M. Grace Flannery
April 22, 1951 - October 3, 2020
Grace Flannery passed away October 3, 2020 in Novato California with her wife by her side. A long-time social activist and leadership coach, Grace was loved and admired by friends, family, and colleagues throughout the world. Her highly successful practice was built entirely on word-of-mouth as clients would share appreciation for the great skill and empathy Grace utilized to help them develop "unlikely allies", successfully navigate serious challenges, and create equitable, impactful organizations.
Grace began her career in the physical sciences but her passion for fairness led her to shift her focus to the social justice arena, including civil rights, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace, and more. Grace founded her company Leading Spirit in 2001 to bring services to leaders in non-profit and public benefit organizations. More recently, she also co-founded Quantum Culture, whose model of Power and Privilege represents a bold new approach to diversity, inclusion and belonging.
Grace is the fourth of ten siblings and treasured being part of two large clans, her father's Flannery family and the Lesperance family on her mother's side. Although born in Michigan, she spent most of her youth in New York and has kept in close touch with family and friends through many gatherings, visits, and reunions. One of Grace's greatest joys was to be reunited in 1999 with the daughter that she had given up for adoption and to see her incorporated into the family. They formed a close and loving relationship that grew to include a grandson in 2009.
After receiving her master's degree in physical chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana, she moved to California and spent the remainder of her life living in the San Francisco bay area, where she met her wife, Glenda Humiston. They were married in October 2008 at their home in Novato. Grace and Glenda loved to host friends and family for cozy visits as well as large parties and blended together a diverse array of communities. Grace's ready humor, joy of life and caring soul were a magnet for friends and colleagues from many walks of life.
In addition to her work as a Professional Certified Coach, Grace volunteered for many organizations. Of those she particularly found deep meaning and personal fulfillment working with birth mothers through the On Your Feet Foundation, which she recently helped to transform into MPower Alliance. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: www.mpoweralliance.org/inhonorofgrace
. Other options Grace supported include her work with the LGBTQ+ community through www.horizonsfoundation.org/make-gift-horizons-foundation/
or to Planned Parenthood: www.weareplannedparenthood.org/a/remembering-grace-flannery
Grace was preceded in death by her parents and brother Paul. She is survived by two brothers and six sisters, her wife, Glenda, her daughter, Meghan Mahoney and grandson Griffin, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Various virtual celebrations of Grace's life will be held the last week of October by the different communities she belonged to and a more permanent memorial will be announced at a later date.