Obituary – Bonnie Ruth Daniel

Published 12:51 pm Monday, March 18, 2024

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Bonnie Ruth Daniel was born on July 11, 1931, to William T.L. and Mertie Metz Daniel in Cullman. She was the youngest of five children. She had Luther, Leon and James C, (JC) and one sister Mary Grace. She married her high school sweetheart Tom Jackson Gross on September 2, 1950, and became Mrs. Tom Gross. They lived together for many years on a farm in Gallion Alabama. Bonnie was a loving mother to 3 sons Terry Jackson Gross, Donald Charles Gross and Thomas Dale Gross. She was a homemaker and worked at Vanity Fair as an examiner for 12 years and later sold Stanley products. She was a faithful Christian who loved the Lord as a member of the Linden Church of Christ. She was a loving wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend to all who knew her.

After moving to the farm in Gallion, Bonnie welcomed the challenges ahead. One morning as a happy young mother she took her baby out with her to gather eggs. She was met by a snake in the hen house and ran back to the house and never went back. She was terrified of snakes. That day, she decided the house was her domain and the farm was Tom’s. She never deviated from this decision.  

Bonnie was famous for her wonderful cooking. She was always preparing and taking food to others, but her greatest joy was cooking for her family. She was constantly trying new recipes. The ones her family loved became a must every holiday. Most days she started cooking lunch soon after breakfast and had it ready when the men came in from the farm to eat. Tom loved her cooking and told her often.  Her famous cornbread was a must for every meal.  

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Bonnie embraced the role of grandmother with every fiber of her being. She was nervous about the arrival of her first grandchild because he was coming through adoption. She expressed concern about loving this child completely because he was not of her flesh. When he was placed in her arms for the first time, her knees buckled as tears of joy flooded her face. She thought he was the most beautiful child she had ever seen. She was head over heels in love at first sight. Doesn’t every grandparent feel the same? God has a way of taking care of the things we worry about. The first grandchild was the only one for six years.  Being his meme was much like sailing, “bouts of boredom with terror intermingled.” The first time he went for a week to stay with them in Alabama from Tennessee the handoff was done in Cullman which was the halfway point. Within 15 minutes of having him, they went to visit another family in Cullman. He played with a cat and his whole face turned red, his eyes beginning to swell. Bonnie was worried about him but also did not want her time with him to be cut short. A quick call was made, Benadryl administered and on down the road they went. During this week he was lost briefly on the farm which left Bonnie in tears, but all was okay when he was found in the hay loft. That week bonded their first grandchild, Kyle to them and the farm in a way that can never be broken.

The four grandchildren to follow were welcomed with the same outpouring of love and open arms. Bonnie made them her life’s work. All 5 spent numerous weekends on the farm playing carefree while Bonnie delighted in caring for them. She took every opportunity to be with them.  She was interested in their spiritual growth as well as their hobbies, hopes, and dreams. She could be seen cooking until 2 in the morning making their special food then she would be up in the early morning cooking her famous breakfast. As a result of this, every grandchild gave back to her in some way. They came to her for cooking lessons which honored her in a way that touched her deeply. They helped clean the house when Bonnie’s health began to fail. They worked out on the farm keeping the fields mowed. Bonnie deeply appreciated everything done for her.

Memories by Grandchild No. 3 Kaley

I hope Heaven has a kitchen… Tuesday, we got word that my sweet grandmother passed away. She has suffered for many years physically and mentally. It’s so hard to watch your loved ones become someone almost completely different than you once knew. She was such a light for me and loved her family, especially her grandbabies and great-grand babies. When I think of her, my mind floods with childhood memories at the farm when life was simple and just GOOD. She was ALWAYS in the kitchen cooking three meals a day when we were visiting. She always made sure to have an ongoing dessert table when we were there. She made the best biscuits, the best milkshakes, the best grease gravy, and the BEST “dirt cake.” I loved helping her make biscuits. She showed love through food, silly gifts, and so much more. I loved the fact that she never forgot my birthday. She would send a card and call me singing “Happy Birthday.” I loved the way she laughed and the way she choked up when something was funny. I loved the way she mispronounced words or said words with her Alabama accent, which would tickle all of us. I loved her love for Papaw. Their love was something I have always looked up to because they just had pure, sweet love for each other for 70+ years. Grandparents are such earthly treasures. I hope she always knew how much I loved her. I hope she knew how much she meant to me even a state away. So, I hope heaven has a kitchen, with a big window, looking out on a farm. And on that farm is my Papa tending to cattle. Just like it always was. I hope one day I’m in that kitchen making homemade biscuits, giggling about making the “baby biscuit” with the last of the dough. She was loved dearly and will be so deeply missed. 

She passed from this life on March 12. She was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years Tom Jackson Gross, both parents William T L and Mertie Daniel; and her siblings James C. (JC) Daniel, Leon Daniel, Luther Daniel and sister Mary Grace Harper.  She is survived by her 3 sons Terry Gross (Kathleen) White Bluff, Tennessee, Charles Gross from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Dale Gross (Sarah) of Acworth, Georgia, and Michael McCaleb (Carol), 5 grandchildren: Kyle Gross (Kimberly) Burns, Tennessee, Lauren Newnan (Lucian IV) Cullman, Alabama, Kaley Gross Albert, Dickson, Tennessee, Charles Thomas Gross Bangkok, Thailand, and Parker Thomas Gross Acworth, Georgia, 5 great-grandchildren: Addison Gross, Charles Thomas Gross, Baylor Albert, Frances Ford Newman, and Lucian Newman V, and many nieces, nephews, and friends. She will be greatly missed. There will be a graveside service for family and friends on March 18, at 11 a.m. at the Flint Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Vinemont.

Condolences may be offered at  

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home.