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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: John Gross has become an endearing member of the Herlocker family

  • He’s a Herlocker by marriage rather than birth, but John Gross, Scammon, is still a cherished family member.

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  • He’s a Herlocker by marriage rather than birth, but John Gross, Scammon, is still a cherished family member.
    Gross, who recently turned 100, was honored with a birthday cake during the recent Herlocker reunion at the family farm near Farlington. Also known as Uncle Jack, he was married to the late Edna Herlocker Gross, sister of Glen Herlocker. They were grandchildren of L.D. and Elizabeth Herlocker, who founded the family farm.
    “Uncle Jack has been a jewel for our family,” said Madrienne Herlocker, whose  first name is Edna, in honor of Mrs. Gross. “My Aunt Edna was ill for several years before her death, and he took care of her.”
    Gross, a Scammon resident for many years, said that he was born in West Mineral and attended high school there.
    “I worked for the Spencer Chemical Co. and retired from there,” he said.
    Bright and alert, Gross was a volunteer worker for several years at the Lenten fish dinners at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, Scammon.
    Relatives asked Gross about his long life, and he was happy to give out some tips.
    “Forty years ago I was reading a book about foods that were good for you, and oatmeal was the most common food you can eat that won’t bother your stomach,” he said. “I started eating oatmeal, no sugar, just a little milk, at night and in the morning.”
    Gross also warned against eating a big meal late at night.
    “It will ruin your stomach for the next day,” he said.
    He also had some very welcome health advice.
    “You can eat all the ice cream you want, and it won’t bother you,” Gross said. “When I was 45 I weighed 145 pounds, so I try to stay at that weight. If I gain, I just stop eating ice cream every day until I’m back down to 145 again.”
    He is on no medication whatever, he said, but does take vitamins.
    Gross enjoyed the reunion, including meeting the newest member of the clan, Marrone Schupbach, 3-month-old daughter of Kevan Schupbach and wife Dr. Mindi Garner, and enjoyed a healthy piece of decorated birthday cake.
    “Thank you all,” he said, “and I hope everybody here has a 100th birthday.”

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