"Roots. That's a good word for it. Everybody's got a family tree and just to know how the roots grew, well that gives you a sense of who you are." spoken by Martha Corinne Walton, The Waltons, Episode 10, 1976
David's Reformed Church Congregation
Congregation of David's Reformed Church, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Circa, 1900
Monday, March 1, 2010
Fearless Females - Grace Norris Bailey
Today's prompt from Geneabloggers suggests we celebrate Women's History Month by sharing information about our Fearless Female relatives. Today, I have chosen my maternal great aunt, Grace Naomi Norris Bailey. My Aunt Grace was a true lady and a career woman at a time when that wasn't too common. Born 9 February, 1906 to Harry and Elizabeth Routsong Norris, she was the only daughter and the youngest of their two children. After graduating from high school, she went to college and received her degree in education. After college, she married Harrison "Red" Bailey on 23 September, 1938 in Kettering. She continued teaching and she taught in the Van Buren Township/Kettering, Ohio school district until her retirement. It wasn't long after her retirement that she was inducted into the Kettering Teacher Hall of Fame.
Aunt Grace and Uncle Red did not have any children of their own, but instead shared their love with my aunts, uncles, and cousins and especially with the bulldogs they cherished so much. They always had at least one bulldog and usually there were two. I used to be scared of them because they would tend to "slobber" all over me whenever we would visit! Their home was situated next to my grandparents property, so we could just walk up the hill to get to their house. They had an outdoor pond long before it was popular to have one and we would delight in seeing the goldfish swimming around the lily pads. If were were lucky, there would be a couple of frogs hiding in the greenery too!
Aunt Grace loved to play bridge and she was involved in many organizations around the Dayton area. She even got into politics when the city wanted to widen the street in front of her house and take away several feet of her property. She and her neighbors began a small group that protested the action and her they appeared on the news and in the newspaper, but sadly they weren't successfull at stopping "progress".
Several years before she passed away, she asked me if there was anything in her home that I would want someday. I told her about a cedar chest I had seen in her attic on one occasion. She said "Oh, that old thing?" and she gave it to me then. I posted a picture of it on one of my Treasure Chest Thursday posts. Everytime I see that chest, I think about Aunt Grace. She wasn't the kind of Aunt that smothers you with hugs and kisses, but I never doubted that she loved me. When Aunt Grace died, many of her former students, some elderly then themselves, came to her funeral and told us what a wonderful teacher she had been. When you can touch lives like that, I think it's the best legacy you can have.