Born November 23, 1940 in Passaic, New Jersey to Bertha and Rudolph C. Gross, Rudy graduated from Garfield High School in New Jersey in 1958.
In 1959 Rudy enrolled in Rutgers University, where he graduated in 1963 with a BA degree in Biological Science, then on to the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry, where he received his MD Degree in 1967.
MD Degree in hand, he joined the U.S. Navy, doing his rotating Internship at the Jacksonville Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.
In 1968 he shipped out to Saigon. While in Saigon he served as the Chief Medical Administrator for dispensaries, and Liaison with South Vietnamese counterparts at US Military Assistance Command Headquarters.
He oversaw 40 medics for the Studies and Observations Group(SOG) administering and training dispensary staff and coordinating logistics for 8 Special Forces dispensaries. He left Saigon in 1970 as a highly decorated Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy. LT Com. Gross remained in the Naval Reserves until 1972, at which time he was granted an Honorable Discharge.
Upon his return to the United States, he resumed his medical education in his chosen field, psychiatry. He joined the staff of New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center, Westchester Division, in 1970, where he remained until 1982.
While at New York Hospital in White Plains, he completed his residency in 1973 as Assistant Psychiatrist I, II, & III, and became the Unit Chief for a 26 bed Acute Inpatient unit, a post he held until 1975.
In 1975, he created the first of its kind Adult and Adolescent Day Hospital, a 30 patient adult and adolescent unit establishing a medical/rehabilitation Model for acute and transitional services. Dr. Gross held the position of Hospital Director. He also acted as an Assistant Professor, lecturing on this prototype, for Cornell Medical school.
From 1982 to 1986, Dr. Gross maintained a successful psychiatric private practice in White Plains, New York.
In 1986, he joined the New York State Office of Mental Health as first the clinical director of forensic psychiatry at Sing Sing Prison, In Ossining NY, followed by the OMH Hospital in Marcy, New York where he was the head of Psychiatry, ending his New York State career at Bedford Hills Correctional facility for Women, where he was the Clinical Director until his retirement in 2008.
Many who knew Rudy would tell you that he was, at heart, a teacher, always willing to share his knowledge, albeit oft times couched in a biting wit, but delivered in a manner that proved transformational.
Rudy’s true spirit, that of the curious student, could best be summed up by the books left at his bedside. From Athanassakis’ translation of Hesiod’s “Theogony, Works and Days, Shield,” Cline’s “1177 B.C, The Year Civilization Collapsed,” to Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway,” along with the ever present pile of current NY Times dailies at the foot of the bed. Always studying, always learning, always searching for a more Spiritual Mindfulness.
Sadly, the Covid19 Pandemic of 2020 was the last of a life of challenges that he just could not overcome.
Dr Gross was preceded in death by both his parents, Bertha and Rudolph C Gross, as well as his older brother, Jacob, who died of polio when they were children.
Rudy is survived by his husband of 36 years, Mitchell Horn, of Bedford New York, as well as his sisters: Mary Frangipane (Ralph) Sparta, NJ ,Anne Trott (James), Garfield, NJ
Nieces Karen Frangipane (Tara Weikum), Kristine Deppner ( Justin)Amy Cameron (Brian), Amanda Trott, great nephews Jack Deppner ,Kyle Deppner ,Brayden Cameron , Evan Cameron and beloved Cousin Nancy Martin, Flanders, NJ.
Submitted by: Mitch Horn
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