GRACE FERRILL

3 entries
  • "I knew Grace from the Kennedy Center where she frequently..."
    - Maya Weil
  • "My sincere condolences to the Murray clan for the loss of..."
    - Margaret Flood
  • "My condolences to the family. May the peace of God and the..."
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FERRILL GRACE CECELIA FERRILL A woman who carved her own path at a time when women had far fewer options and faced more obstacles, died Friday, July 14, 2017 in Washington, DC, at 91. Known to family as "Bunny," she was born February 4, 1926 in Chicago to Grace M. Ferrill, of Jamestown, RI, and Benjamin F. Ferrill of Mississippi. An only child, she spent much of her childhood with her cousins at the home of her grandparents in Jamestown, RI. After graduating from Rogers High School in Providence, in 1943, she moved to Washington to work as a secretary for several government agencies during World War II. At the same time, she enrolled in night school at The George Washington University, eventually earning a law degree in 1950, at a time when only three percent of law students nationwide were women, according to the American Bar Association. She went on to work in the legal departments of the U.S. Treasury and Labor departments, but still pursued her education, receiving a Master's Degree in psychology. She was granted membership in the Psi Chi National Honor Society in 1954. In 1971, she was the Northeast Regional Director of the Women's Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, which was established to work with employers to ensure their compliance with anti-discrimination laws. After retiring in 1978, she had more time to pursue her many interests including international travel, photography, opera and theater. She especially enjoyed visiting Jamestown for family reunions and was known for her slide presentations showing the relatives on the many branches of the Murray family tree. She recently confided that she never expected age to catch up to her. The family is somewhat surprised as well, as she always managed to overcome any obstacle that got in her way. She is survived by an uncle, Thomas James Murray, of Washington, an aunt, Blanche O'Brien Murray, of Jamestown, RI, and 15 nieces and nephews. The family requests donations be made in her memory to The George Washington University, 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20052; or the Smithsonian Institute, PO Box 37012 SI Building, Room 153, MRC 010 Washington, D.C. 20013-7012. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date in Jamestown.
Published in The Washington Post on July 17, 2017
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