Passed away on December 31, 2018
Benita Louise Gross, 64, of City Island, Bronx, NY passed away on December 31, 2018 at her home after a long illness surrounded by family.
She was born in Staten Island, NY on November 14, 1954, daughter of the late Reuben and Blanche Gross. She is survived by her partner, Karl Hoedl, her daughters, Mikaela and Ilana Gross, and two granddogs, Stella and Dante. She is also survived by six siblings, Avery(Harriet), Deni(Fred), Shuly, Judy(Marc), Naomi(Jossi), Donn and numerous nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by brothers David and Alex.
She graduated with Highest Honors from Richmond College, CUNY in 1976. She was valedictorian and Student Body President. She then studied at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, receiving her M.D. in 1981, and returned to do a residency there in obstetrics and gynecology. At the time of her diagnosis of ALS, she was Chief Medical Officer & Medical Director at Planned Parenthood – Hudson Peconic.
Throughout her life, Benita was an outspoken advocate of a woman’s right to choose and a pioneering member of the LGBT movement. She was one of the early volunteers with SAGE, working with gay senior citizens.
Benita’s passions included spinning, knitting and weaving, as well as producing fine lace and bead work. She visited any country, museum or county fair where there was a hint of these or similar artisanal crafts. One of her favorites was the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY, where teams compete in a timed contest that begins with shearing a sheep and ends with spinning and weaving a finished product.
Always open-minded, intellectually curious and up for an adventure, Benita moved to New Zealand at the age of 59 for nearly a year, for a truly once-in-a-lifetime chance to mix work and play. There she worked in women’s healthcare during the week and spent every weekend exploring the nation’s hiking trails, bicycling, and interacting with knitting and spinning communities.
The family is grateful to Roberta Cardozo and the MAC Angels for their incredible compassion and help throughout Benita’s illness.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Benita to:
- Benita Gross Wednesday, January 2, 2019
April 19, 2019
My wife Peggy and I are so saddened to hear of Benita's passing. She was one of the nicest and most generous people we have ever known. She was an incredibly unique individual and I mean that in the best sense of the word. She had a great sense of humor and was a pleasure to know. She will be sorely missed.
April 8, 2019
I met Benita as an intern at Jacobi Hospital in 1983. I am preparing a talk about my career in medicine and was thinking about people who influenced me as a young doctor and Benita immediately came to mind. She was way ahead of her time and I knew it. She was the most "out" individual I had ever met. She was "patient centered" before it was a corporate slogan. She was a superb clinician and team leader. She was not intimidated by authority. I admired her caring and courage.
My career took me to gynecologic oncology and Texas and we did not stay in touch however I carry with me a bit of her in my patients and trainees.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
January 8, 2019
I worked with Dr. Gross when she did surgery in her office in New Rochelle, some many years back. She was as kind and considerate and reassuring as they came-- as a physician colleague, she was super smart, had great hands, and connected with colleagues, patients and her staff in ways that set as an example to me. I am sure that G-d has a special place for her.
January 4, 2019
I first met Dr. Gross working my first surgical day at Planned Parenthood. I thought she was one of our patients, dressed head to toe in hiking gear with a back pack; needless to say I was quite surprised when I realized she was the Chief Medical Officer. I always admired Benita's passion for her patients. She had no filter, always keeping it real, which is what we all loved about her. I'll never forget the laughs she gave us, or the impression she had on her patients. Dr. Gross was an absolutely amazing woman. Thank you Dr. Gross, for all that you have done. May you know the impact that you had on so many womens' lives.
January 3, 2019
I first remember meeting Bentia when I was maybe 7 years old. She carried herself so strong. Her energy filled the room and I was immediately taken by her. I remember thinking I wanted to be her when I grew up. In years to come I watched Benita stand up for what she knew was right. She lived honest and unapologetically. She was often shocking in the funniest ways and she was lovely.... always lovely...
I realize you won't be reading this Bentia but I wish to tell you that you were a huge inspiration to me growing up. You were always there in the back of my mind when I chose to be a Midwife and work with women's well care. Knowing you were out there gave me courage to speak my truth and to be who I truly am. In a sense you validated me... Thank you for everything. I promise to be here for your daughters if they ever should need me. You are surely onto another beautiful adventure now... Hope to know you again some time.
January 3, 2019
I will always remember on Jacobi Medical Center grounds Benita and I having lunch at Kennedy Center, I also remember the first time we met at a City Island restaurant.
I still have the knitted booties you made for my son.
May her loved ones find comfort and strength at this sad time.