Cover photo for Lillian L. Gross's Obituary
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1926 Lillian 2023

Lillian L. Gross

June 26, 1926 — February 20, 2023

Lillian Louise Gross, affectionately known as "Lil" was born on June 26, 1926, to James and Sarah Kimble, and departed this life on February 20, 2023, at the Villa Rosa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Mitchellville, Maryland. 

As the third child of six, Lil grew up in Washington, DC, with her parents and siblings: Esther Alexander, Geraldine Washington Charlton, James “Jimmy” Kimble Jr., and Laurence “Lonnie” Kimble, all of whom have passed on, leaving only her sister, Vivian Tennille of Washington, DC. Lil found solace in Catholicism at an early age and remained a Catholic throughout her life. 

Lil's married the late James Warren Gross Sr., and they had four beautiful daughters: Patricia “Pat,” Lynn, Brenda (deceased) and Wendy, and one son James Jr. “Lucky”. She was a proud mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother who always put her family first. 

Lil attended school in Washington, DC and graduated from the original Cardozo High School. For many years, she was a dedicated stay-at-home spouse. Once her children attended school, she began working at High’s Ice Cream Store, where she worked for 20 years, eventually becoming the manager of the Minnesota Avenue store. Her children were thrilled about her working there because they always got free ice cream. 

Later in life, Lil discovered her passion for caring for children and opened her in-home daycare. She watched many children until they reached school age. Her daycare kids affectionally called her "Mama Lil", considering her their second mom. 

Lil was a true HERO. She saved eight babies from a fire on February 9, 1989. She made the daring decision to toss them, one by one, out of a 3rd floor window to awaiting maintenance workers. Despite the surrounding flames, she climbed out the same window and was rescued by first responders. Her heroic actions were depicted on the TV show Rescue 911 and is now on YouTube “Rescue 911 - Episode 1.14 - Baby Fire Rescue”. 

Lil had a zest for life and loved going to the casino and playing Bingo. She played Bingo several times a week and took many Bingo trips with her family and friends. She also loved to travel and explore unfamiliar places. She visited Kingston Jamaica, Canada, and many places throughout the states. 

Lil was an excellent cook who took intense pleasure in preparing her famous potato salad. Her potato salad was the only potato salad she and many of her family members would eat. 

Lil leaves behind her loving sister Vivian Tennille, her children: Patricia Payne (Charles), Lynn Gross-Butler (Edward), James Gross Jr. (Nadia), Wendy Upshur (Will); her grandchildren: Joseph “Joe” Gross III (Marie), James “Chucky” Gross III, Camille Tyler, Charnita Tyler, Sherri Turner (Teil), Will “Champ” Upshur, Zsanine “Zsa Zsa” Gross, Teric Andre Gross, Shaun Gross, Robin A.Gross, Kasey Gross and Caleb Gross; twenty-eight great-grandchildren, forty-five great-great-grandchildren; and her nieces: Jessie Alexander-Jones, Toni Johnson, and Terri Jackson: and a host nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, honorary family members and countless friends.  

Lil was preceded in death by her husband, James W. Gross Sr., her daughter, Brenda L. McCord, and her first grandson, Torrence Tracy Hall Sr. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lillian L. Gross, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, March 13, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, March 13, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Monday, March 13, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Lincoln Memorial Cemetery

4001 Suitland Rd, Suitland, MD 20746

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