HERMAN CHARLES GRACE
Age 72, passed away October 8, 2012 with his family at his side.
Herman was born at home, 736 West Manhattan Ave. in Santa Fe on January 22, 1940.
Herman was preceded in death by his father, Augustine Grace; mother, Margaret “Maggie” Zinsser; sister, Dolores Shelley (Dick); brother, Augustine Grace Jr., and mother of his children, Rosalie Baca.
He is survived by wife of 28 years, Charlet Poitevint Grace; son, Herman Grace Jr.; son, Michael Grace; daughter, Rosalind Saiz (Frank); daughter, Juanita Anaya (Dan); Augustine “Gus” Grace III, (Susan Zubiate); daughter Dolores Rodella (Lee Dion); brothers and sisters: Sarah Duran (Ambrose); Julian Grace (Rosalena); Pita Garcia; Veronica Perez (George); Patrick Grace; His grandchildren: Veronica Grace Griego (Manuel); Aaron Grace, Amanda Grace, Daniel Anaya, Roxanne Anaya, Jordan Grace, Josiah Grace, Daniel Hannah Grace, Dion James Rodella and Krista Rodella and seven great grand-children: Julia, Manuel III, and Emilio Julian Griego; Angelo and Joseph Pargas, Ashlynn Torres, and Brooklyn Anaya.
His friends from St. Michael’s High School, Class of 1957, were near and dear to him and they often gathered to relive their school years and athletic feats. Herman was especially proud of the July 31, 1953 headline in the New Mexican, “Grace Sweeps Junior Track Meet Events.” That day he took six first places in track meet events. Herman also played football for the Horsemen.
As a young father of six, Herman struggled to support his family. He landed his first good job with Robert E. McKee General Contractors, and when they closed the Santa Fe office, he went to work for his brother, Julian Grace, at Mountain States Typewriter Co. He started participating in many community activities becoming active in the 20/30 Club, GI Forum, LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the St. Michael’s Alumni Club. In 1963, he became a state employee with the State Motor Vehicle Dept. and joined IMAGE, an organization for Hispanic government employees. In 1970, he became the Personnel Director for the City of Santa Fe. Another government job followed, and he became the Director of the state Office of Economic Opportunity under the auspices of several governors. His interest in politics culminated with a run for Mayor of Santa Fe in1978. From 1987 until his retirement due to ill health in 2008, Herman and his wife, Charlet, owned several small businesses including the Motor Mart, a car dealership, an auto accessory store, and an advertising magazine for automobile sales.
Throughout his life, Herman was known as a person who cared deeply about his fellow man. He felt compelled to come to the rescue of every one who crossed his path; anyone who needed assistance of any kind. Whether it was a short loan, finding employment, legal representation, or simply needing a lift up from tough circumstances, Herman always wanted to make a difference. Many challenges and set-backs faced him throughout his life, but he survived with fierce determination, inner strength, faith and the love of his friends and family. He will be remembered as a caring, loving, generous, considerate friend by those whose lives he touched.
Although he considered his children his greatest accomplishment in life, he achieved much more through his support of causes championing the less fortunate among us. After retirement, he researched his family’s Spanish American and German ancestry and wrote a book about his family going back nine generations in Santa Fe County. It was a source of pride to him that he could uncover his mother and father’s heritage and leave a legacy of the Grace family.
Pallbearers include Dion James Rodella, Frank Saiz, Aaron Grace, Daniel Anaya, Christopher Perez and Jude Perez.
Arrangements are pending.