George Gross, affectionately known as ‘The Baron’, will be largely remembered for his contributions as a sports journalist. A Toronto Sun article, published on March 22, gives a brief overview of George’s journey. I had the privilege of officiating George’s funeral service last Thursday. So popular was George Gross, that we were unable to hold his funeral in his own church (St. Giles Kingsway Presbyterian). Instead, we packed almost 600 people into a nearby United Church sanctuary. Many well known sports figures were in attendance; from Red Kelly to Tie Domi, to Pinball Clemons. Tributes were given by George’s good friends, Peter Worthington and Bill Stephenson. A third tribute was given by his son, George Jr. John McDermott sang Amazing Grace. By the time I got up to give some biblical reflections, the service had reached the one hour mark. Mindful of the time, I confess that I was hugely tempted to truncate my message. I didn’t. I’m glad I pressed ahead. George Gross will be largely remembered as a sports journalist, but I wanted to add an extra layer to the memories of those in attendance. George Gross was also a faithful Christian man. In spite of an intensely busy schedule, George seldom missed Sunday worship. He was supportive of the many ministry initiatives here. He was supportive of me. George was a good friend. He will be missed.
I invite you to view some of the video footage of the service for George Gross, provided by the Toronto Sun.