a B.S. degree in business from Rider College in New Jersey and an MBA from the University of Hartford.
He married Betty Rae Rothman of New Jersey on August 10, 1969. They moved back to Watertown, NY in September 1974, where he began a long career in the family business, Berow & Monroe shoe store.
He was active in civic organizations in Watertown. He was a founder and president of Watertown Alive, a member of Rotary International, and served on the board of United Way.
Degel Israel Synagogue in Watertown was his second home. He served as President for three terms and was a mentor to a number of student Rabbis. He was religious chairman and often led services.
Mr. Gross closed the shoe store in 2005 and moved to Fayetteville in 2007. Soon after arriving in Fayetteville, he joined the staff at John Allen Shoe Store. He loved selling shoes and continued working until he became ill this year.
Jim became an active member of Beth Israel Synagogue immediately. He was elected to the board the following year and served every year since then. He has been secretary, treasurer, President and religious chairman. In 2014, he received the Community Aliyah Award for outstanding leadership at Beth Israel.
Jim is survived by his wife Betty, two daughters, Rabbi Paulette R. Posner of New York City, Eileen Davis and her husband Stephen of Dunn, NC and five grandchildren, Abigail and Brittany Davis and Harry, Jacob and Isaac Posner. Also, a sister-in-law, Linda M. Gross of New Jersey, wife of his late brother, Dr. Lawrence Gross.
He was an avid sports fan and shared this hobby with his grandchildren. Jim was a "kid-at-heart" when it came to visiting the Disney Parks and also enjoyed other Florida destinations to escape the Watertown winters.
A Graveside Service will be held on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 1:00 PM at Beth Israel Cemetery. The family would like attendees to bring an umbrella to ensure social distancing.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to: Degel Israel Synagogue in Watertown, NY and Congregation Beth Israel in Fayetteville, NC.

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Published by Fayetteville Observer from May 26 to May 27, 2020.
Graveside service
Beth Israel Cemetery
, NC
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18 Entries
I was one of Jim’s dormmates at Rider College. Jim was a great guy and we had many discussions about religion and other topics. I have fond memories of him.
Debbis Gehris
August 8, 2020
James will always be in my mind no matter how many years go by. I have a strong memory of growing up with both Jim and larry living just down the street from them on wight drive in Watertown just across the street from Degel Israel Synagogue. Even after moving to North Carolina, James would stay in touch with my mother Mary Marks with news of Degel Israel. I will always have Jim in mind and think of his kind personality.
Lewis Marks
June 20, 2020
I remember Jimmy as a kind always smiling older teenager who was always committed to Judaism. It sounds like he had a very meaningful and joyous life. My condolences to his family and friends.
michael j lustick
June 6, 2020
I remember Jimmy as a very kind person always willing to help at the Synagogue in Watertown, he had a warm smile and made everyone feel welcome. He was also very patient when I tried on too many pairs of shoes and couldn't make a decision . He was a pillar of Degal Israel Synagogue in Watertown and I will cherish his memory. My sincerest sympathies to his family.
Susan lustick
June 4, 2020
I am so sorry to hear that Jimmy passed away. We grew up together, went to school, Sunday school and Hebrew school together. I know that, after I left Watertown, your family and my parents were connected. We used to see you when we visited Watertown and our girls would play together. It is so interesting that both of our daughters became Rabbis. One of my favorite memories of all time involve your family. It was our 2 families, along with Eddie Abramson and his family, meeting for dinner in Paulette's apartment in Jerusalem in about 1998. I do not ever remember laughing so much as I did at that reunion. That is how I will remember Jimmy.
Marian Finkelman Kobrin
June 4, 2020
So sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayer.
Laura Hall
May 28, 2020
Betty and family Iam so sorry to hear about Jims passing. My prayers are with you all
michelle powell
May 28, 2020
Eileen and family, I am sorry to hear of your father's passing. My love and prayers to you all.
Tammie Page
May 27, 2020
We are so saddened by Jims passing. We truly enjoyed Betty and Jims hospitality as we watched the annual Super Bowl in their timeshare in Fort Myers, Florida! We laughed! We yelled! Sometimes our team lost and once ina long while our team lost! But we had an exciting great time! Then we enjoyed dessert following a wonderful steak dinner! We will miss BabaLouie dearly! May these memories give you great comfort and a smile Betty! We will miss him terribly!!!
Ralph and Debi Lapidus
May 27, 2020
Betty, Paulette & Eileen & family I am so very sorry to see this on facebook. You all know how everyone just loved Jimmy. He was truly one of the very best that walked the earth. I loved working for Ben & Jimmy for the years I was at Berow & Monroe. I remember all the Friday nights chatting with Jimmy and Eileen, the fun we always had doing the upstairs sale and talking fashion with Eileen. The Gross family generosity and kindness was a way of life for them and all the customers truly loved their visits to get their new shoes. I remember our Christmas parties at Benny's Steakhouse and the fun we all had away from the store and in a family dining setting. I couldn't be more shocked and saddened by Jimmy's passing. My sincere condolences to you all and may he watch over us all while resting in peace.
Debbie Shawcross
debbie shawcross
May 27, 2020
My favorite memory of Uncle Jimmy was of him leading many seders we went to in Watertown. He always performed all the rituals steadily, ignoring the antics of his younger sweet and winsome brother and the chatting of the participants. He did it all with a smile and he especially loved the part where he could give gifts to us after finding the afikomen. I always will remember him smiling whether at the head of a Seder table, on the bima, in his shoe store Berow and Monroe or watching sports in his favorite chair. You will be missed!
Carrie Esposito
May 27, 2020
I am so saddened to hear about Jim's leaving the world. I was a part-time rabbi in Watertown for 4 years while I was a student in rabbinical school and for 2 years after from 1991-1995. Jim was the president of the shul and was such a supportive, loving, warm, enthusiastic, sensitive person. Jim and Betty, Paulette and Eileen were like family to me and made me feel so welcome and appreciated. Jim was so devoted to the shul and to his family and community. He was always light-hearted, full of joy and easygoing with me. It was one of the highlights of my life to be the rabbi in Watertown with his gentle guidance.

My heart goes out to Betty, Paulette, Eileen, the grandchildren and the whole family.
Tobie Weisman
May 27, 2020
We'll miss you Jim. Whose hand will Aaron hold at services? Love the Pevtsovs.
Emily Pevtsov
May 27, 2020
Jim was a wonderful person and a great boss. I remember going down to the Crystal for hot toddies and then Jim dancing up the street on the way home :) He was light-hearted and funny. I enjoyed my time at Berow and Monroe. My condolences to his friends and family.
Sara Quimby
May 27, 2020
stephen rochman
May 27, 2020
Jim was like a broth
Steve Edelman
May 27, 2020
Mrs. Gross, Paulette, Eileen and family, please know that I am thinking of all of you. Many of my most treasured memories from my youth have your family contained within them. Me. Grosss gentle and kind manner was always a contrast to my own fathers loud and boisterous ways. I enjoyed our family get-togethers. I loved when we were included in your family celebrations. The first day of school each year for me was always intertwined with a treasured visit to Berow and Monroe - the smell of a good new pair of shoes still brings me back to your wonderful store. Last night when my dad sent me the news, the first thing I could see in my minds eye was Mr. Gross standing behind the counter, laughing at my dad as he threw away his old Florsheims and walked out in his brand new pair. Even though I wont be there in person, I will be with you all in spirit. Love and prayers
Elene Nemergut
May 27, 2020
Jimmy was a gentle, kind, and wonderful person. Simply the finest human you could ever know, and he will be missed forever. When you look up the word mensch in an encyclopedia or dictionary, there should be a giant picture of James Gross. From Watertown NY to Fayetteville North Carolina, I can assure you that people will not forget Jimmy Gross. Larry and Jimmy were the rock and foundation for our mom after he father passed away suddenly in 1965. They never stopped being that rock, and all of us feel that way. Somewhere in heaven Uncle Ben is smoking his cigar, Aunt Ada is yelling at him to stop smoking, Larry is comforting and healing, and Jimmy is selling shoes. They are all together again. 4 of the most beautiful, amazing, loving, and kind people to ever walk the earth. Their legacy lives on in Eileen, Betty, Paulette, Michael, Carrie, and Linda. Jimmy might be gone, but I can assure you he will not ever be forgotten. We are thinking of all of you!
Laurence Segal
May 26, 2020
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