Kenneth R. Gross of Vineyard Haven and formerly of Methuen died May 3 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, surrounded by loving family and friends. He was 96.

He was born in Providence, R.I. to William H. Gross Jr. and Alice Brown Gross. He was a graduate of Hope High School in Providence, class of 1944, as well as R.C.A. Institute in New York city, Merrimack College in Andover and Northeastern University in Boston.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was part of the Tuskegee Airmen experience.

Ken enjoyed a long career which included positions at General Electric, AVCO, Raytheon and Polaroid. He retired from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue in 2002. He was a staff member at Lowell University, where he taught courses in accounting and business management.

During his long life, he volunteered at several organizations. While living in Methuen, where he raised his family, he climbed the ranks to become chief of its auxiliary police. In 1982, he was appointed emrgency management director for the town of Methuen and served for almost 15 years. He also volunteered at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church every Sunday for many years.

After retiring, Ken lived on Martha’s Vineyard, where he had spent many summers as a young man. He was an executive committee member of the Martha’s Vineyard branch of the NAACP and treasurer of the Friends of the Tisbury Council on Aging. He could always be counted on each summer to volunteer during the Polar Bears of Martha’s Vineyard’s annual early morning swim at the Inkwell and at the annual fishing derby.

He enjoyed jazz music and cooking. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, playing the slot machines at casinos, traveling, hosting card games, spending time at the Portuguese-American Club and taking pictures at family functions and community events.

He was predeceased by his loving wife Roberta LaVar Gross, his companion Patricia Mathews, his brothers William, Russell and Donald, and his sister Anita.

He is survived by his three loving children: Jeannette, Robert and his wife Michelle, and Kenneth Jr.. He was cherished by his five grandchildren Patricia and her husband Richard, Robert, Denise and her husband Miguel, Anthony and Daniel; his great-grandchildren Jada, Remy, Ashley, Julian and Jazlyn; his sister Christine; several nieces, nephews and cousins, other extended family; and many loving friends.

A celebration of life will be held on Martha’s Vineyard at a later date.

Donations can be made to any organization that Ken was passionate about.