Obituary of Grace Mary Ferry
Having lived a rich and rewarding life, Grace Ferry, 94, peacefully passed away on February 25, 2023. She spent her final days surrounded by family, friends, good stories, and Dean Martin playing in the background.
On December 6, 1928, Grace was born to Phillip and Mary Perry at their home in Somerville, MA. She was one of 9 children and had four sisters, Phyllis, Claire, Doris, and Joan, and four brothers, John, Phillip, Edmund, and Danny. In 1932, Grace and her family moved to Prince Edward Island, Canada, her parents' birthplace. While in PEI, Grace's family shared a farm with her father's 14 siblings. One of her earliest childhood memories was playing on the farm with her older sisters, Phyllis and Claire. There was a large hill on the farm, and Grace would hold hands with her sisters as they ran up to the top, only to immediately turn around and roll down the hill to see who could get to the bottom first. It was clear that from a young age, Grace always had a thirst for adventure and fun. Phyllis, Claire, and Grace would spend their days together teasing farm animals and playing make-believe until her family moved back to the States in 1934.
Grace grew up in downtown Somerville, sharing a small flat with her siblings, parents, and a dog. She attended St. Joseph's school and had a great desire to learn and a thirst for knowledge. Her classmates often called her by the nickname 'Little Bear.' One of her favorite activities as a teenager was roller skating. After school, you could find her at the indoor roller skating rink with her best friend Marjorie or at Friendly's, drinking a large ice cream shake. During her Senior year, Grace was voted Class Treasurer and won the superlative "Most Efficient."
After high school, Grace became an executive assistant at a brokerage firm. In 1950, she left the firm and got a job at Happy Home Bakery in Somerville, where she met her future husband, Harry Ferry. Grace was a secretary, and Harry drove the delivery truck. Although they did not see each other often during the day, Grace would recount getting to work early so she could run into Harry while he loaded the truck up for the day. Sometimes Harry would sneak Grace a chocolate croissant, which he knew was her favorite.
Eventually, the office romance turned into something more, and the two married on November 18, 1951. A year later, they had their first child, Dennis. In 1959, Harry and Grace bought a house in Burlington, MA, where they raised their family. Over 15 years, they had five more children Jeff, Martha, David, Karla, and Chrissy. Grace was a stay-at-home mother, but in the late 70s, she was eager to return to her studies and work again. Grace returned to work as an executive assistant at Towne and Country Jewelers while attending school nights to earn her associate's Degree. She later worked for PSDI Software in Cambridge, MA.
Having raised a family and built a successful career Grace was keen on new experiences. She set her eyes on travel. Grace visited France, Greece, Egypt, England, Germany, and Austria. Grace was nominated twice by the Burlington Rotary club to serve as a representative for their trips abroad. She met Prince Charles with the Burlington Rotary on a trip to England. However, France was one of her favorites of all the places she visited. At 70, she rented a flat in the Marais district in Paris, where she stayed for a month. One of Grace's favorite things to do was to live like a local in a new city. Grace extended invitations to friends and family alike. Under one condition – you were up for daily excursions and interesting conversation.
Eager to meet new people and try new places, Grace left Burlington in 1994 and moved to one of her all-time favorite apartments next to the Brattle Street Theatre in Cambridge. She loved the energy of the city, the interesting people, and all the activities. Grace would always remind us to experience life in a city at least once in our life. Throughout the last 25 years, she lived in several coastal towns, including Newburyport, Sarasota, FL, Hilton Head, SC, and then eventually Brooksby Village in Peabody, MA.
Grace had many hobbies. Always with a book or, more recently, a Kindle, she was an avid reader, having read over 1,000 books. Movies have always been a fun hobby for Grace. At the age of 83, after taking a local adult community education class in Newburyport about Foreign Films, Grace started a movie Club with some of the students. They would meet periodically for the next ten years, watch a foreign film together and discuss. Grace was a shark at Words With Friends, Wordle, and Scrabble. She filled her life with adventure, laughter, and friendship. Grace made friends wherever she went. She was always interested in people and continually asked more questions than making statements. From Florida to France, Newburyport, Newport, and Hilton Head, she had genuine friends who shared her sense of wit, love of life, and an afternoon cocktail. Her family recalls countless witty stories, including her girlfriends - Claire, Judy, Penny, Georgina, Amy, Ellen, Sue, Thelma, and Elsa.
Grace was a remarkable woman and someone her grandchildren always looked up to. The impact she had on her family and friends was profound. She inspired us to be independent, thirst for travel, always be curious, and not give a hoot! Grace's love of life and silliness kept her young for so long. For those of you who know the Ferry's, we all believe we all get our silliness from Grace. She is someone who will be greatly missed. It has been clear that throughout Grace's life, she was a remarkable person beyond just our family. In addition to her six children, Grace has three daughters-in-law, Joanne, Linda, and Beth. Two sons-in-law - Ken Connors and Rick Lind. Ten grandchildren - Aaron, Brad, Brooke, DJ, Becky, Ben, Sydney Grace, Olivia, and Ryan. And four great-grandchildren - Brayden, Benjamin, Theo, and Ellie Grace.
Grace requested no formal service. Instead on Saturday, April 15th the family will hold a private graveside observance at The Chestnut Hill Cemetery in Burlington, followed immediately by a public Celebration of Life reception at an area restaurant. In Lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to "The Jimmy Fund."
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050