Leona M. Gross, 91, a resident of Churubusco and widow of prominent Smith Township farmer Herbert L. Gross, died at 2:00 a. m. Monday, February 11, 2008, at Regency Place in Fort Wayne following a lengthy illness. Mrs. Gross was born on July 18, 1916 in Green Township in Noble County at the old Green Center Store, which her parents-John Lawrence and Ella E. (Claxton) Diffendarfer- owned and operated. She spent her formative years in Noble County and graduated from Albion High School in 1934. On September 23, 1937 she was married in Columbia City to Herbert L. Gross, and spent all of her adult life on the family farm in Smith Township until moving into Churubusco late in life to be near her daughter. As a young woman she was employed at Blue Bell in Columbia City for seven years, and retired in 1981 from Dana Corporation in Churubusco after 17 years. She had been a member of the former Blue River Church of God for many years, and was currently a member of the Good News Baptist Church in Churubusco. She was also a former member of the Churubusco Literary Club, and Whitley County Homemakers. In her leisure time she enjoyed serving in her church, gardening, and most especially enjoyed her family. Mr. Gross preceded her in death on April 25, 1998. The surviving relatives include her daughter and son-in-law Jeanne and Richard Baughman of Churubusco; her sister Bonnie Heintzelman of Fort Wayne; a sister-in-law Irene Diffendarfer of Fort Wayne; and her two granddaughters Melissa Baughman of Churubusco and Lori (Kevin) Haydl of Fort Wayne. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a brother Ronald Diffendarfer in 1984; and by a granddaughter Stacey Baughman in 1972. Funeral services will be held at 11 a. m. Thursday, February 14, at the Sheets & Childs Funeral Home in Churubusco with Rev. Edward A. Thompson, pastor of Good News Baptist Church, officiating. The family will receive friends at the mortuary on Wednesday from 2 to 8 p. m., or one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in the Christian Chapel Cemetery, Merriam. For those who wish, memorials may be directed to Good News Baptist Church, Alzheimer's Association, or the Churubusco Public Library. ************************************** To leave a condolence for the family in Mrs. Gross' memory, please click on "Condolences" below. . .