Caroline Gross, 88, slipped through the gates of Heaven on February 8, 2012,
at Geisinger Medical Center , Danville, PA. Surrounded at the last moments
by her son David Paul; and her daughters Pauline Rappold, Ruth Carlson, and
Esther Nordman; son-in-law Leslie Nordman; and granddaughters Elizabeth
Rappold Novack and Amanda Rappold, she peacefully entered the Presence of
her Lord Jesus Christ at 7:01 p.m.
on May 11, 1923 in Otovalo, Ecuador, to missionary parents, Carl and Clara
Carlson, Caroline received Christ as her Savior at an early age and gained a
heart of service to Him. During WWII many missionaries sent their children
back to the States to continue their education in the safer environment of
Westervelt Home in Colombia, SC. It was here that Caroline met and later
married on May 17, 1944, Paul David Gross, a son of missionaries from
Nigeria. The next year they went as missionaries with Christian Missions in
Many Lands to work in the Igala area of Nigeria, over the years serving in
many different capacities “by all means to win some to Christ.” The work
they established includes Bible translation, church planting (there are now
over 150 churches in the area), Sunday School work, Igala Bible School,
Christian primary schools and a Christian secondary school, preaching,
teaching, training others to train others, raising and educating their
family, and much more.
her husband died in 1982, Caroline took a huge step forward and started
caring for a severely brain-injured girl, Alimo, whom she adopted and cared
for over the next 20 years. It was because of this act of love to Alimo
that many more handicapped children found their way to Caroline. Eventually
opening an orphanage under the able direction of Daniel and Esther Edeh,
Caroline continued to pour herself into loving and nurturing those in need,
who now number over 400 people in two orphanages, Ministry of Mercy
Orphanage in Otutulu Village and in Lokoja, Nigeria. All of these
“children” lovingly and proudly call her “Mama”.
survived by three daughters and their husbands: Pauline and Bill Rappold of
Selinsgrove, PA; Esther and Leslie Nordman of Dallas, TX; Ruth and Stuart
Carlson of Palestine, TX; by two sons: David and daughter-in-law Gaye Paul
of Dallas, TX; and Paul Agbo of Anyigba, Nigeria; by one brother, Daniel and
sister-in-law Sonya Carlson of Salome, AZ; by one sister-in-law, Lydia
Carlson; by ten grandchildren: Elizabeth Rappold and Paul Novack, Amanda
Rappold, Melian Nordman Izotova and Misha Izotov; Clifford Nordman; Caroline
Carlson and Paul Carlson; Nikki Zuber Smith; Heidi Zuber; Grace Paul and
Jazden Paul; by two great-grandchildren: Madeleine Novack and Michaela
Novack; and by hundreds, perhaps thousands, who call her “Mama” and who have
been born to new life through hers.
Caroline was preceded in death by her husband Paul David Gross; by her
daughter Carol Ann Zuber; by her daughter Alimo Nordman Gross; by her
brother Paul David Carlson; and by her daughter-in-law Joy Agbo.
Memorial services will be held in four places and times:
2012 at Sunbury Bible Church, Route 11, Northumberland, Pennsylvania.
Visitation - 2:00 pm; Memorial Service - 3:00 p.m.
time and place to be announced.
State, Nigeria, Memorial Service, time to be announced.
State, Nigeria in June, 2012, a funeral service when her remains will be
interred next to her daughter Alimo and her in-laws Malcolm and Minnie
Gross, exact date and time to be announced.
lieu of flowers, Caroline Gross would wish gifts to be given to feed her
children at the Ministry of Mercy Orphanages. Gifts may be sent to:
Partners in Joy, Inc.
PO Box 380729
Duncanville, TX 75138
you will say in your heart: Who has borne me these?...Behold I will lift up
my hand to the nations….and they shall bring your sons in their bosom and
your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. Kings shall be your
foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers….Then you will know
that I am the Lord. Those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”
Isaiah 49: 21 - 23