In Memory

Patricia Vernezze (Mercier-Gross) - Class Of 1968

Patricia Vernezze (Mercier-Gross)

Dr. Patricia Mercier-Gross

RACINE - Dr. Patricia Mercier-Gross, 52, died Wednesday, November 13, 2002, at United Health Care System, Kenosha Campus. Born January 24, 1950, in Kenosha, she was the daughter of Francis and DeLoris (nee: Tenuta) Vernezze and had been a longtime resident of Kenosha.

On January 3, 1998, in Las Vegas, Nev., she married John Gross. On November 26, 2000, her marriage was blessed by God at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church in Racine. She attended St. Anthony's Elementary School and was a graduate of St. Joseph High School. She received her Undergraduate Degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and earned her Masters Degree from Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee. In 1984, she received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Marquette University.

She was a lifelong student, completing significant postgraduate education in neuropsychology. She worked with Kenosha Unified Schools for over 13 years with a primary emphasis on learning disabled children and subsequently as a School Psychologist. Dr. Mercier-Gross was instrumental in the mid-1980's in the establishment of school programs for the evaluation and accommodation of children with Attention Deficits, and she was one of the sponsors of the first support group for parents of hyperactive children in Kenosha. She served as the Psychology Consultant for the Eating Disorder Program at St. Catherine's Hospital. She was also a Liaison and Consultant for law enforcement officers. Dr. Mercier-Gross was a pioneer in the efforts to increase awareness of Attention Deficit Disorder in the Kenosha-Racine area. She was a Consultant in the production of an audiocassette program for parents of hyperactive children that was distributed to libraries throughout the country. At the time of her death, she was in private practice with the Patricia Gross Clinic. She was well-versed in a broad spectrum of psychological disorders, practicing with an intuitive understanding and compassion for her patients. 

She loved her German Shepherd, Corey, who recently passed away and enjoyed the countless fishing expeditions she took with her husband, both in Wisconsin and across the country. Her faith was a great source of strength to her. She was a member of St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church in Racine and recently visited the Vatican to attend a Mass given by Pope John Paul II.

Survivors include her husband, John R. Gross of Racine; her parents, Francis and DeLoris Vernezze of Tucson, Ariz.; three brothers, Michael (Julie) Vernezze of Elkhorn, Dr. Peter Vernezze of Ogden, Utah, and Richard 'Fred' Vernezze of Phoenix, Ariz.; and a sister, Mary Vernezze of Tucson, Ariz. Preceding her in death were her grandparents.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, November 18, 2002, at 9:15 a.m. from the Piasecki-Althaus Funeral Home, 3720 - 39th Avenue, Kenosha. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony's Catholic Church. Interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery in Racine. Visitation for Patricia will be held at the funeral home on Sunday from 4 until 7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances to Catholic charities would be appreciated by the family. Despite the challenges of the current insurance-based medical system, and there are many, Dr. Mercier-Gross was a strong advocate for patients. Frustrated at times, because she cared, she always strived to provide the best care possible. Dr. Mercier-Gross was an unsung hero that served her patients on a daily basis.

PIASECKI-ALTHAUS FUNERAL HOME 3720 - 39th Avenue Kenosha