Obituary: Howard Gross

Obituary: Howard Gross

A home builder and commercial real estate broker, the Pittsburgh native loved family above all.

Howard Keith Gross of Atlanta passed away Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, at age 60 because of complications from multiple myeloma.

He is survived by his wife, Cathy; son Max and daughter-in-law Jennifer, son Aaron, and daughter Lucy; his adoring mother, Sylvia “Double” Gross; and loving siblings Michael and Bryan Golson, Cindy Solomon, and Marcie and Barry Koffler and family.

Howard was born in Pittsburgh. In the mid-60s, he and his family became residents of the “new” Atlanta and lived in the North Druid Hills and Toco Hills area. He attended Briarcliff High School and Georgia State, then worked as a popular bouncer in the mid-70s at many notable Atlanta clubs. That community called him “Happy Howard.” He was a successful home builder and commercial real estate broker who played an instrumental role in the growth of Rockdale County alongside his father and uncles, developing popular neighborhoods and shopping centers and ensuring the success of Rockdale Hospital. Howard continued to work in commercial real estate for the majority of his short life and was a life director and spike of the National, Rockdale, Atlanta and Georgia Home Builders Associations.

Howard had a zest for life; always helping those less fortunate, and loved rock ’n’ roll. You could always catch him humming off-key to Led Zeppelin, the Black Crowes, Little Feat, Deep Purple, AC/DC and Yes. He was a great fan of Atlanta soccer, most notably since the family’s involvement with the Atlanta Chiefs, and supported TOPSoccer, a charity for youths with disabilities.

However, Howard’s greatest passion in life was his family. He believed in family first, supporting them despite adversity over the years. He wasn’t afraid to show them off to anyone who would listen and could always be seen bragging about his amazingly strong wife, Cathy, to any passer-by, playing his daughter Lucy’s latest singing recordings to a stranger on the street, discussing his youngest son Aaron’s latest business success with any old day laborer, or boasting about his eldest son, Max, soon becoming a father with his neighbors. His family was his biggest pride and joy. Howard also never met a stranger and, like his dad, Ben, knew no boundaries. The family joke is “No Entry” signs mean “unless your name is Gross.” He was constantly bending the rules, but in the best way possible with a huge personality filled with love and affection for his family, friends and community. He left a lasting impression, and he will be deeply missed with love.

Sign the online guestbook at A graveside service will be held Friday, Sept. 15, at 3 p.m. at Crestlawn Cemetery with Rabbi Steven Lebow officiating. The family requests that donations be made in Howard’s memory to TOPS, c/o Georgia Soccer, 2323 Perimeter Park Drive, Atlanta, GA 30341 (or call 770-452-0505, ext. 111, and ask for Jade). Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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