We unfortunately received mixed message that we could have attended her service. We are going to miss our back and forth visiting with Grace. We had enjoyable discussions. R.I.P. Grace. We will miss you.
fun loving awesome cousin - her mom and dad were the roots that grew her and her brother - i loved talking to Grace, I loved being with Grace, I loved how Grace made us all feel special, I loved how Grace knew her family history, for those of us that need the help learning heritage. I loved her art, and I will miss her dearly - a wonderful, GRACEful mass today. Love ya Grace!!
Dear Rev Mike,
I dearly remember "Gracie" as I and my brother Dick and I were growing up on Linwood. We always looked to her as the fun lady down the street. She always made us laugh.
I also remember when she gave me my first professional perm. I thought I was "queen of the block".
We also used to race our homemade go carts down the street right past your house. Gracie would just smile and shake her head.
It has brought back such memories. My peace to you at this time.
Grace was a classmate and lifelong friend of both my parents, Chuck and Joyce Pelcin. In fact, she was a bridesmaid in their wedding.
Every recollection our family has of Grace begins with a smile and ends in laughter. There is no other way to remember her.
On behalf of my mother Joyce and the entire Pelcin family, please accept our deepest condolences.
Grace was my dads first cousin. She was a very friendly talkative person, always having a story to tell. She will truly be missed. Sorry I can not be there in person, but wish Msgr Fr Mike and Grace's friends deepest sympathy in their loss. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Remember they can never take away the memories.
Dear Father Michael,
I remember your sister Grace from many, many years ago. Please accept my deepest sympathy and condolences at her death.
I have many fond memories from my days as your altar boy at St. Mary’s, Lockport!
Be sure of a place in my prayers for both her and you.
Dear Grace, and her beloved family and friends,
These are things that I never got the chance to tell Grace.
When I was a child Grace symbolized all the things magic and sweet. Now I’m twenty eight, and Grace remains the same in mind.
I want to know so much more of her, her complete person. What she was like when she was young, her love stories, her friendships, and I hope to somehow hear these stories from others who loved her.
My earliest memories of Grace (& Joz of course) were being passed over the fence from my Aunt Kim or Grandpa Keel into Grace’s arms. I was fawned over. She would say things like, “Oh lord that Keel hair!”, and “Get over here Knuss”, and “my little Brookie Keel”. We would walk together into her house, right to the pantry. She would open the door and ask, “Do you want a nummer nack” (Summer snack.) And of course, I did. She kept her pantry stocked with all my favorite nummer nack, fruit gummies.
Grace was the Grandmother my sister and I never had. She had endless arts and crafts to entertain us. She built a garden called Princess Land for us. She came to every dance recital (not to mention made every child in each recital’s costume). She dressed us, photographed us, provided us with endless patience, warmth and love. She encouraged us to put on shows, to belt out “My heart will go on” over and over and over.
In college, away from Buffalo, I began to realize the immense impact Grace had on my life. I missed her deeply. We kept letter correspondence, spoke on the telephone to catch up, and I’d visit her whenever I was back home. Grace would send me back to New Orleans with vintage posters shed collected in her travels, beautiful sketches and paintings from her drawing classes, photographs she’d taken. Hanging in my kitchen, my favorite photograph, is a picture Grace took of my six tomatoes sitting on the chipped-white-paint windowsill of her garage. The rusty iron fence in the foreground makes the tomatoes she’d grown shine in all their glory. Grace found beauty in everything. Grace captured magic in life.
Grace also gave me an item I hold dear to my hear, an object I cherish above all others: a white cotton jumper that she’d hand sewn when she was 14. I have now grown my collection of white jumpers, but none feel as soft or as comforting. When I slip on Grace’s jumper, I’m reminded of summers swimming in her pool. Coming out with blue lips, given and old cotton tee shirt, and being cradled in her lap until dry. I miss Grace, I miss her soft tee shirts, I miss her even softer skin, her voice, and her smile.
Grace shaped my being by showing me her persistent, positive, and humble nature. Every year Grace would enter her artwork in the Erie county fair. Many years she won ribbons, which she happily showed me, and some years she didn’t place where she wanted to. She always said how happy she was that she tried, and she would try again next year.
She taught me to sew by making miniature clothing for my American Girl Doll. She later helped me to make a dress for my middle school farewell dance. To this day, I make my own clothes, mostly hand sewn, because of Grace.
She taught me to garden. I remember vegetables and flowers on her patio, eating my first edible flower, harvesting ripe tomatoes. Today, I’m a farmer.
She taught me how to teach. So many of the ways I interact with children, and even my teaching of philosophies, were derived from my experiences with Grace. I don’t think there was ever a time where Grace had to discipline me. She always gave me her attention and provided me with something exciting and magical to do.
One thing is certain for me, Grace never changed. Although our relationship turned into more if a friendship into her older years, she never stopped treating me with love and affection. She was always kind, she was always magical. And this is how she will forever remain in my heart.
Grace was my next door neighbor for 39 years. I remember her telling me that my father passed me over the fence so she could see the new baby girl. Growing up, Grace would keep an eye on us girls while my father worked. She would have parties and I remember watching what was going on next door and as I got olderI was invited to the swarrays, tea parties, margarita parties, art parties and of course pool parties at “Bick Fair”. I would find myself at least 3 or 4 times a week sitting outside by her pool and we would just talk and talk. When I moved out of my fathers’ house the moving truck came and we stood in her driveway hugging each other and crying. Grace loved to talk and tell stories of her childhood, cheerleading, traveling across the country, and being a hair dresser at AM&As. She was passionate about art, photography, gardening and dancing. She had a special flair for dressing as well! She was elegant, fashionable, sassy and classy. She was one of a kind. I loved that she would wear a t-shirt and sweat pants until they were threads, she never threw anything away. My personal favorite was “I ran into Tammy Faye” t-shirt. Grace was often in her garden working up to her elbows in dirt or bent over with her butt in the air weeding. That was Grace. She even dubbed part of her yard “princess land” for the Keel Girls. When I moved to Charlotte, NC Grace and I would talk on the phone at least every two weeks for hours and hours about anything that came to mind. Mostly we talked about my nieces and nephews. I usually get back to Buffalo at least once a year and always made time to see her at least two or three times. We would look at pictures of our family. She had a genuine heart for all of us. When Grace fell ill I drove up in November to surprise her and as she laid in her bed we shared stories as if it were any other day. “Gracie girl” as we all fondly called her will be remembered especially by me for her grace, kindness and being the next best mother to me.