#51 Grace Wood Wilson

Week 51 (December 17-23): Nice [still trying to finish up 2018!]

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My great-aunt Grace, the wife of my grandpa’s brother Hugh, was always described as a nice woman. I didn’t know her well; I only remember meeting her once or twice.

Grace Wood was born August 19, 1901 in Frontenac County, Ontario to William Edlow Wood and Mary Ellen ‘Nellie’ Barr. In 1911, the family, with the addition of a son William Earl, was living in Kingston, Ontario. William was a contractor and the family’s religion was the Holiness Movement.

In 1921, Grace was a boarder with the Robert Ranous family in Pittsburgh Township, Ontario (the same township Hugh was from and where his family was living in 1921). She was a schoolteacher and a 7th Day Adventist. I don’t know anything about how Grace and Hugh met, but they were married in Ottawa on March 26, 1940 when both Grace and Hugh were 38 years old.

Hugh was elected reeve of Pittsburgh Township for 1967-1968. According to Wikipedia, “in some small townships in Ontario, the title reeve was historically used instead of mayor.”

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In 1974, Aunt Grace sent this Christmas card to my family.

In 1976, Aunt Grace got to meet her pen pal of 62 years Muriel Stafford from Sydney Australia. They began writing in about 1914 when Grace was 13 and Muriel was 11. According to the article, “The Victoria League in Australia and the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire in Kingston sent names of potential pen pals into schools.” Grace said she chose Australia because she “was more interested in Australia than any other part of the British Empire.”

This sweet lady died in 1995. Hugh had died February 2, 1979. They are buried in Glenwood Cemetery on Amherst Island, Ontario next to Hugh’s grandparents.

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