Shirley Burleson Gross

May 30, 1937 - January 8, 2024

Shirley Burleson Gross died on Monday, January 8th in Asheville, North Carolina. Born in Bakersville, North Carolina on May 30, 1937 to Oscar William Burleson and Bertha Forbes Burleson, Mrs. Gross was raised in Carter County, Tennessee.

In 1958 she married Harold Eugene Gross, a United States Air Force officer. They were together for 63 years, until his death in 2021. During his 20-year career in the Air Force and subsequent 20-year career in the defense industry, she moved with him to Greenville, SC, Washington, DC, Berlin, Germany, Omaha, NE, Cheyenne, WY, Tainan, Taiwan (ROC) and Dallas, TX, finally settling in Asheville in 1998.

Throughout her husband’s Air Force career, she was very active in the Air Force Officers’ Wives’ Club, and loved entertaining. She enjoyed cooking, gardening and dabbled in pastels, charcoal and water color painting. She traveled widely, and took many long trips through Europe, Asia and Latin America, including a memorable train journey on the famed Orient Express. She was aboard the SS United States when it made one of its final trans-Atlantic runs from New York to Le Havre, France, and loved annual summer vacations to Jumby Bay Island, Antigua.

Mrs. Gross is survived by her son Harold Gross and his wife Rebecca, of Dallas, TX, and their daughters Margaret Glick and her husband Samuel Glick of Los Angeles, CA and great-grandson Harold Thomas Glick, and Jane Gross of Dallas, TX; daughter Melanie Gross Bentley and her husband Kurt, of Boone, NC, and their daughters Kathleen Juviler of Fairfield, CT and Kellianne Bentley of Bristol, VA; and sister Phyllis Burleson Shreve and her husband David, of Lexington, VA; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She will be interred at the United States Naval Academy cemetery in Annapolis, MD, next to her husband.  Memorials in memory of Mrs. Gross may be made to the Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club of Washington, DC, PO Box 1723, Fort Myer, VA, 22211 or to the United States Naval Academy Foundation, Inc., 247 King George Street, Annapolis, MD 21402. Her family extends special thanks to the wonderful caregivers provided by Mountain Area Premier Care Navigation, most especially, to Kirsten Kern, as well as caregivers at Brookdale Senior Living in Asheville, North Carolina.

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