Obituaries » Gwendolyn Jefferson Grace
April 13, 1940 - February 27, 2017
Gwendolyn Jefferson Grace was born on April 13, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois. She is the only daughter of the late LZ Jefferson and Margaret E. Lewis. Gwen spent her childhood living in both Chicago and Kansas City, often with her maternal grandmother, Minnie Baskerville. In 1958, Gwen graduated from high school and proceeded to earn a medical technician’s certificate.
On October 14, 1967, Gwen married Aaron Joseph Grace in Chicago, Illinois. In 1968, Gwen gave birth to the first of her four sons, Aaron Clinton Grace, who tragically died in infancy. Gwen’s surviving sons Austin Douglas, born in 1970, Malcolm Culver, born in 1972, and Warren Spencer, born in 1975, were the loves of her life and she took great pride in being a dedicated and committed mother. Gwen, Aaron, and her three sons lived in Washington, DC, Pleasantville, NJ, Aurora, IL, Gaithersburg, MD, and Titusville, FL, before settling in Columbia, MD in October of 1982.
In Columbia, Gwen found a community that she embraced, and that embraced her in return. Gwen worked for nearly twenty years in the Howard County Public School System. She worked first at the Gateway School for at-risk Howard County youth as a teacher’s aide and later in the Administrative Office at Reservoir High School. Gwen also spent several years providing administrative support to physicians at Howard County General Hospital. In addition to her two careers in Columbia, Gwen was very active in her church and in her three sons’ recreational activities. Gwen was a Sunday school teacher when her children were in elementary and junior high schools in Columbia. She was also a dedicated “soccer mom” who never missed her sons’ games when they played for Centennial High School or local club teams.
Both before and after her retirement, Gwen was an active member of St. Bernardine Roman Catholic Church in Baltimore and also the Catholic Daughters of America, where she served as both a Lecture and a member of the Eucharist Ministry. In recent years, Gwen developed close relationships with her extended group of friends. Gwen was a proud member of the Showtime Singers, a local chorus that staged exceptional performances for the community. She enjoyed spending time with the members of her knitting group at the YMCA and enjoyed time with her close friends and fellow residents at Alta at Regency Crest Apartments.
Gwen was a woman of uncommon love, commitment, strength and humility. She was intensely dedicated to her family and uncompromisingly loyal to all of her beloved friends. Gwen spent her entire life making sacrifices for others and being a source of strength for her husband, her children and all of her loved ones. Gwen’s fortitude was evident during the final six months of her life as she coped with unexpected complications from surgery. Despite her health challenges, Gwen would light up around her family and friends and did all she could to make those around her happy.
Gwen died as she lived, with courage and dignity, on February 27, 2017. She was 76 years old.