Robert Daniel Grace, 77, a resident of Carmel Valley since 1975, was called by his Lord and Savior on December 13, 2013, surrounded by his family, after a heroic nine year battle with prostate, rectal and bone cancer. Born February 22, 1936 in Baltimore to Charles and Mildred Grace, he had a happy childhood growing up in the Maryland countryside. From early on, he had a great sense of humor. He used to say he looked up to his brother Harry, "because he was much taller". Upon graduation from high school at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Bob joined the U.S. Marines Corps, 1st Marine Brigade, FMF and became a sergeant within two and a half years. He loved the Marines and felt it was the greatest honor of his life to serve his country with such an elite group of men and women, "an unbreakable bond for life". He called them his "other family." He greatly credits his time in the Marine Corps for developing him into the man he became and for helping him battle with honor and dignity, his fight with cancer for the last nine years. In both high school and the Marine Corps, Bob had a love for lacrosse and is credited with having started the first lacrosse club in the Marine Corps. In 1959, Bob met and married Patricia Keim, "a beautiful blond with a red Ford convertible". "Patty" was the love of his life. They were true friends, lovers and partners for their 53 years of marriage. Every obstacle they encountered made their love and bond for each other stronger and more complete. He loved his children and grandchildren with as much enthusiasm and love as a father and grandfather could give. His greatest enjoyments in life were watching his family as they came together for family functions, vacations, sporting events and was happiest when his family were all together under the same roof laughing and having fun. This was a man who loved deeply and cared deeply for family, good friends and country. As a young married man and father, working at his family-owned engineering business and raising a family, Bob attended night school at Johns Hopkins University and graduated in 1969 with degrees in business administration and civil engineering. Bob greatly enjoyed his career as a "manager of projects" and was a nationally recognized leader in what has become known as "Lifestyle Planning Land Development". He saw his work as a contribution to future generations of families, communities and businesses. That legacy included development management of the 20,000 acre "New-Town" community of Columbia, MD with the Rouse Company of Baltimore, as well as a 22,000 acre "New-Town" community in Houston known as The Woodlands with Mitchell Energy and Development Company of Texas, as well as the Spanish Bay Inn and Links as Vice President of Real Estate for Pebble Beach Co. Bob was dedicated to "helping others get things done well", which included his "on the ground" volunteer efforts with Disaster Relief for the Red Cross in New York City in 2001 at Ground Zero immediately after 9/11. Bob was both humbled and proud to have been able to serve his country during this most poignant time in our country's history. An extremely patriotic man, Bob felt he was blessed that he was born and raised in this beautiful country and that he was extremely blessed to be able to live and raise his family on the Monterey Peninsula. Bob and his family wish to thank and acknowledge the extraordinary counsel, caring and comfort provided by Dr. David Terman and his wife, Naomi, of Pebble Beach, Dr. Donald Goldman, Dr. Bradley Tamler, Dr. Roger Shiffman & Dr. Jeffery Hyde as well as the staff at Pacific Oncology in Monterey, CA, as well as Dr. Natalie Kirilcuk, Dr. Albert Koong, Dr Sandhya Srinivas and Dr Mark Gonzalgo of the Stanford Cancer Center. Additionally, many thanks and love goes out to Dr. Paul Tocchet, MD, to the caregivers of Halo Specialized Home Care, and to the wonderful nurses and Hospice Team of Hospice of the Central Coast. They are all true angels of mercy. In addition to his wife, Patricia, he is survived by his sons Steve Grace [Celia] of Salinas and Jeff Grace of Palo Alto as well as his daughters Kelly Swift [Tom] of Newport Beach and Amy Bell [Craig] of Pacific Grove and seven grandchildren: Michael and Brian Grace, Jessica and Bobby Swift and Mackenzie, Colton and Ryan Bell of Pacific Grove. He is also survived by his brother Harry Grace (Rose Mary) of Baltimore.
A "Celebration of Life" will be planned in the future, and an announcement will be forthcoming in January by the family. Bob wished that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, 909 N Washington ST # 400, Alexandria VA, 22314, or Stanford Cancer Center, 875 Blake Wilbur Dr, Stanford, CA 94305, or a worthy cause of choice.
The music has been silenced
The wind blows where it pleases
The Mystical Christ
thoughts inspired by Thomas Merton
Published in Baltimore Sun on Dec. 28, 2013