Christian J. Gress, 89, WWII vet, long-time carpenter, enjoyed gardening, photography

By on June 21, 2017

Christian J. Gress, 89, of Reinholds, passed away Monday, June 12, 2017, at Gardens at Stevens Nursing Home.

He was born in Blainsport to the late Jacob G. and Lizzie (Sweigart) Gress, and was the husband of Kathryn E. (Snyder) Gress, with whom he shared 61 years of marriage.

He was a member of Zion Goshert’s United Church of Christ in Lebanon. He enjoyed gardening, woodworking, and photography.

Christian was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served during World War II. He worked for 50 years as a carpenter for various construction companies. His last employment was with Sell Construction.

In addition to his wife, Christian is survived by five children: Ruth E., wife of Jerry Ulrich, of Ephrata; George C. Gress, husband of Patti (Darkes), of Lebanon; Miriam R., wife of Dean Patches, of Lebanon; Marie K., wife of Jim Redcay, of Reinholds; Joan F. Keffer, fiancée of Greg Oliphant, of Lancaster; nine grandchildren: Adam Gress, Kelly Patches, Brian Patches, Doug Patches, Steven Patches, Amanda Dittmer, Megan Heffner, Nicholas Keffer, and Brandon Keffer; a great-grandchild: Linden Dittmer; two brothers: Elam Gress of Reinholds; James Gress, husband of Margaret (Kring), of Bowmansville; a sister: Helen, wife of Roy Dinger, of Reinholds; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a brother: John Gress.

Services were held June 19 at Swamp Lutheran Church, Reinholds, with Pastor Bruce Farrell officiating. Interment was in the Swamp Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in Christian’s memory may be made to Zion Goshert’s United Church of Christ, 1588 Mount Zion Road, Lebanon, PA 17046.

Arrangements by Roseboro Stradling Funeral and Cremation Services Inc., Denver. Online condolences can be given at

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