Continuing a family legacy of service


It was Sunday morning, and the sun was just barely coming up over the horizon when Randy and Susan Gross set out for Pierre.
Susan doesn’t always ride shotgun for the nearly four-hour drive, the weeks can get a bit tedious in the capital city while her husband is working long days during the short South Dakota state legislative session. Often, she stays home.
But the couple had an event in Pierre they both wanted to attend that morning. Family was also going to visit later in the week.
Off into the dark their taillights went.
Randy Gross, for those of you who don’t know him, is a farmer, retired banker, and U.S. Army Veteran. As a child, he moved with his parents from South Dakota to Washington state. It is where he met Susan, began to get engaged in politics, served as a state convention delegate, and got involved in activities on the local level, but he never ran for office.
Life and career then took him across the globe before he and Susan returned to Moody County to settle down in their “retirement”.

The couple has four grown children: Randy K (Elkton), Doran (Nashville), Heidi (Lake Benton), and Mary (Virginia). Through their own children, the couple is now blessed with seven grandkids.
Gross was first elected to the South Dakota State House of Representatives in 2018. He has represented Moody County in the state legislature since.
While he only recently entered the political fray, politics, you could say, is in his blood — Gross is a fourth generation Moody County legislator.
“I’ve always had an interest,” Gross said.
“I grew up, particularly on my mom’s side, always discussing and being involved in politics.”
Gross’ great-grandfather, Charles Austin Chamberlin, was elected to the SD House of Representatives in 1892 and the state Senate in 1894. Chamberlin, one of the largest landowners in the county at the time, also served as Chair of the original Clare Township board and served as school treasurer.
In 1929, his great-uncle through marriage, Hugh Stokes, began the first of 22 years serving in the state legislature — two terms in the state Senate and nine terms in the state House of Representatives. He was speaker pro tempore in 1949 and Speaker of the House in 1951.
Gross’ uncle, Clarence Bruce Chamberlin, was the third to serve the county and state. Bruce Chamberlain, a farmer, and local school board member was elected to represent Lake and Moody Counties in the House in 1960 and 1962.
Gross, proud of his heritage, is grateful for the chance to serve the county and state as well.  
“While it may be in my blood, serving is an honor, privilege, and responsibility second only to God and family.  My Moody County heritage is a constant reminder of the good, hard-working people we represent.”