LeRoy W. Gross, 83, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, January 2, 2022 at UPMC Hamot, with his family by his side. After battling a long illness, he slipped away peacefully.

     He was born May 26, 1938 to the late David M. Gross and Evelyn Lopus Gross at Hamot, in Erie, PA. As a boy, he spent quality time helping on his grandfather Lopus’ farm on Oak Hill and attended schools in Union City where his family resided. Upon his graduation from UCHS in 1956, he served three years with the United State Marines Corp, and later graduated from the Davey School of Technology. His job with Davey Tree Expert Co led him to work in Iowa, where he met his future bride, Luetta. They were married November 26, 1960. They had three children, Myra, Andrew and Jawn. Settling in the Waterford area in 1968, LeRoy first started a landscaping business, then the Gross Keystone and inspection station in Waterford. His mechanical expertise became well known to customers in the area, but an accidental fire destroyed the business.

     He eventually went to work for the Erie County Conservation District office in Waterford in 1981, and continued his studies in the field. The District was being restructured and LeRoy established goals for development, and eventually provided vision for the new office building and park complex now named Headwaters. To this day, the impact of his roles in conservation extends beyond the county.

     He was chairman of the Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council. He also served on committees for the North East Region, and National Association of Conservation Districts, as well as chairman of the Penn Soil Conservancy Charitable Trust. LeRoy also served on the NACD-Great Lakes Committee from 1988 to 2006.

     It was evident that he had a passion for conservation and natural resource protection. His leadership, experience, even temperament and diplomacy served him well down through the years with his tenure with the conservation district as well as his leadership in multiple positions at his home church, Erie First.

     LeRoy was an outdoorsman, and loved to fish and hunt with his boys. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. His talents at carpentry, woodworking, and remodeling were evident in the lovely home he created for his family, from an old school house built in 1894. He loved traveling with his wife, and gardening together was a passion they both enjoyed. His family, his faith, and 61 year marriage meant everything to him.

     In addition to his parents, LeRoy was preceded in death by his daughter Myra Lynn, and his four sisters Nancy, Barbara, Martha and Elsie.

     He is survived by his wife Luetta Gross, two sons Andrew Gross (Elizabeth) and Jawn Gross (Shelley), son-in-law Gary Kress, and five grandsons: Nickolas (Lindsay) Kress, Kris Kress (Amanda), Benjamin Gross, Daniel Gross (Adrianne), and Dayvid Gross. He is also survived by his sister Carole Carne, sister-in-law Susan (Duane) Smith, brothers-in-law Dan (Sandy) Morris, Joseph Morris, Chris (Veronica) Morris, Michael (Lisa) Morris, Robert Rindfuss, William Brace, and Aunt Fran Lopus. Many cousins, nieces, and nephews also share this loss of a wonderful family man.

     Family and friends may call at the Van Matre Funeral Home, 105 Walnut St. Waterford, PA 16441 for visitation on Wednesday, January 5th, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Thursday January 6th, at the Erie First Assembly, 4150 Oliver Road, Erie, Pa from 10:00 am until the time of service at 11:00 am. Burial will be private.

     In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Wounded Warriors Fund, Samaritans Purse, or Erie First Assembly of God. To share condolences, please visit www.vanmatrefuneralhome.com.