Submitted by his son
Irwin ‘Buzz’ Gross was a firefighter for the Brookline Massachusetts Fire Department. His career in the fire service began when he joined the town Auxiliary some four decades ago‚ and ended while answering a still alarm on April 30‚ 2004. The day he was laid to rest‚ May 6‚ would have marked his 36th year anniversary as a firefighter. He was 58 years old.
How can a person’s life be distilled into a few brief paragraphs — a few words? Buzz Gross’ life can be explained with but a single word — service. In every action‚ pursuit‚ or deed‚ Buzz Gross strove to serve others.
When not long out of high school‚ Buzz Gross joined the United States Army Reserve in order to serve his country. While in the service of his country‚ he was assigned to the Army Medical Corps where he tended to soldiers in need.
After receiving an honorable discharge from the military‚ Buzz Gross went on to serve as a volunteer with the American Red Cross Disaster Service. In the Red Cross‚ Buzz Gross served as a disaster responder‚ first aid instructor‚ and was also a frequent blood donor. He was present with the Red Cross Disaster Service at the Hotel Vendome fire where 9 Boston firefighters were killed.
Buzz Gross was a trailblazer of sorts on the Brookline Fire Department‚ becoming its first Emergency Medical Technician as well as the town’s first Jewish firefighter. While modest by nature‚ he received commendations and recognition for his service from others on numerous occasions. Buzz Gross received firefighter of the year awards twice‚ once by the Brookline Elks in the 1970s‚ and a second time by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts‚ posthumously.
In addition to being a firefighter‚ Buzz Gross was also a master electrician. He assisted several men in pursuing their electrical careers by giving them the opportunity to apprentice under him. At the time of his death‚ his future son in law‚ Brian‚ was working as his latest apprentice.
Service to his family was his highest calling. He was a faithful friend‚ husband‚ and companion to his wife‚ Marsha. He was a good provider for his children‚ Elisabeth and Matthew. He held a special place in his heart for his grandson‚ William‚ and could often be found playing trains with him or showing him how a particular piece of equipment was put together. He was greatly looking forward to the prospect of walking his youngest child‚ Elisabeth‚ down the aisle at her upcoming wedding.
His strong hands and unbounded heart will be greatly missed by his family and all that knew him.