Distributors

Former NAED Regional Vice President Richard Gross Dies

Richard J. Gross, who led his family-run electrical supply company for much of its 104-year existence and aimed to help other family businesses, and a former Regional Vice President for the National Association of Electrical Distributors, died Friday in Kingston Residence of Sylvania. He was 86.

Gross retired as chairman and chief executive of Gross Electric Inc. in Sylvania Township in 2009.  He had been president of the company for 50 years.

Gross Electric used to sell appliances, but about 40 years ago did most of its business in wholesale distribution.  Richard Gross helped grow the company and expanded into showrooms in Northwood and Ann Arbor.

Gross is also remembered as the person who helped start the University of Toledo’s Center for Family Business.  A big supporter of family businesses, Gross decided it was important to local people were able to hand their business down from generation to generation without skipping a beat.

In Toledo, he was president of Jewish Family Service and chairman of the Better Business Bureau. He served on the International Institute of Greater Toledo board and, in 1982, received its Distinguished Service award.

Surviving are his wife, Marion Gross, whom he married April 5, 1952; daughters, Laurie Gross, Marcia Miller, and Paulette Collins; son, Joe Gross; 11 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in the Temple-Congregation Shomer Emunim, of which he was a member. Arrangements are by the Walker Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to the Toledo Symphony; the Alzheimer’s Association of Northwest Ohio, or the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo. 

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