Danny Gross

Posted 6/11/24

PORT LAVACA, Texas — Danny Gross was the fourth child born to Rita Gross (Tiernan) and the late William “Bud” Gross on January 29, 1954, in Faulkton, joining three older sisters, …

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Danny Gross


PORT LAVACA, Texas — Danny Gross was the fourth child born to Rita Gross (Tiernan) and the late William “Bud” Gross on January 29, 1954, in Faulkton, joining three older sisters, whom he said “honed his fighting skills.” He often quipped, “you think you are tough, try growing up with five sisters!”
After two more sisters were born, Dan finally got his brother. But by then, he had decided one of his sisters could become a brother, so he cut off her long hair, gave her matching trunks and named her Mike. Mike also became the name of one of his first dogs who had a brother named Maximillian. This began Dan’s lifelong love of dogs who were lucky enough to call him master. Jimmy was his most recent and beloved rescue dog who had the pleasure of eating steak or brisket or whatever Dan was barbequing in his adopted Lonestar State of Texas, which he fiercely loved.
Dan or “Captain Dan” as the locals in Rockport, Port Aransas, Port O’Connor and Port Lavaca called him, found his life’s joy and profession piloting tugboats, running oilfield supply boats or fishing boats out of Fisherman’s Wharf. Called a respected captain wherever he went, even at his corner stool at Shorty’s Place, he was always ready with a witty story, as salty as the sea.
His family and friends are brokenhearted that Captain Dan passed away suddenly from a massive stroke in Port Lavaca, Texas, on February 23, 2024, and while he fought to stay with us a bit longer, the damage he suffered was far too great for even the toughest old boat captain to handle.
Dan loved his sons Nate and Jacob and was just beginning to learn the joys of grandparenting to Wyatt, Maverick and Ella. He had hoped to pass along his considerable outlaw guitar picking skills to his grands, but his repertoire of Joe Walsh, Led Zepplin and the Allman Brother may have scared them off! A lover of rock and roll, Dan and friends formed The Blue Beagles band in the late ’60s and had some notoriety in central South Dakota as “the coolest” with their rendition of “Wipeout!” Later Dan definitely was a child of Woodstock and with his many close friends from the class of 1972, personified the spirit of rock and roll.
Dan spent his early childhood on the family farm near Burdette, and attended Catholic boarding school in Zell along with his three older sisters. Never a fan of being away from home, Dan was happy when the family moved to Huron where he attended St. Martin’s Catholic School and Huron Junior and Senior High School. Dan loved to say his formal education was received at reform school – how could we forget Plankinton! 
Whenever a fight broke out at school, Dan supported the underdog. This trait continued throughout his entire life. Dan championed the outlaws, the misfits and non-conformists. “Captain Dan gave me a chance when no one else would,” was a sentiment expressed by lots of characters with whom Dan associated. Dan’s defining characteristics can be found in the hundreds of comments from friends on his Facebook page: “the quickest wit I ever knew” “hilarious, “unique sense of humor”, “one of a kind, “ “left a real mark in the world,” “a charm to be with,” “always smiling and always laughing,” “honest and sincere,” “funniest, smart witted guy and ever so kind,” “a true maverick,” “my best friend.”
Left with many colorful memories are his sons Nate Gross of Brooklyn Center, Minn.; Jacob (Shelby) Gross of Corpus Christi, Texas; grandsons Aiden of Brooklyn Center, Wyatt, Maverick and Ella of Corpus Christi; Dan’s  95-year old mother, Rita Gross of Huron, his siblings Cindy Sechser of Omaha, Neb.; Sally (Russ) Trier of Kulpsville, Pa., Mary Langbehn of Sturgis, Michelle (Paul) Lavallee of Sioux Falls, Sheila (Gordon) Wollman of Huron, and countless nieces, nephews and friends. 
Preceding Dan’s passing were his father, Bud Gross and his younger brother John Gross, brothers-in-law, Jimmy Sechser, Joey Steever, and Rich Langbehn.
His Memorial Mass is 10 a.m., Saturday, June 15, at Holy Trinity Catholic Parish in Huron, with burial to follow at Burdette Cemetery.
A celebration of Dan’s life will be held at his sister and brother-in-law’s, Michelle and Paul Lavallee, 40216 207th Street in Huron, on Saturday, June 15 at 4 p.m. Please stop by to share memories of Dan, listen to his favorite music and if you don’t mind being seen in public, do wear your most inappropriate tee-shirt like Danny always did. What would make Dan the happiest is to share the good times you had with him while he was passing through.