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A Tribute To Grandma Grace (1915 - 2006)

We Will Always Love You; You Touched Our Lives In So Many Wonderful Ways

Grandma Grace This page is a tribute to my Grandma Grace who sadly died at the age of 91 on Friday afternoon, the day after Thanksgiving.

Interestingly, Grandma was as "sharp as a tack" to the very end and walked decently with a cane for her age. She attended Thanksgiving gathering at my brother's home outside of New York City with much of my immediate family.

To give some examples of her spirit and soundness of mind on Thanksgiving Day, she played Scrabble with my mother in the morning, lectured my older brother about the dangers of online banking, teased me (on the phone) about when I would get married ("How are the girls treating you? When am I going to attend your wedding?" she asked.) and spoke with enthusiasm about watching "Deal Or No Deal" on TV in the evening. All in all, she seemed to enjoy the annual Thanksgiving routine.

I am not good with medical details, but Grandma had some internal issues with her blood that caused her to be found semi-conscious on Friday morning. She passed away at the hospital in the afternoon. Considering she always had fears about hospitals and doctors, I am grateful that Grandma experienced little pain during her final hours.

Special thanks to my mother and two uncles for bravely taking on the leadership at the funeral and for caring for Grandma for such a long time while she lived alone. For me, it is a very sad time to grieve the loss of Grandma Grace, the well-loved and admired matriarch of our family. I don't think I could fittingly describe all the ways she gave of herself to others. Grandma's life story impacted my own life, and her spirit will always be etched in my heart.

Thank you Grandma, for everything you gave to us. We love you so much and miss you!

November 29, 2006

Photos With Grandma Grace

Photo Above: Grandpa Joe and Grandma Grace on their wedding day on November 18, 1934.

Grandma Grace and Grandpa Joe

Photo Above: A photo of Grandma Grace and Grandpa Joe in late 1968/early 1969 at my childhood home before I was born. The baby is my older brother, Dave.

I'm by no means an expert historian on Grandma Grace's life, but here are some notables:

- Grandma lived in the Bronx, New York for her entire life and lived in the same house since the early 1940's.

- Grandma married "Grandpa Joe" during the Great Depression (November 1934) and had a wonderful marriage.

- Details are sketchy (perhaps another family member can fill me in), but Grandma occasionally mentioned having an interesting conversation with Joe Page, a pitcher for the New York Yankees in the early 1940's.

- Grandma enjoyed telling stories of her campaigning for her brother-in-law (Joe Periconi) who served as state senator and Bronx Borough president. Riding in Bronx neighborhoods, she would enthusiastically speak on a loud speaker encouraging people to vote for Joe!

- Grandpa Joe was a very reputable upholsterer who did some work on the "Blue Room" in the White House. When the work was finally completed, Grandpa and Grandma were invited to a White House banquet in the Spring of 1972 to meet President Nixon and the First Lady. The night of the banquet was on the day Governor Wallace was shot while campaigning for President, which consequently pulled President Nixon from attending, but my grandparents enjoyed meeting Pat Nixon and had a great time.

- Grandma was alive for all 26 championships of the New York Yankees.

- Grandma successfully quit smoking in the early 1990's after decades of smoking regularly. It is amazing that she reached the age of 91 and was in relatively decent health.

- Grandma gained the nickname "Foxy" during my older brother's college years. Dave went to college and lives with his wife and kids fairly close to Grandma's house, and somehow the nickname "Foxy" was coined throughout the course of that time.

- Grandma enjoyed visiting City Island (part of the Bronx Borough), an island near Orchard Beach that was popular for fishing, boating and having good seafood restaurants.

Grandma Grace

Photo Above: During the Christmas season in 2001, Grandma Grace ties my hair in a pony tail. She generally did not like my long hair, saying very diplomatically and gracefully that my long hair covered up my face. :)

Grandma Grace

Photo Above: Christmas 2001. Grandma Grace (right) looks over with a wonderful smile towards Jack (my nephew), my younger brother Mark and a neighbor of my older brother.

Grandma Grace

Photo Above: A nice photo of Grandma and myself on Christmas 2003.
My personal memories of Grandma:

- It was common to visit Grandma and Grandpa's house or for them to visit our house once every two weeks during my childhood. Grandma would always spoil us by delivery my brothers and I a pack of baseball cards. She would routinely bring a dozen doughnuts from a Bronx bakery that had amazing donuts with chocolate frosting and sprinkles on just one quadrant of the doughnut. :)

- Once, after returning to our grandparents house after a New York Yankees game in the late 1970's (1977?), a car seemed to be following us in the South Bronx. My older brother and I were in the backseat with Grandpa and Grandma up front. I faintly remember my grandparents being really worried and somehow we evaded the suspicous follower.

- I was about age 9 or 10 when my parents allowed me to use their rudimentary Kodak film camera with a roll of 24 shots. That day, Grandpa and Grandma were visiting and I had them pose outside for a picture. I shook the camera as I pressed the button and the photo came out blurry, although Grandpa and Grandma looked sharp. (That photo very well might still be somewhere in my childhood home in New Jersey!)

- My parents went on a cruise for a week and my brothers and I "vacationed" at Grandpa and Grandma's house in the Bronx. If I remember correctly, we attended a New York Yankees game (1977? Kansas City won 3-1), went to the movies and had lots of fun watching TV at home.

- Grandpa and Grandma celebrated their 50-year wedding anniversary with a huge banquet with entertainment, food and dancing. I remember playing and having fun with my brothers and cousins.

- When Grandpa Joe died in 1985 (at the age of 78), I remember my Grandma saying to another, "He was my best friend." As a teenager, that was the first time I heard the concept that married people could also be "friends" and that principle has stayed with me today. Grandma, from all I heard and saw, loved Grandpa so much and undoubtedly considered him her best friend.

- Once I reached my 20's in the late 1980's, Grandma's aging was becoming increasingly apparent. I knew I needed to consider every communication as potentially the last time I might speak with her. In 1996 or 1997, when I was living in New Hampshire, I recall driving back home to New Jersey and stopped by to visit Grandma in the Bronx. With just the two of us sitting at her kitchen table, we spoke much more candidly and meaningfully about all sorts of life matters and we had an enjoyable visit. Looking back, it was around that period that I had peace about moving out west. From that time on, I would see Grandma just once per year (during my yearly Christmas visits) and would speak with her on the phone about six times per year.

- From talking with friends, I have heard this is a common thing. As a kid, I wandered and played throughout my Grandma's house and property countless times. From all of those experiences, so many details are ingrained in my memory, including the wall mural in the kitchen, the types of furniture thoroughout the house, the color schemes, items and "feel" in every room, the backyard, front yard and alley between homes, and even the rumbling of the subway that ran above Westchester Avenue approximately every ten minutes.
Christmas Card To Grandma Even though I lived 2,000 miles away beginning in 1997, Grandma Grace's life weaved into the workings of this website. I made a picture collection of my visit to her home in 2000 and she was the recipient (adjacent photo) of a wave of Christmas cards that I sent in October 2001 as part of battle to defeat procrastination. :)

Grandma pages and other N.Y. pages:
  • Grandma's Home In The Bronx
  • Christmas Cards Sent In October 2001
  • New York Buildings
  • Central Park with Bernie
  • Grandma Grace One more photo of Grandma in 2000.

    What a beautiful smile!

    Rest in peace.

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