Lucille Gross


Updated Weds., Nov.2, 3:45 pm to include time of service. 

Lucille A. Simpson Gross, 71, died unexpectedly on Oct. 18 at her home in Edgartown.

Lucille was born on July 18, 1945, one of the first babies born at the new Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She was the youngest of four children born to Ellsworth Simpson Sr. of Edgartown and Gladys Hammett of Chilmark. Lucille spent her youth growing up at the Simpson-Pease family home on Cooke Street in Edgartown.

She is descended from the earliest settlers of Martha’s Vineyard. Her uncle, Charles Simpson of Edgartown (Simpson Lane) was the founder of the Simpson Cracker Co., based in New Bedford, which supplied all the whaling ships. Lucille attended the Edgartown School and then moved to Wrentham to attend school and work in the nursing field.

Lucille returned to Edgartown in 1972 and met her future husband, Ralph Gross. Lucille and Ralph enjoyed living in Boston for several years and then settled in Everett. They decided to return to Edgartown due to the declining health of Ralph’s mother Grace, for whom Lucille and Ralph provided loving care. Many enjoyable Christmases were spent in New Hampshire with Ralph’s sister Carol and family.

Lucille worked for many years at Takemmy Cleaners and at the Pequot Hotel. She was a valued employee who was easy to know and who made many friends, and the bonds she made will last forever.

In the winters Lucille and Ralph attended the Monday evening church suppers at the Methodist Whaling Church, where they’d see their good friends and enjoy great conversations. Every Derby season Lucille and Ralph would go down to the weigh-in station and enjoy the excitement of the people and the fishing scene.

Lucille was part of a crocheting and knitting group which met once a week with a potluck supper rotating among houses. The members were all childhood friends: Alice Marshall, ClaraAnne Marshall, Evelyn Simpson, and Sandra Pease. Her beautiful quilts will be treasured by all of her children.

Lucille loved to walk, and would think nothing of walking the length of Beach Road to Oak Bluffs with her three children in tow to visit her sister-in-law Elsie Gross Landers. Many of you will recall seeing Lucille on her daily route in Edgartown. She would start from home on Pinehurst Road, head to the Post Office, stop at Granite Store for a new puzzle or game for her grandchildren, then down to the Second Hand Store to look for hidden treasures, over to the Edgartown Library to read the current news, and then back home again. Lucille loved to walk her faithful dog Trixie through the neighborhood.

Ralph and Lucille were a loving couple as well as best friends. The following is a poem Ralph wrote for Lucille in October 2005.

Simply Divine

I discovered you and found beauty with my eyes.

Just like a million stars sparkling in the evening sky.

Now I need no fire to keep me warm.

I looked at you, my desires set off the alarm.

There could be no finer treasure on the earth I could ever find.

Your beauty from within flows into my heart and mind.

What would I ever do if you ever go away from me?

My heart just couldn’t take it, don’t you see.

Love, Ralph

Lucille leaves her husband of 38 years, Ralph of Edgartown, three daughters and a son, Jennifer Gross of Mashpee, Melissa DeOlivera (Clayton), Angela Samuels (Kedar) of Southbridge, and Timothy Martinelli (Jolene) of Derry, N.H. Lucille was the loving and devoted grandmother of eight grandchildren, Joseph, Symanthia, Myllenna, Jonathan, Robert, Noah, Jake, Hailee, and Gunner. She was predeceased by her sister Phyllis Hammett, sister Louise Anderson, brother Ellsworth (Simmy) Simpson Jr., and her son-in-law Gary Sylvia.

A graveside service will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1 pm, at the New Westside Cemetery in Edgartown.