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Black-and-white studio headshot photo of Ed and Florence Gross, after one month of marriage, 1943
Florence and Ed Gross

Ed and Florence Gross

"Our main advice is: marry young and don’t die."

Ed Gross (MA 1945) and Florence (Goldman) Gross (MSW 1944) married in 1943 while studying at U of T. Ed became a university professor, and Florence a social worker with the family courts; they worked and lived throughout the United States and in Australia. Now retired and living in Seattle, they have two children, one grandchild and three great-grandchildren.

Florence: We met in 1942 at the University of British Columbia. We were both taking undergraduate psychology classes, and sat side by side. Ed became the top student in the entire graduating class – and I got him. Ed’s sister had told me to stay away from him because I would interfere with his schooling. To this day, she can’t forgive me. After graduation, I went to U of T to study social work. Ed and I had decided that if neither of us had found a proper mate in five years, we would marry one another. However, that turned into three months when I got a call from Ed telling me that he was coming to Toronto from UCLA, where he wasn’t enjoying his study of psychology. I had been speaking very highly of the education I was getting. I asked him where he would live, and he suggested that we get married. That was his proposal.

Ed: Well, it’s not easy to find a place to live. When we met, we both belonged to the Psychology Club. The professor in charge was a practitioner of hypnosis and wanted a couple of sub¬jects. He said, “I understand you’ve been hypnotizing Florence.” I kept trying to get Florence to tell me, in her hypnotic state, that she loved me, but she was very resistant. We married in Toronto in 1943. While Florence earned a master’s in social work, I did a master’s in sociology and economics.

We’ve been married for 66 years and it gets better every day. We recommend it to all the other graduates. Our main advice is: marry young and don’t die. Florence is now 90 and I’m 88 – but I’ve always liked older women. We’re now retired and opera is our life. It both enriches us and impoverishes us.

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