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A memorial service for Ervin J. Gross, an educational consultant, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in United Memorial Funeral Home, 3272 Bailey Ave.

Gross, 51, died Wednesday (Sept. 25, 2000) at Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga.

A native of Mobile, Ala., he served in the Air Force before moving to Buffalo in 1974 to pursue his education. He earned his doctoral degree in education from the University at Buffalo in 1989.

As an educational consultant and community leader, Gross was an advocate for programs aimed at improving the representation of minority faculty, staff and students in higher education. Throughout his career, he was involved in affirmative action and minority-affairs programs, including Upward Bound, Minority Student Affairs, the Higher Education Opportunity Program and the McNair Scholars program.

Gross devoted his time to enriching the campus climate at local colleges and universities by helping to create a multicultural experience for students, staff and faculty.

After his departure from higher education in 1996, Gross continued promoting minority student achievement at Turner Carroll High School. He also volunteered at the Langston Hughes Institute, serving as president of the board of directors from 1997 to 1999.

He is survived by his wife, the former Donna Porter; four daughters, Cynthia Lambert of Springdale, Md., Sabrina, Brittney and Erin; three brothers, John Jr. of Columbus, Ga., Maurice of San Francisco and Donald; two sisters, Shirley and Faigan, both of Mobile,; and two grandchildren.

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