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OCT. 24, 1913 -- NOV. 26, 2004

Alma Gross, a former secretary to military commanders and area judges, died Friday in Greenfield Health & Rehabilitation Center in Lancaster after a long illness. She was 91.

Born in Buffalo, the former Alma Spaulding attended School 68 and graduated from Bennett High School in 1930. She also graduated from the YWCA Secretarial School.

She worked as a secretary for attorney George A. Davis Jr. and for the Harrison Real Estate Co. during the 1930s.

Mrs. Gross also worked for Richard Guelich Jr., president of the real estate firm that developed University Plaza.

She moved to Depew in 1940 and was secretary to various commanders of the Army Air Forces in the Buffalo area during World War II.

After the war, she was secretary to Harold P. Kelly, who later became a State Supreme Court judge. She stopped working in 1950 to raise a son, Charles Graver of Elma, and returned in 1964 as secretary to Amherst Judge Theodore E. Smith.

She ended her career as secretary to State Supreme Court Justice Edward A. Rath Jr., retiring in the early 1970s.

Mrs. Gross was a leader of the Brighton Girl Scout troop many years ago. She held leadership posts with the Depew Home Bureau and was church secretary of the Depew Methodist Church before its merger with the Lancaster Methodist Church.

She was a member of the local businesswoman's sorority, Gamma Gamma Gamma, for more than 50 years.

Mrs. Gross moved to Alden in 1972 and developed an interest in hummingbirds that led many neighbors, friends and community groups to seek out her expertise on the subject.

She enjoyed cooking, sewing and entertaining guests.

She was married for 24 years to Wesley C. Graver, who died in 1964. Her second marriage, to Herbert O. Gross lasted 27 years. He died in 1999.

In addition to her son, survivors include a stepdaughter, Diane Blakely of Webster; two grandsons; three stepgrandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Elma United Methodist Church, 2991 Bowen Road. Burial will be in Lancaster Rural Cemetery.


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