Cecelia Marie Gross, the daughter of John and Mary (Fromm) Klein, was born on July 12, 1909, in rural Defiance, Iowa. She attended public country school north of Harlan, Iowa, and then attended St. Boniface Catholic School in Wesphalia, Iowa. During this time, Cecelia helped care for her three younger brothers and worked on the farm after school. She met Michael Jacob Gross at a dance at the Defiance Hall, and the couple married on January 20, 1931, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Harlan. They farmed southeast of Defiance until 1951, when they moved to their newly constructed farmhouse and buildings located three miles north of Harlan. In 1971, Cecelia and Mike retired to Harlan. Mike died on July 18, 1987, in Harlan. Cecelia had recently become a resident of the Little Flower Haven Nursing Home in Earling, Iowa.
Cecelia was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Harlan, Iowa. She greatly enjoyed spending time with her family, as well as quilting, knitting, crocheting, and playing cards.
Cecelia M. Gross died on Friday, August 7, 2009, at the Little Flower Haven Nursing Home in Earling, Iowa, at the age of 100 years and 26 days.
Cecelia was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Michael Gross; four brothers, Fred Klein, Joe Klein, Tony Klein, and Vitas Klein (in infancy); four sisters, Josephine Book, Susan Petsche, Lenora Arkfeld, and Catherine Petsche; one daughter, Janice Langenfeld; three sons, Larry Gross, Michael Gross, and Jack Gross; and one son-in-law, Ray Stessman. She is survived by two sons, Gerald (Martha Ann) Gross of Irwin, Iowa, and Ronald (Rita) Gross of Defiance, Iowa; two daughters-in-law, Linda Gross and Karen Gross, both of Harlan, Iowa; one son-in-law, Owen Langenfeld of Earling, Iowa; one brother, John (Isabel) Klein of Harlan, Iowa; one sister-in-law, Dorothy Klein of Blair, Nebraska; 24 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday, August 11, 2009, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Harlan, Iowa. Fr. Robert Hoefler, Fr. Daniel Petsche, Fr. Ken Gross, and Msgr. Gerald Stessman were the celebrants. Kate Kohorst and John Rosman served as musicians. Honorary casket bearers were Cecelia’s loving grandchildren. Active casket bearers were Curt Gross, Scott Gross, Brian Gross, Dean Gross, Gene Langenfeld, and Lance Gross. Burial was in the Harlan Cemetery in Harlan, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at www.burmeisterjohannsen.com.