Grace Maurine Grasse 103, a longtime resident of Ellison Bay passed away May 22, 2018 at Scandia Village in Sister Bay.
Born in Chicago Illinois on May 15, 1915 to John and Bessie Parnell, Grace graduated from Schurz High School (Chicago) in 1933 and worked for the telephone company until she met Harvey Grasse from Sister Bay while he was working in Chicago. They were married six weeks later on December 12, 1937. They bought a farm in Ellison Bay in 1939 near the County Bluff Park, ran a dairy farm together, and raised their 10 children until Harvey’s appointment as State Highway Commissioner in 1958 moved them to Madison where they resided for 6 years. During that time the family would return to Ellison Bay each summer to run Grasse’s Riding Stable and raise Harvey’s beef cows. They later moved to Sauk City until Harvey retired from public service at which time they returned to their farm in Ellison Bay. They eventually moved off the farm and built a small home in their woods on Porcupine Bay Road where they lived a peaceful and fulfilling life enjoying their children, grandchildren, and Grace’s love and talent for building beautiful woodland gardens.
Though she had many talents, Grace was an extraordinary artist and loved using her keen imagination to create her artwork. She especially loved painting with watercolors and was a featured artist in a local art gallery. She loved to write and some of her articles and poems were featured in the local newspapers. She was also an avid gardener and any plant she put in the ground would grow and bloom for her. Her greatest joy, however was her family and supporting them as they grew and raised families of their own. She loved dogs, birds and cats and always had two or three of them with her wherever she lived. A zealous reader, Grace read the likes of Carl Young, Gandhi, and Mary Baker Eddy as well as those that wrote for Mother Earth News Magazine. Grace and Harvey loved a great cause and subscribed to the concept that we are all caretakers of the earth and we should leave it in better condition than when you found it. Grace moved to Thorsby, Alabama in 2002 after Harvey passed away and also lived in Wetumpka, Al. She moved to Raleigh, North Carolina in 2011 and stayed there until just recently when she moved back home to Door County.
She is survived by her nine children: Joel (Sharon), Robert (Carmen), Janet Porath, Sally (Howard) Pape, James (Iva), Roy (Josie), Rosemary (Robert) Kluge, Don (Lynne), David (Tami), son-in-law Donald Tesnow, and 60 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren
Preceding her in death were her parents, John and Bessie Parnell, her husband Harvey Grasse, daughter Dorothy Tesnow, son-in-law Mike Porath, two brothers Roger and Jack Parnell and one sister Dorothy Klaves.
The family is planning a celebration of her life to be held at a later date.