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Obituary of Catherine-Elizabeth Dawson

Obituary Text:

GRACE, Catherine Elizabeth "Bessie" (nee Dawson). Born November 13, 1911 in Ottawa, died suddenly and peacefully on Sunday March 25, 2007 in Kingston. Mummy to Muriel "Mooie" Victoria Grace and Grandma to Rob and Vici Clarke of Kingston. Wife of John Paul Grace (deceased 1982), & Sister of Muriel (Maude) Grace Dalton (deceased). Proud Canadian, Artist, Musician, Fashion Designer, Secretary, Hostess, World Traveler and Advocate. Bessie lived an extraordinary, full and active life. She was a strong, independent, woman, years ahead of her time - an incredible role model. Bessie shared and passed on her love of traveling, art, opera and ballet to her family. She was a strong advocate and support for Rob. Bessie was the youngest of two daughters of John Dawson, an Irish Baker and Catherine Dawson (nee Simpson) Graduate of McGill Normal School. Bessie lived in Ottawa until the early 1930's when she studied at The Art Students League of New York. While working at the Style Pattern Company in New York, she met John Paul Grace (Millvale, PA). They married in NYC in 1935. In 1943 they travelled from Connecticut to Maude's in Nova Scotia so their child would be born in Canada. In 1945 John immigrated to Canada and the family moved to Ottawa. They lived on Fifth Ave. until 1957 when John was posted to Rome. While in Rome Bessie returned to her interest in art and fashion and furthered her mastery of drawing and oil painting by studying with Madam Lipinski and taking pattern creation courses. Once back from Rome in 1960 returning to Fifth Ave. Bessie learned secretarial skills and worked for the Government of Canada until she and John retired in 1976. After their retirement, she studied Art History at Carleton; travelled with and learned wood-working with John. In 1988 at 77, she returned to the workforce as a Hostess, at the Bronson Ave. McDonalds. Her interest in other cultures took her to over 59 countries, including 2 trips around the world. Her love was for Italy and the Isle of Capri. She returned 17 times to Italy since 1960 and was blessed by 4 Popes. By 1997, she had visited all 4 Disney theme parks. A friend wrote: "It's astounding that a woman of her generation travelled to the places she did." She also loved to bake and knit for Rob. At 88 in March 2000, Bessie retired from McDonalds. She moved from Ottawa to Kingston living with Mooie and Rob. Due to a fall, from Sept. 2004 until her death she lived at Trillium. Many, many thanks to friends, neighbours and staff who took care of Bessie at her homes in Ottawa, Kingston and at Trillium in Garden and Country Houses. We miss her dearly. At Bessie's request cremation has taken place and there will be no service. In keeping with her final wishes, she will take her 20th trip to The Isle of Capri later this year. Published in the Ottawa Citizen from 4/6/2007 - 4/7/2007

Obituary Publication:

On April 6, 2007 (Ottawa Citizen, ON)
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