January 3, 1926 - April 13, 2013
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Grace Eva "GracEva" Gott Terrell Howard, a sensitive and compassionate champion of women's rights, an ardent supporter of women in politics, a teacher and lover of music, passed away peacefully at the age of 87 at Friends House in Santa Rosa. She was born in Los Angeles, CA the daughter of Emma Francis Bridges and Walter M. Gott. She is predeceased by her sister, Marianna, and brother, Peter, and is survived by her husband, William Howard, daughter (of choice) Mary, stepsons, Malcolm and William, and grandchildren. GracEva received a BA in Music from UCLA (1950), and an MA in Music from CSU Long Beach (1968). She taught at the elementary and junior college levels, directed numerous vocal groups, and gave private voice and piano lessons.
GracEva traveled extensively and took a one-year solo trip around the world when she was in her 30's. In 1986 she married William who shared her egalitarian ideas. She made her first public political statement by marching in Costa Mesa and continued her activism when she moved from Orange County to Santa Rosa in 1993, becoming president of Sonoma County chapter of NOW. She held membership in and supported numerous organizations dedicated to feminism, peace, the arts, and the environment. She was instrumental in founding the Nineteenth Amendment Anniversary Project, a coalition of organizations and individuals celebrating the 75th anniversary of women's right to vote. She also helped organize the Fabulous Feminist Film Festival (1997) and was a volunteer worker for the Women's Shelter in Sonoma County. You could recognize her car by the letters on the license plate, VOTEFEM.
A celebration of her life will take place at Friends House, 684 Benicia Dr., Santa Rosa on Sat. May 11 at 3 p.m.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Apr. 28, 2013