Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Edith MacMillan Bullock Gross, PhD, of Bellevue, WA, formerly of Ambler and Laverock, PA, passed away peacefully on July 25, 2023, surrounded by her family, after a brief illness, at the age of 94. She was a beloved daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, aunt, teacher, and friend who will be missed by many.
She was born in Philadelphia, PA on December 8, 1928, and was the daughter of George Donald Bullock and Katherine Hartmann Bullock. Edith, fondly known as Edee, graduated from Cheltenham High School in Wyncote, PA in 1946, along with her future husband William Martin Gross, Sr. (d. 1984). She attended Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, received the Sword Award for her leadership capabilities and graduated with a Political Science degree in 1950.
Edee married her high school sweetheart Bill, on January 7, 1952 and they immediately moved to Munich, Germany while Bill was stationed there in the U.S. Army. An instinctive, natural-born teacher, she taught English and math to the GIs stationed in Munich, so they could take the GED when they returned home. Always industrious, she also worked full time at Radio Free Europe in the personnel department.
After Germany, they moved to Wynmoor, PA and started their family. William Martin Gross, Jr. was born in 1955, John Bullock Gross was born in 1957 (d. 2012) and Paul Henry Gross was born in 1961. She often commented that the family dogs, Misty and Jet, were her only female companions in a house of men. Along with raising her family, she was a founding partner of Behavioral Designs Associates, an educational materials company for elementary students, with her favorite and only brother Donald Hartmann Bullock. Edith also worked as an administrator at The Miquon School, an independent school in Miquon, PA, where her children attended.
In her midlife, her love and thirst for knowledge became the catalysts that prompted Edith to continue onto graduate school and she received both a master’s and a doctorate from Bryn Mawr College in 1985, at age 56. Her dissertation focused on occupational stress.
Ever intrepid and independent, she later traveled to Sweden and Finland to study their health care systems. Edith won a Fulbright Scholarship in 1994 and spent an academic year in Finland researching physicians and their stress. She taught sociology at Arcadia University (formerly Beaver College) for fourteen years, received tenure, was chair of the sociology department and retired as Assistant Professor Emerita.
Edith had a life-long love of learning and an intellectual curiosity that never wavered. Just recently she was taking a film course on the Vietnam war and a few weeks ago, she conducted interviews and published a book of biographies entitled, The Men at The Bellettini, based on residents in her retirement community where she lived. She was a former member of the World Affairs Council and The Cosmopolitan Club in Philadelphia, PA.
Theater was her first love. She saw plays in both in London and New York, and if she couldn’t attend in person, she read her favorite playwrights. Edith was an excellent pianist and played the organ in her church in her early years and her musical tastes ran the gamut from Bach to Bennet. Her home was a miniature art gallery with art from the floor to the ceiling with works from well-known Philadelphia artists, artist friends and family and her collectible cobalt blue art glass. An avid reader, books overflowed on the shelves and on and under tables in her home and she was always reading several books at one time including genres that varied from history, mysteries, politics, and literary fiction. Edith kept her mind sharp with daily crossword puzzles and she and her grandson William did the New York Times puzzle often. She enjoyed reading the same books as her granddaughter Claire Edith so they could discuss the nuances of character and plot.
Although she greatly enjoyed her many academic pursuits, Edith also loved people. She had a great sense of humor, was very social and kept in touch by travel, cards, letters, and phone calls, often into the wee hours of the night, with her numerous friends and family of all ages from around the world. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother and was truly engaged and interested in her family’s lives. Edith was an excellent cook and baker and enjoyed entertaining with delicious food, a beautifully set table and stimulating conversation. Always thoughtful, she compiled favorite recipes and published two cookbooks over the years to give as gifts and her knitting skill produced gorgeous sweaters and scarves for her loved ones.
The open road beckoned to Edith, and she relished opportunities to take long road trips to visit friends and family along the east coast and traveled across the country too. Due to her wanderlust and sense of adventure, she lived abroad in London, England every summer for five years while teaching in addition to living in Finland and Germany and she traveled to almost every continent.
Edith moved to the Seattle area in 2014 to be close to her grandchildren. She spent her last eight years at The Bellettini in Bellevue, WA making new friends and it is where she fell in love, again, with her partner of the past six years, Robert Bender.
She is survived by her sons, William Martin Gross Jr. (Sumiko Gross) of San Diego, CA, Paul Henry Gross (Lori Poliski) of Woodinville, WA and her beloved grandchildren Claire Edith Gross and William Paul Gross; and her sister Janet Bullock Perper of Philadelphia, PA and many nieces and nephews to whom she was very close. She is predeceased by her husband William Martin Gross Sr., her son John Bullock Gross, her parents George Donald and Katherine Bullock, her brother Donald Hartmann Bullock, and her sisters Dorothy Bullock Moore and Shirley Bullock Adams.
Celebrations of a life well lived will be held in Quaker style memorials in both Bellevue, WA and Philadelphia, PA.
Celebration of Life in Bellevue, WA: August 20, 2023, Sunday at 1 pm at The Bellettini 1115 108th Avenue Northeast, Bellevue, WA 98804. All are welcome.
Celebration of Life in Philadelphia, PA: October 15, 2023, Sunday at 1 pm in The Rose and Mirror Rooms at Arcadia University, 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, PA 19038.
All are welcome.
Donations can be made in her memory to a cause very dear to Edith:
Team William, The Hydrocephalus Association, 9249 S. Broadway, Suite 200-845 Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
or online http://support.hydroassoc.org/goto/edith
To share your condolences and memories of Edith, please visit her Tribute Wall, located above.
- Care Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home -
Please direct Memorial Donations to the facility/charity listed in the obituary above