Obituary: Mary Beth Gracey
September 1, 1964 – July 13, 2022
Mary Beth Gracey passed away on July 13, 2022 at home among her family almost exactly a year after being diagnosed with a rare, incurable cancer which she managed with grace, composure, and persistence.
Mary Beth was born on September 1, 1964 in Joliet, Illinois. When she was old enough to work, her father trained her in the third-generation family butcher shop, Briick’s Meats. As a young woman, she moved to Iowa City where she developed strong friendships, graduating from the University of Iowa in 1986 with a degree in finance. Then, with nothing but determination, she boarded an Amtrak train to San Francisco, finding her first apartment in the affordable Tenderloin district. Mentors recognized her strong work ethic and helped her develop her skills in beverage and property management.
In 1990, Mary Beth replied to a California Bicyclist classified ad placed by a cyclist who was looking to gather a small group to ride from Anacortes, Washington to Boston, Massachusetts. One of the four respondents was Ken Gracey. Over the next month, the group dwindled until it was just Mary Beth and Ken. That journey was the beginning of a relationship that would continue to grow for the next 27 years. One of their first homes together was in Mill Valley. For two years, they commuted on a tandem bicycle from there to San Francisco to work. Mary Beth described these as some of the greatest days of my life!
They married in 1995 and moved to Alpine Meadows where Carson and Nathan were born and raised with love, family tradition, and appreciation of the mountain environment. For 20 years Mary Beth was Controller for the family business, Parallax, until she retired six years ago. She took great pleasure in visiting their cottage in Sonoma to watch birds, ride her bicycle on the country roads, and just warm up when Tahoe’s winters became too long.
With her calm personality, Mary Beth was the type to observe and listen before sharing her thoughts. Those who worked with her learned from her analytical ability and the importance of process. She had a quiet demeanor and enjoyed being alone, but also hosted dinner parties with close friends and had impressive culinary skills. Mary Beth showed class and style in her composure.
Her final year was spent with purpose and closeness to husband Ken, sons Carson (22) and Nathan (21), and five close sisters who rotated as caregivers. Mary Beth had tremendous gratitude for the care she received during this time. Her faith assured her that a change in life was something to anticipate with acceptance as she expected a warm reunion with her mother, who passed away when she was six years old.
Mary Beth Gracey is survived by her husband Ken, sons Carson and Nathan, father Leon (Kathleen) Briick, her sisters – Debi Briick, Trish (Joe) Byron, Cathy Briick, Barb (Billy) Kimbrell, and Sue Briick, and brother Liam Briick, mother-in-law Linda Gracey, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
The Catholic Liturgy and Prayer service is 10:00 am on Friday, August 12th at St. Francis of Assisi in Incline Village. The Celebration of Life is at 1:00 pm on Sunday, August 14th at White Wolf in Alpine Meadows. RSVP to email@example.com.
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