John Ira Gross. (Little John), 70, passed away in the early morning of October 18, 2023, at the Elk City State Park following a long battle against Chronic Renal Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Born April 27, 1953, he lived his entire life in Independence spending his last several years enjoying life with both his personal and lake campground families.
John attended Independence schools and then worked 30 years as a mechanic at the Montgomery Road and Bridge Department beside his father, John Gross, Sr. Little John retired following a work accident in 1992. Post retirement, Little John spent time with Max Greer, John Caldwell, and Jim Clubine raising cattle.
Little John was an avid fisherman and hunter who taught many young individuals, young and old, the joys of being outdoors. He served as an unofficial ambassador at the State Park, welcoming everyone he met.
He was headstrong, quick tempered, forgiving and kind. Little John was a wealthy man in friends and love.
Little John was married to his wife Bertha for 44 years who lovingly cared for him during his challenging healthcare years. He is survived by his daughter Lynn Hill, stepchildren Kendall Wright (Dawn), Karmin Thompson (Gaylan), Krag Wright (Jolitta), Kim Beard (Kevin), brother Dan Gross (Cathy), nephew Mark Ferrell, and niece Jerri Ann Ferrell. Twelve grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren also survive Little John. He was predeceased by his parents John Gross, Sr., and Phyllis (Gross) Wright.
Graveside services will be held at Mount Hope Cemetery, Friday, October 20th at 11:00 a.m. Lunch will be served following services at the Elk City State Park Campground. Free admission to the park will be granted and directions provided at the gate entrance.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Friends of Elk City State Park sent to the Webb & Rodrick Chapel and Crematory, 306 W. Main Street, Independence Kansas.
To leave a special message for the family please visit www.webbrodrickchapel.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Webb & Rodrick Chapel and Crematory.