Grace Truman Schell passed away peacefully on August 6, 2011, at the age of 102. Grace was born in Medicine Mound, Texas, on July 4, 1909, the 8th of 13 children. At one year of age, she traveled by covered wagon from Texas to Oklahoma.
In 1926, at the age of 17, she married Marvin Wood and had two daughters and a son. Grace lost her son to spinal meningitis when he was still a young boy. In 1943 she moved to Berkeley, CA. At age 51, when most people are thinking about retirement, Grace enrolled in Beauty College, received her license, and proceeded to work as a hair dresser until she was 80. She later relocated to Lakeport.
Grace moved from Lakeport to Ukiah in 1998. She volunteered at the Senior Center Thrift Shop at least once a week, until her late 90’s. When she turned 98, she requested her family take her down to the DMV to renew her driver’s license. She took the test, and her license was renewed for five more years. At the age of 99 and 9 months her family finally convinced her to sell her car and let someone else do the driving. Grace continued to make lemon meringue pies “by hand” and play Dominoes until nearly 100 years of age. Grace loved her church, the First Baptist Church in Ukiah, and attended services until the last few months when she became confined to a wheelchair. When she would ask her granddaughter Stacy how much longer it would be before the Lord came to take her home, her granddaughter always told her, “Only God knows, and he isn’t telling.”
Grace Schell is survived by her daughters, Twyla Benevedes of Ukiah, and Carolyn Bellante of Lincoln, CA, granddaughters Stacy White of Hopland, Tami Graeber of Klamath Falls, Nicole Backster, and grandson Michael Lynch of New York. Grace was great-grandmother to Ryan Funderburg of Bend, Oregon, Madison White of Hopland, Michelle White, Lola Lynch and Kyle Forrester. Grace welcomed her name-sake and great-great-granddaughter Cassidy Grace Funderburg three years ago. Grace was preceded in death by her grandson, Randy Benevedes. A memorial service is planned for Friday, August 12, 2011, at 1:30 at the First Baptist Church. The church is at 302 Henry Street, Ukiah.
If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations to the Ukiah Senior Center are appreciated. Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary.
Published in Ukiah Daily Journal on August 10, 2011