Erle C. Gross

September 14, 1931


November 4, 2020

Erle C. Gross

September 14, 1931


November 4, 2020

On Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, Erle C. Gross, longtime resident and community leader of Big Horn County, died at Mission Ridge Rehabilitation Facility, from complications following the contraction of coronavirus at the age of 89.

Erle was born in Hardin on Sept. 14, 1931, and spent his early years in and around Lodge Grass and Wyola. Erle graduated from Montana State University in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics. This choice of career precipitated exciting and meaningful life adventures such as a year in Belgium with the International Farm Youth Exchange program, a Reserve Officer Training Program commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force, early employment in Forsyth and Miles City, 18 months serving as a farm manager near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and 12 years as the president and CEO of the Little Horn State Bank in Hardin. In addition to raising a family and making a living, Erle was generous with whatever time remained. He was a member of the Hardin Elks Club, the Masonic Lodge of Hardin, the Grand Lodge of Montana, the Scottish Rite and the Black Horse Patrol of Al Bedoo Shrine Temple in Billings. Erle also devoted time to the banking profession and served as former president of the Montana Banker’s Association and as an organizational lobbyist. Erle and his wife Janice owned and operated the Insurance Shop in Hardin, and they supported and attended the Congregational and the Evangelical Lutheran Churches there. In 2016, the retired couple moved from Hardin to Billings. They downsized from their farm west of Hardin to Wyndstone, an independent living facility in the Billings Heights.

Erle is survived by Janice Bayers Gross, his loving wife of nearly 66 years; three daughters, Debora Hansen of Dover, Delaware, DeAnna Poling of Lewes, Delaware, and Danette Davies and her husband, John, of Renton, Washington. In addition, Erle leaves five grandchildren, Heather Hansen (Dan Citron) of Wilmington, Delaware, Beth Hansen of Washington, D.C., Dana Michaud of Las Vegas, Megan Davies of Renton and Jake Davies of Spokane, Washington; and one great grand-daughter, Leah Hazel Citron of Wilmington. Erle’s brother, William, his only surviving sibling, and his wife, Helen, reside in Palm Springs, California. The loss of Erle will be felt by nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends. Erle was preceded in death by his mother, Hazel “Betty” Gross; his father, Frank Gross; and his sister, Genevieve Haworth.

The body of Erle Gross will be cremated, and a memorial service and interment will be held at Fairview Cemetery in Hardin at a later safer date.

Memorial donations may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 911 W. Fifth Ave., Spokane, WA 99204 ( or the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 20920, Billings, MT 59104 (

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11 thoughts on “Erle C. Gross”

  1. Kathi KerrTaylor

    Jan and family,
    I am grateful to Erle for hiring me fulltime many years ago at Little Horn State Bank. It gave me a good start in my working life.
    My prayers are with you as you journey through this season of sorrow with his passing.

  2. Mary Ellen Kehler

    We are so sad to hear of Erle’s passing. He has been a friend of ours for over 50 years. Please accept our sympathy, Jan and family.

    ely, Dick and Mary Ellen Kehler, St. Xavier MT

  3. BethAnn L Stenerson

    I am so very sad to hear this news
    Erle and Jan have been my friends forever and huge influences in my life
    I am sending the biggest strongest longest hug to you Jan
    Love to all of your family
    I am sincerely sorry for your loss
    Honest & truly <3

  4. Jan and family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Erle’s passing. You both were great friends and neighbors of ours for years. God’s blessings to you and your family.
    Deb Wacker

  5. Jan, Deb, DeAnna and Danette… love to all of you. I’m so pleased to have become reacquainted with Erle in recent years and so very sorry for your loss.

  6. A true loss, our neighbor and friend for 46 years. Erle was kind, business like and a strong community member. Our hearts go out to you Jan and the girls. Jim and Sue Seykora

  7. Leslie Murray Cooke

    Blessings to the Gross family. I had the privilege of working with Erle at the bank so many years ago. He was kind, and he always believed in me.

  8. Cindy Buckingham Whiteman

    I am so sorry. You are all in my prayers and thoughts. I have so many great memories of Mr. Gross, Dad, and others volunteering and sacrificing time and energy to make Big Horn County a better place. He will be missed.

  9. Jan and Family,
    It is with great sadness that I read of the passing of Erle. He was a leader in the Hardin business community and greatly appreciated. Please accept my condolences.

  10. Dear Jan and family,
    I have so many fond memories of the years we spent as neighbors in Miles City. You were such great neighbors. Daughters Debbie and DeAnna were best friends with my daughter Nancy….and when Danette was born that added another beautiful girl to the family.
    I am so sorry for your loss. I know you are blessed with great memories. God bless you all. With deepest sympathy.
    Donna Sweeney

  11. Dear Jan and family,
    Our condolences for the loss of a great and kind man. Our thoughts are with you during this sad time.

    Velma and Rebecca Gentry

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