The youngest of 15 siblings, Grosse was born in Corona, Queens. Her mother passed away shortly thereafter, and she moved to the St. James area, her father having purchased a farmhouse on Jericho Turnpike at Cambon Ave.
Grosse attended Nesconset Elementary School, which at the time was a two room schoolhouse, before attending Smithtown High School graduating in the Class of 1935.
In the late 1930s, Martha met Edward Grosse, also of St. James, through mutual friends and they married at St. James Lutheran Church on May 25, 1940. Martha and Eddie began their married life on Sunny Road, in a home Eddie had helped build in 1927. Martha resided there until she entered St. Johnland’s Nursing Home in Kings Park in 2011.
After high school, Martha worked in several local offices as a secretary before she began raising her family. When the girls were grown, Martha took a position working in the Town of Smithtown Planning Department until 1978.
Upon her retirement Martha began volunteering with the Ladies Auxiliary at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital (now St. Catherine’s of Sienna) where she volunteered continuously for over 30 years, serving in many roles including President of the Auxiliary. She continued to volunteer until 2008 when her own declining health necessitated her retirement.
Martha enjoyed a number of hobbies including houseplant gardening and knitting/crocheting. She took great pride in making blankets for her children, grandchildren and friends. She also made and donated countless blankets to the ill and elderly and area nursing homes and hospitals. She enjoyed a true zest for life and traveled extensively well into her 80’s. Her travels included much of the continental United States, as well as Hawaii, Alaska,Italy, Switzerland, France, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand, Canada, and her favorite destination – her ancestral homeland of Austria.Grosse is survived by her two daughters, Marianne Blazich of St. James and Evelyn DeLuna of Sayville. She was grandmother to six and great-grandmother to six. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Edward, her sons-in-law, and two of her grandchildren.
A private funeral was held on Thursday, Jan. 9.