Barbara Stearns Gross

HANOVER – Barbara Stearns Gross, 85, passed away on Jan. 16, 2021 at the Rumford Community Home. Barbara was born Dec. 24, 1935, “On the Farm” in Hanover, Maine. Barbara was the daughter of Roy and Helen (Damon) Stearns. Barbara was a Hanover resident most of her life.

Her early years were spent on the farm climbing rafters, milking cows and throwing hay.

Barbara married Malcolm Gross on Sept. 9, 1954. After the ceremony, they moved to North Carolina where Malcolm was stationed at Fort Bragg. After Malcolm’s service to his country was over, Barbara and Malcolm moved to Jefferson, N.H. They also lived in Magaloway, Bethel and Newry, Maine before settling in Hanover, Maine where they raised seven children.

Barbara was an avid bowler. She belonged to the Tuesday morning Bomberettes and the Wednesday Night Couple league. She had many trophies and plaques to show from it. Barbara also played volleyball, spent many hours knitting hats and mittens while watching Jeopardy answering those questions and solving the puzzles on Wheel of Fortune. Barbara was also an avid crossword puzzle solver. Barbara was a very competitive person. Her real love was baseball and softball. She was an avid softball player. Barbara and her best friend, Hilda Chase, ran the summer clinic at the Rumford Point baseball field where her father was one of the Founders of the Rumford Point Community Athletic Association (RPCAA).

Barbara coached softball and “kept the books” most of her life when she wasn’t coaching. Her scorebook details were impeccable and she would “Stop the game” if she thought something wasn’t right.

Barbara and Malcolm loved horse pulling at the Fairs. She kept a scorecard for this as well, she needed to know who was winning. Barbara was a Boy Scout leader in her younger years. An active member of the Rumford Point Church, where she was on the Ladies Aide. Barbara enjoyed decorating and working on the church booth at the Hospital Fair at the armory. Barbara also served on the planning board in Hanover.

When Barbara was a young girl she wanted to be a nurse. That wasn’t in the cards. With no formal schooling, it didn’t deter her from patching up injuries over the years from her seven children or the neighborhood children.

Barbara’s true pride was her family. (Two things was always constant in her life. She was always right and her family never did anything wrong). If you were part of her family that pedestal stood high.

Barbara and Malcolm traveled to Alaska twice. Barbara was impressed with all the sights, but couldn’t wait to get back home quickly to be with her family. One of her favorite memories was the gift from her children on their 50th wedding anniversary, a trip to Williamsport, Pa. for the Little League World Series.

When Barbara wasn’t at the baseball field her favorite place was home surrounding by her family and their friends. She loved to cook especially huge meals to feed her children and any of their friends who happened to be there that day. Many of hours were spent at the Gross’s pool. Barbara was known as ”Nana” Gross” by the Rumford Point men’s softball team.

Barbara is survived by her six sons, Michael and his wife Kathy, Brian and his wife Brenda, Denny, Billy and his wife Barbi, Dean and his wife Janina, and Jason and his wife LeeAnna, and her daughter and best friend Lori and husband Ed McPherson; her 12 grandchildren, Joshua, Chris, Nick, Leeann, Cody, Garrett, Coleman, Cameron, Ross, Ryder, Katelyn and Tracker; and great-grandchildren, Corbin, Capri, Kade, Lainey and Caleb.

Barbara was predeceased by her parents; her husband Malcolm; her siblings, Warren Stearns, Bess Ettl and Brenda Grady.

Friends and family are invited to sign the online guest book and share memories with the family at http://www.meaderandson.com.

Funeral services will be held in the spring. Interment will be in the Hanover Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Meader & Son Funeral Home 3 Franklin St. Rumford, Maine.

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