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Shirley O. Gross, 86, Gift-Store Owner
Shirley O. Gross, 86, longtime owner of a stationery/gift business, died April 5. She was a resident of Huntingdon Valley.
Gross was born in the Logan section of Philadelphia, though her family eventually moved to Melrose Park.
She graduated from Cheltenham High School and attended Beaver College up to the start of World War II.
During the war years, she drove a Jeep that transported officials to and from local U.S. Bond drives.
Her devotion to her friends and her recognition of events in their lives prompted her to begin a retail stationery/gift business in the mid-1960s, known as the Paper Boutique. The store survives today at the same location, spanning a period of more than 45 years.
Gross also undertook numerous charity endeavors, serving, for example, as a volunteer math tutor to elementary-school children in the School District of Philadelphia.
She also led a protest to stave off commercial development of Breyer Park in Elkins Park, which had been dedicated to the Boy Scouts of America.
More recently, she served as the treasurer of the Lower Huntingdon Valley Civic Association.
Gross was also an avid gardener, tennis player, bowler and golfer up until her late 50s, when she undertook fly fishing. She continued angling well into her 80s.
Gross is survived by her husband of 65 years, Bernard C. Gross; a daughter, Susan Tomas; two sons, James Gross and Peter Gross; sister Alma O. Cohen; and five grandchildren.