MADRID -- Grace Jennette Walker Hargrave joined the other stars in heaven on Thurs., June 25, 2020. After her passing, her family witnessed shooting stars guiding her to heaven.
On Jan. 1, 1935, Grace Jennette Walker Hargrave was born at the family home in Madrid to her parents Lloyd and Mary Fields Walker. Her birth at 3:50 pm, attended by Dr. Dunlop, earned her membership in the First Baby of the Month Club. She was baptized at the Scotch Presbyterian Church in Chipman that June by Rev. George Harland. This was the beginning of her faith journey and link with this church community.
The matriarch of the Hargrave family, her life was spent in a 65 year partnership with her husband James. They grew up in the Chipman area and began dating after their first date to a circus in Potsdam. They usually saw each other on Saturdays and Sundays at church. On one of the hottest days of the year, James and Grace were married on June 18, 1955 at the Scotch Presbyterian church. Their love inspired many and Grace stayed with James so they were able to celebrate their 65th anniversary last Thursday. She ended her life by saying good night to her beloved husband before slipping away from us to heaven.
Grace shared many memories with her family about growing up and school. Grace graduated from Madrid Central. After high school, she considered becoming a nurse after visiting her grandfather in the hospital. A teacher felt she had an aptitude for business and encouraged her to explore that option and she attended the Ogdensburg Business School before beginning her career at Credall Equipment in Potsdam as a bookkeeper. This experience would help her when she became part of the operation at Brandy View Farms after her marriage. At the farm she expanded well beyond her bookkeeping tasks by milking cows, feeding calves, driving the tractor, baler and wagon and the 18’ cattle trailer. All of that while taking care of meals for the family and hired hands, keeping the house, keeping a large garden and preserving the produce.
Her driving skills were especially helpful when she helped the kids show their cattle at the St. Lawrence County and Hammond Fairs. She drove the show string to and from each fair. Additionally, she would make the hour drive to the fair early in the morning with food for the cattle and children, along with clean clothes, spend the day at the fair with them all before heading home late to prepare for the next day and start all over again. Her dedication to ensuring her children were able to experience these and other opportunities on and off the farm were appreciated and enriching to their lives. Her example of hard work and helping to make sure her family had what they needed, whether support at the fair, getting through college, learning to cook and sew, travelling and so much more enriched them greatly.
Grace was very involved in her community, instilling a strong sense of giving back to her children. Growing up and throughout her marriage, the Scotch Presbyterian Church in Chipman was the foundation of her life: She served as a Sunday school teacher, Elder on Session, General Treasurer, and as a substitute organist. Grace was involved in Presbytery of Northern New York and took great pleasure in working with the Ministries in the North Country (MINC) that provides so many services to North Country residents.
Grace was the organizational leader for the Drifters 4-H Club that provided opportunities for all children in the Chipman area. She was also involved with Cooperative Extension and Farm Bureau and the Gideon Auxiliary.
Grace and Jim donated the Walker House, where she grew up, to the Madrid Museum. She also supported other historical museums such as the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum and St. Lawrence County Historical Association. Jim and Grace considered themselves to be fortunate to have taken many traveling adventures during their life together. Some locations included Hawaii, Florida, the Caribbean, Alaska, Western National Parks, Ireland and Ohio and Mississippi River Boat Cruises. They also participated in Skirts & Flirts: a local Western Square Dance club, where Grace made their matching outfits for the dances.
Grace enjoyed sewing for her children, creating family memories every Christmas and Easter where the Hargrave children and Grace had matching outfits to attend church in. Grace was also known for her cross-stitch pieces given to many for birth and wedding gifts.
Grace had one brother, George who predeceased her in 1997. She was predeceased by her parents, and step-mother Laura Walker. Grace was also predeceased by Irene “Auntie” Walker, who held a special place in her family’s heart.
Grace and Jim were blessed with six children: Kenny and his wife, Georgia, of Ogdensburg, Leslie and his wife, Irene of Heuvelton, Janet Emmett and her husband, Doug, who live in Ramsey, New Jersey, Greg and his wife, Linda of Madrid, Ruth and her husband, David of Fort Edward, and Lisa and her husband, Chris of Cary, North Carolina. Grandchildren include Jesse Josephson, Paul Josephson, Sara Roberts (Brett), Chelsea Hargrave, Jesse Hargrave, Robert Emmett, Jennifer Emmett, Alexis Hargrave, Emily Kendall (Jordon), Micaela Hargrave, Anna Shippee (Kameron Spaulding), Hillary Getty (Tyler), Abraham Shippee (Alexis), Ty Landi and Rachel Landi. Her great-grandchildren are Lillian and Owen Roberts, and Beau Kendall. Also left behind were her Maid of Honor, Mary Jane Thompson who has been a special friend throughout Grace’s life. Other special people in Grace’s life were her sister-in-law, Sharon Walker along with several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Due to current conditions, the family will be having a Celebration of Grace’s life at a future date at the Scotch Presbyterian Church followed by a committal at the Old Scotch Cemetery.
If you would like to honor Grace’s life and legacy, she requested donations be made to the Scotch Presbyterian Church in Chipman 35 County Route 33 Madrid, NY 13660.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of the Phillips Memorial Home, Madrid. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.PhillipsMemorial.com.