Baker City, Oregon
Grace M.L. Spears, 82, of Baker City died July 23, 2003, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.
Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Pastor Aaron Olgesbee of the Agape Christian Center will officiate. Because of the ongoing construction, those attending the funeral are asked to park on Estes Street. Burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Grace was born on March 1, 1921, at Hyannis, Neb., to Ira S. and Myrtle Lester Draper. She attended school at Fort Morgan, Colo., where she graduated from high school. She furthered her education at Denver Opportunity School for about a year.
She later graduated from beauty school and worked as a manicurist for a while. She eventually went to work for the telephone company in Denver as an elevator operator. She also modeled the uniforms for them. Later, she was trained as a telephone operator and worked in Denver for many years.
About 1953, she moved to Pendleton to be near her family. Grace also worked as a telephone operator for several years in Pendleton before she and her husband, George, moved to Baker City. After relocating, she continued her career for a while and later retired from the telephone company in Baker City.
Grace was known to have a big heart. She was gentle and caring and was genuinely concerned for people. She had heard about a school for the American Indian Children of South Dakota called the Red Cloud Indian School. Grace, being proud of her own Native American heritage, felt compassion for the needs of those children and often donated money to help fund the school.
After her retirement, she and her good friend, Fern, made a weekly event out of visiting the residents of the nursing home and taking them treats, reading to them, and just cheering them up. Grace loved reading and studying her Bible. Her walk with the Lord meant everything to her.
Survivors include one brother, Stephen F. Draper, and his wife, Ramona Sue of Baker City; two sisters, Juanita Lois Thompson of Athena, and Betty Jean “B.J.” Calvert of Stanfield; and numerous nieces and nephews and great- nieces and great-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, George Spears; and her parents, Ira and Myrtle Draper.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Red Cloud Indian School of South Dakota or the Agape Christian Center in Baker City through Gray’s West & Co., P.O. Box 726, Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, August 1, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor