Joyce Gross, a resident of Tillamook, Ore. for 70 years, passed away peacefully in Ellensburg, Wash. Nov. 13, 2020, at the age of 93.
Joyce was born July 15, 1927 in Straight River Township, Minnesota to Abe and Edith Thompson. She attended school in Park Rapids, Minn. and received her teaching certificate from Bemdji Teachers College. At 19 years old, Joyce started her first teaching job in a one room school in Wolf Lake, Minn. This was a community of families from Finland and the children she taught spoke little or no English.
Joyce married Arthur Gross in December 1947 and they moved to Westport, Ore. in 1948 where they started their family. In 1950 they moved to Tillamook and Joyce started substitute teaching in Bay City and Tillamook Catholic elementary schools. This lead to a full time teaching position at Tillamook Catholic Elementary. She taught nearly 30 years in both the Catholic and public school system. Joyce had a passion for reading and returned to Monmouth College where she earned her Masters Degree in Remedial Reading. For several years she worked one on one with students who needed extra help with Reading., She finished her years before retirement at Liberty Elementary teaching fourth grade. Retirement did not stop her teaching. She opened her home to privately tutor students in need of extra help, Remembering stories from teaching days or meeting a student while shopping or at a restaurant always gave her great joy. She was proud of the fact that she taught more then one generation in a family. She never lost her love for reading and spent many hours reading. In the last few months when it was difficult to get around she read most of her waking hours.
Joyce will always be remembered not only for her love of teaching but her willingness to help others. She was always quick to offer a helping hand when a neighbor was in need, she cooked many meals and delivered them to families facing a difficult time, she and Art helped many immigrant families get a new start in this country.
The family would like to thank Kathleen Walker and Bonnie Kephart for the care they provided so she could stay longer in her own home. They would also like to thank Kilchis House and Hearthstone Cottage, Ellensburg, Wa. for their compassionate care of Mom.
Art preceded her in death after 62 years of marriage in 2010 and she is survived by her children Joe Gross and wife Kathy of Beaverton, Ore., James Gross, Portland, Ore., Ann Strelow and husband Bruce of Spokane, Wash., Marlene Drew and husband Guy of Roslyn, Wash., Kathleen Walker of Gearhart, Ore., 11 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions a private internment will be held at Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Ore. In lieu of flowers the family welcomes any donations to Tillamook Public Library in Joyce's name.