A Long And Rich History
St. Petersburg was a very small city in 1953 when the stately residence at the corner of Central Avenue and 64th Street was converted into a neighborhood funeral home. It was the perfect location, as it was situated on the main trolley and bus route that served the expanding areas of West St. Petersburg, Gulfport, South Pasadena, St. Petersburg Beach and Treasure Island.
Over the years, the funeral home has served area families under such prestigious names as Fred H. Kenfield, Wilhelm-Thurston, and C. James Mathews. Since 1979, it has been serving families under the direction of St. Petersburg native David C. Gross.
In 1982, Mr. Gross expanded by purchasing the Downs-Ford Funeral Home in downtown St. Petersburg where it had operated since 1952. Its operations were merged into the Central Avenue facility in 1990 after the building was sold to an ophthalmic surgery group.
In 1991, Mr. Gross again expanded by purchasing the Robert D. Easter Funeral Home in the neighboring town of Gulfport. The Gulfport Chapel was only two miles from the larger St. Petersburg facility, and it eventually was merged in 1997.
In 2010, the firm expanded by adding its newest location in Clearwater. This centrally located facility (formerly Rhodes Funeral Directors) on Belcher Road has large beautiful rooms, and features an on on-site reception hall. Access is very convenient to the communities of Largo, Clearwater, Safety Harbor, Dunedin, and Palm Harbor .
In 2019, after 40 years of service, Mr. Gross semi-retired and turned the leadership of the firm over to his son, Navy Veteran, Steven E. Gross.