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Memorial service
Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020
2:00 PM
Vinewood Community Church
Lodi, CA
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Mary Grace Wetmore


1928 - 2019
Mary Grace Wetmore Obituary
Mary Grace Wetmore passed from this life to her heavenly home on November 21, 2019 at the age of 91. Mitzi, as she was called by her father, was born in Reedley, California on March 29, 1928 to Isaac and Helen Nikkel. She was the fifth of six children. She grew up in the Reedley and Dinuba area and moved to Stockton during her teenage years. She was active at the Stockton Methodist Church where she met her future husband, Ralph, when she was 19 years old. After a six month courtship, they were engaged and then married on August 28, 1948. They spent a long and happy life together until Ralph's death in 2016.
In the early years of their marriage, they spent many hours as leaders at the Lodi Teenage Center, providing a place for the youth of Lodi to gather in the early 1950s. Mary Grace continued her ministry to youth, well into her 50s, providing a place for them to learn about and grow in Christ. She was a youth leader in Lodi, leading a Sunday night Bible teaching called P.F. (Pilgrim's Fellowship at the First Congregational Church and later Prayer Fellowship at Vinewood Community Church). She would tell her study group, "We don't play games or have refreshments, we learn about Jesus." During the time she led P.F., she and Ralph planned Easter week work trips to many destinations throughout Arizona, New Mexico and California, taking groups of up to 40 teenagers to help where needed. She touched many lives and led many people to the Lord in her years as a youth leader. As a member of Vinewood Community Church, she taught women's bible studies and served as a mentor and counselor to many.
Throughout the years, she provided a safe harbor to those in crisis.
Mary Grace enjoyed her role as a wife and homemaker. All were welcomed in her home and she took special interest in hosting students from other countries. She worked for Lodi Unified School District as a classroom aide at Lockeford Elementary and as a preschool teacher at Lodi Day Nursery School.
Mary Grace was an accomplished seamstress and loved to do needlework. She enjoyed creating beautiful Christmas ornaments and crafts. She was the manager of a craft consignment boutique at the Lodi Nut Factory into her 70s. More than just a boutique, people came to receive her counsel and wisdom.
Mary Grace was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Wetmore; her three brothers; and two sisters. She is survived by her 4 children, Jonathan (Cathy) Wetmore, Becky (Scott) Hudson, Lisa (Larry) Shinn and Mary Beth (Scott) VerHagen. Also surviving her are 8 grandchildren, Sarah Newton (Ricky), Ruth Fox (Nate), Andrew Shinn(Lisa), Jonathan Shinn (Adam Kober), Aaron Shinn (Maddie), Zachary VerHagen (Ashley Kuhl), Michael VerHagen (Jenny) and Lauren VerHagen; 13 great-grandchildren and one more due in May of 2020. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Mary Grace has left a legacy of faith, love, wisdom, kindness and hope. As a mentor to many, these qualities were demonstrated in every aspect of her life. Her desire was to serve Christ and share His love.
Mary Grace's family would like to thank Brookdale Memory Care of Lodi and A-Plus Hospice for the phenomenal care provided to her in the last months of her life. A memorial service will be held on January 11, 2020 at 2PM at Vinewood Community Church, Lodi.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Nov. 26 to Dec. 3, 2019
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