Herb Gross, a longtime Gail Borden Public Library District Board member, died Friday, Jan. 13, at age 86 at the Charter Assisted Living Center in Hoffman Estates.
Gross served as a library trustee from 2007 to 2009 and again from 2010 to 2022, and was one of an original group of volunteers who became library greeters, library district staff said. He often made origami animals for patrons as part of his volunteer efforts, they said.
According to Congregation Kneseth Israel Rabbi Margaret Klein, Gross was the child of Russian immigrants. At one time he worked as a psychologist at the Elgin Mental Health Center, she said.
Gross was active in the congregation and involved with the Kiwanis Club, Elgin Theatre Company, Independent Players, Elgin Children’s Theatre, Elgin Cultural Arts Commission and the defunct Colloquy Coffee House Association, which provided entertainment and treats for low-income children, Klein said.
In addition to his community involvement, Gross was known for making buttons for various organizations and political candidates, she said.
According to Gross’ Facebook page, he and his wife, Medina, who died in 2020, lived in Elgin since 1963. He is survived by two children, Benjamin and Rachel (Bloomberg), and a grandson, Robert Bloomberg.
Jean Bednar, president of the Gail Borden Library Board, called Gross an valuable contributor to the board, and Carole Medal, the library’s CEO, said Gross was a positive, compassionate person who brought smiles to the faces of many library visitors.
Graveside services were held Sunday, Jan. 15, at Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin.
Mike Danahey is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.