In loving remembrance of Donald Lloyd Grace of East Smithfield, born May 2, 1924 to Lloyd and Edna Grace.
On Feb. 11, 2020 a father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, brother and loving friend passed on to our Lord peacefully, with adoring family members by his side. He was predeceased by his wife of 70 years, Barbara Mae (Kissell) Grace. He is survived by his devoted children, Dennis (Loretta) Grace of Endicott, New York, Charles (Linda) Grace of East Smithfield, Pennsylvania, Ronald (Lori) Grace of Newark Valley, New York and Joy (Thomas) Calaman of Lake Wesauking, Pennsylvania; affectionate grandchildren, Marjorie (Jack) Raynor of Apalachin, New York, Theresa Billet (Bob Post) of Owego, New York, Eddie Grace of East Smithfield, Barbie (Jon) Cooper of Gillett, Ron (Becky) Grace of Sayre, Keith Tebo (Amber Rhoades) of Kennesaw, Georgia, Wendy Tebo (Tom Kaczynski) of Glen Aubrey, New York, Connie (Kevin) Shipman Jr. of East Smithfield, Michele (Jamie) Campbell of Athens, Mel (Tamie) Bair of East Smithfield, Melissa (Ken) Hartenstein of Wakeman, Ohio, Adam (Rebecca) Vallese of Endicott, New York, and Bryan Vallese of Syracuse, New York. In addition, he had 27 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great-grandchildren; along with cherished siblings, Norma Benjamin of Ovid, New York and Larry (Marlene) Grace of Barton, New York.
Grace was predeceased by parents, Lloyd and Edna Grace; siblings, Thersa Senko, Marjorie Davies, Gerald Grace, Mary Jean Grace; and family of the heart, Edson (Bernice) Beardslee and daughter, Mildred Beardslee.
In his early years Donald spent his days in school and working local farms. As a preteen Donald shared many years of commitment to the kindnesses shown him by the generous Beardslee family, where Donald lived and worked until he enlisted into the United States Army at the age of 18. He served in the Army Air Corps as an electronics specialist, working on the original radio-controlled airplanes during World War II. After being honorably discharged, Donald returned home and began working in the construction field. Soon after, he was introduced to his wife of 70 years, Barbara (Kissell) Grace, by his sister Norma. The two shared much including four children, a dairy farm and more than 30 years of riding together to Westinghouse in Horseheads, New York. While working in maintenance at Westinghouse, Donald was actively involved in union negotiations benefitting many of his fellow employees.
Donald was heavily involved with the Big Pond Lions Club, receiving the prestigious Melvin Jones award for his service. He spent countless hours volunteering at pancake breakfasts, fish fries, coaching softball, and entertaining, all in an effort to support purposeful local causes sponsored by the club. He was also a member of the VFW and American Legion and very proud of his service and country. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, NASCAR and was a long time, loyal Penn State and Pittsburgh Steelers football fan. He could often be found atop his tractor grooming the grounds of his own beloved homestead, “Graceland Acres,” a name his wife gave the estate. Donald’s generosity toward his family resulted in beautiful hand-crafted hope chests, gun cabinets, doll houses and bunk beds for his children and grandchildren fashioned in his wood working shop on the second floor of the dairy barn.
Don’s family was a monumental part of his life. He was the first to offer aid, in all situations, in any capacity. He made a home that was open and welcoming to all. While involved in a local camping club, grandchildren would often accompany Don and Barb on their adventures. Annual family vacations at a sibling’s cabin in Griffith, Ontario included fishing, waterskiing and family time. Yearly Welliver Family Reunions were held at Sky Line Park in Owego, New York; efforts made to encourage family unity. After retirement, Zephyrhills, Florida became Don and Barb’s home away from home, where family and friends would join them to escape the cold northeast winters. The value of family and importance of family unity was at the forefront of his legacy. Don imparted these values that continues to be practiced by those he touched.
Friends and family are invited to join in the celebration of Don’s life on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 at 3 p.m. at the Wysox Volunteer Fire Company, 111 Lake Road, Wysox, PA 18854. In lieu of flowers, please send donations on behalf of Donald L. Grace to: Big Pond Lions Club, c/o Greg Fay, 1969 Tyler Hill Road, Columbia Cross Roads, PA 16914, or East Smithfield Methodist Church, 312 Church Street, East Smithfield, PA 18817.
Memories and condolences may be expressed by visiting www.bowenfuneralhomes.com.