Resident Spotlight: Grace G.
Before settling into Kensington Park in 2013, Grace G. lived in 11 different states, enjoyed a 47-year marriage to the love of her life and raised 4 sons. She was born in Mt. Vernon, NY to parents of German, French and Welsh descent. She and her older brother had a wonderful relationship and loved growing up in NY. You can still hear a little “New York” accent when she speaks!
While on an annual family vacation in the Catskills Mountains, 13-year-old Grace met a handsome, athletic 14-year-old boy named Harold. The two quickly became friends and then were pen pals on and off, until they went steady late in their teenage years.
As Grace was about to begin Bucknell University, her Mother became ill and her father asked her to stay local to help. She enrolled in Catherine Gibbs Secretarial School. Her first secretarial job working in the billing office of a furniture store proved that secretarial work was not for her. Later she found herself shadowing the showroom manager, which sparked an interest in interior design. She wished she had found that interest earlier in life but was able to dabble in it after her boys were grown, and then here at KP, she was our official curio cabinet display person.
Eventually Harold and Grace were married and honeymooned in the Catskills, where it all began. Just as they were beginning their life together in New Jersey, Harold was called to serve in the Marines once again. After his discharge, Harold took college courses at night as he started his career with Univac, the UNIVersal Automatic Computer Company.
As Harold worked his way up in the company, a relocation came along with every promotion. So, Grace packed up the home, her four boys, changed schools and doctors, and re-decorated a new home several times. Looking back, Grace said she would have liked to have planted deeper roots in one location, so that “the boys wouldn’t have had to start over so many times. It was hard on them.”
Once ‘the boys’ were grown and on their own, a move to Williamsburg was cut short, as Harold began to have some health issues. Once again, Grace and Harold packed up and moved to Florida, with hopes that the warmer weather and slower pace would be good for them both. Harold passed away in 2009, and shortly Grace had a fall. Her boys quickly asked her to move north to be closer to them. She agreed, and sight unseen, she moved to Kensington Park.
“The boys” as Grace refers to them even today, are all grown up and are fathers and grandfathers themselves. When asked if Grace missed having a daughter, she said, “Yes, but having three Grand-daughters and two Great-Grand-daughters makes up for it.”