When it came to giving back to the community, Marvin Gros was often there to lend a helping hand.
The well-known Donaldsonville attorney died unexpectedly Saturday, May 30. He was 71.
Monday afternoon, his close friend Michael Medine shared a list of civic and charitable involvements Gros had over many years of community service.
“He was the type of guy who always saw the best in people,” Medine said. “If he had an opportunity to help, he would go leaps and bounds. Cost didn’t matter.”
Medine recalled a fundraiser about five years ago for Matt Weil, who was undergoing cancer treatment at the time. The small event at Cafe Lafourche in Donaldsonville eventually grew to a large one, as it attracted supporters “from all over,” Medine said.
“It started out local. At the end of the day, the place was packed. They knew Marvin was involved. He knew how to move things in a charitable way,” he said.
Gros often gave back to Ascension of Our Lord and St. Francis of Assisi churches, and Ascension Catholic Diocesean Regional School. He was involved in the St. Joseph Altar, the St. Francis Food Fest, and the school’s Seafood Extravaganza fundraising event. He also supported the school’s alumni group.
“He never wanted grass to grow under his feet,” Medine recalled about his friend.
Gros was active in the Knights of Columbus, the Donaldsonville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Donaldsonville Rotary Club, Ducks Unlimited, and the Prevost Memorial Hospital Board.
When Ascension Catholic underwent a project to restore the convent building, Gros and Medine saw to it that the work would be completed.
Ascension Catholic Principal Sandy Pizzolato also remembered Gros for his selfless spirit.
“Words cannot express how deeply saddened I am to hear of the loss of Mr. Marvin,” she said. “He will always be remembered as a kind and giving man, always doing for others in his community and beyond.”
Pizzolato said his example of leadership will “carry his memory for many, many years.”
“Ascension Catholic will forever be grateful for his devotion and love to his Alma Mater. May God bless the Gros family and his many friends during this difficult time.”
Gros was a lifelong resident of Donaldsonville. He practiced law for 30 years.
A 1966 graduate of Ascension Catholic, he went on to further his education at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux in 1970. He graduated from Southern University Law School in Baton Rouge in 1990. He was second in his class of 167 students.
The Gros family also owns and operates an insurance company.
Gros garnered many awards and accolades over the years. Notably, he was elected president of the Donaldsonville Chapter of the Jaycees, and in 1973, at the age of 24, was the youngest state president in the nation.
In a proclamation, Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan ordered all flags lowered to half-staff during the week of May 31 through June 7 to "reflect on the life, kindness, and generosity of this community servant."
Gros is survived by his wife, Myra A. Gros; daughter, Casey Gros Hood; sons, Marvin Charles Gros Jr. (and wife, Jill) and Aaron John Gros (Dana); and eight grandchildren, Alyssa Gros, Alex Gros, Sage Reine, Brennan Gros, Landon Gros, Cade Hernandez, Cadence Hood, and Blake Hood Jr.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ridley Gros Sr. and Ezal Daigle Gros; brother Ridley Gros Jr.; and step son, Chad Nichols.
A private mass will be held in his memory. Pallbearers will be Aaron Gros, Marvin Gros Jr., Cade Hernandez, Alex Gros, Mike Medine, Brennan Gros, Tommy Bennett, and Jeffrey Henry.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ACHS Bulldog Excellence Fund, 311 St. Vincent St., Donaldsonville, LA 70346.