Franklin Seymour Gross
Franklin Seymour "Doc" Gross, PhD, 34 Mayflower Rd., Windsor, CT, died at his home Sunday, September 25, 2005. He was born in Hartford on April 14, 1925 to the late Florence and Samuel Gross. He graduated Weaver High School, and earned a B.A. from the University of Hartford, a MSW in social work from Boston University, and a PhD in education from the University of Connecticut with an emphasis in Third World Studies. He began his professional career as a social worker at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Hartford in charge of high school activities and as the director of Camp Shalom, a summer camp for children. In the great flood of 1955, when warned by the state police that the campgrounds might go underwater, he led the children and staff through the back roads of Connecticut until they reached Avon where helicopters lifted them across the river to safety. He then taught for many years at Enfield and Fermi High Schools where he was chair of the social studies departments. In 1977, he became the principal of Bacon Academy and then a teacher in the Colchester public school system. In addition, Dr. Gross taught at the University of Hartford in the psychology department for 25 years, as an adjunct professor. In 1974, he received the Celebration of Excellence award for distinguished teaching from the State of Connecticut for innovative work in theatre. Also, the same year he won the national education press award as the best writer in education in the United States. In 1987 he was named Teacher of the Year for the town of Colchester and was a finalist for the State Teacher of the Year. Throughout his career he authored over one hundred and twenty articles and was an educational writer and consultant to Scholastic Magazine and NBC nightly news. He was recognized as a pioneer in developing curriculum and teaching Third World studies at the high school level. During his professional career, theatre played an important role in his life. From the time of his tenure at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Hartford, until his retirement from teaching, he directed at least one play every year. He was the founder of The Lamplighters Group in Enfield, and The Different Drummer Drama Guild in Colchester. In 1992, at the newly built Bacon Academy, the Franklin S. "Doc" Gross auditorium was named in honor of his dedication to the students and his work in drama. Theatre was his passion as a motivating method for reaching students and boosting their self confidence and academic achievement. He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Dr. David and Dr. Ruth Gross of Chicago, and his cousin Peter Gross and his wife Margaret of Windsor, CT. His extended family included a large number of former colleagues, students and friends who will always remember his willingness to go above and beyond what is asked of a friend. Funeral service will be held TODAY, Tuesday, September 27, 2002 at 11a.m in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave., Hartford, with Rabbi Alan Lefkowitz officiating. Interment will follow in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Fairfield Ave., Hartford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to: Florence Gross Memorial Scholarship Fund, 22 Brookside Drive, Suffield CT 06078; Congregation Beth Ahm, 362 Palisado Avenue, Windsor CT 06095; or to a charity of your choice. For further information, directions, or to share memories of Franklin with his family, please visit online at

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