Avis G. Gradie(1916 - 2014)

Avis G. Gradie Aug. 22, 1916 - Feb. 15, 2014 MOODUS - Avis L. (Gregg) Gradie, 97, died Saturday, February 15, 2014 at Chestelm Health Care in East Haddam, Connecticut. She was born August 22, 1916 in Castle Hill, Maine, the daughter of Carey D. Gregg and Ethel May (James) Gregg and grew up in nearby Mapleton on the family farm. She was one of a family of eight girls and a boy, all of whom predeceased her. In 1942, she married her husband of 51 years, Robert R. Gradie, Jr., in Island Falls, Maine. He died in 1995. Avis received a teaching certificate in 1935 from Aroostook State Normal School, now the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. Her first school was the Creasey Ridge School in Mapleton, Maine where the majority of her students were her nieces and nephews. She taught in Island Falls, Mars Hill and Washburn, Maine before moving to Putnam, Connecticut when Robert returned from his service at the end of World War II. She taught in the Putnam school system for several years before leaving to raise her family. She returned to teaching in the Thompson, Connecticut school system and received a B.S. in Education from Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Connecticut in 1970. She retired from teaching in 1981. Avis had many talents and interests including sewing, gardening, rock and antique collecting, reading and, especially, music. She enjoyed playing both the piano and accordion, and entertained many in the years she lived at Chestelm. She thoroughly enjoyed raising her children and being a grandmother. Her high esteem for the value of education was instilled in her children by tutelage and example, all eight of whom have received master's degrees, three with Ph.Ds. She was active for many years in the Putnam Methodist Church, particularly the Women's Society in Christian Service, today the United Methodist Women. She served as church librarian, and was a charter member of the Aspinock Historical Society of Putnam. In her retirement she kept in touch with her many nieces and nephews, and wrote each of them a letter every Christmas. She is survived by her eight children Robert Gradie, III of South Windsor, Connecticut; Charlotte Gradie and her husband Dahmane Soudani of East Hampton, Connecticut; Jonathan Gradie and his wife Nancy Adams of Kailua, Hawaii; Elizabeth Gradie Chinn and her husband, Jack Chinn of Gambrills, Maryland; Margaret Gradie of Hallowell, Maine, Thomas Gradie and his wife Margaret Hanlon of Richmond, California; Miriam Gradie Anderson and her husband Eric Anderson of Madison, Wisconsin; and William Gradie and his wife Karen Gradie of Dover, Delaware. She leaves her grandchildren Robert and Margaret Gradie; Rachel Hendrick (Christopher Iverson); Emily Hendrick (Johnny Seikaly); Adam Hendrick; Hunter and Micaela Gradie; Laura Chinn, Amalia Gradie; Carl and Rebecca Anderson, Patrick, Paul, and Briana Gradie. She leaves three great-grandchildren: Alianna Gradie; Leila Seikaly, and Frank Iverson. A fourth great-grandchild is expected in March. A celebration of Avis' life will be held at the Living Faith United Methodist Church, 53 Grove St., Putnam, CT at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, February 22. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Aspinock Historical Society of Putnam, the Living Faith United Methodist Church or the University of Maine at Presque Isle. To share a memory with her family, "Light a Candle" at www.smithandwalkerfh.com

Funeral Home

Smith and Walker Funeral Home and Cremation Service
148 Grove Street Putnam, CT 06260
(860) 928-2442

Published in Norwich Bulletin on Feb. 20, 2014