Grace Virginia Lucas passed away on May 16, 2014, with her daughters at her side. She was born on July 17, 1929, in Ocheyedan, Iowa, joining brother Ken and parents Bert and Velda Bauermeister. Grace graduated from Ocheyedan High School where, though only just taller than five feet, she played basketball and as a fast forward could easily flash by an opposing player and lay one in. She attended the National College for Christian Workers where she majored in religious education. Upon graduation, she became the Director of Religious Education at the First Methodist church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, thus beginning a path that strengthened her natural inclination to live a life of resolute service to others, and in her own gentle way make this world a better place.
It was during this time, on a blind date, that she met Robert Lucas, who said he had “hit gold”. That date led to a partnership that lasted a lifetime. In 1954 they were married and spent their honeymoon at a cabin in the western part of Minnesota. They moved to Minneapolis, where she became an office manager. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Missoula, Montana in 2014.
Bob and Grace had many adventures traveling the world, beginning with exploring the wonders of nature on fishing trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe area in upper Minnesota. Leaving the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes they settled in Chicago, where they first attended the 57th Street Friends meeting, which was the catalyst that led them to become life-long Friends.
Their world travels began with Bob's post-graduate studies in Cold War West Berlin. While there Grace learned to speak elementary German. True to her ability to reach out to others, she was active at the Amerika Haus, a site dedicated to explaining American culture to the international community. Her favorite question was “Haben Sie Kinder?”
She and Bob hitchhiked throughout Europe, visiting Switzerland, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, as well as Spain and Portugal, where their base was a youth hostel. Later on they traveled to Africa, Mexico and Costa Rica. Grace visited China as well, where she helped children who were studying English to improve their speaking and understanding.
They finally settled in Missoula, Montana, where she enjoyed a twenty-year career as an administrative assistant at the Printing Services of the University of Montana before retiring in 1989. Grace then left the University community and continued her laudable avocation of service to the community at large. She was dedicated to helping others and was deeply involved at the Poverello Center, a shelter for impoverished and homeless persons. She helped fight for clean air with GASP (Group Against Smog and Pollution), and put herself on the front line collecting signatures in support of a variety of progressive political leaders and causes. Grace was a weighty Friend in the Missoula Monthly Meeting, where she was known not only for her wisdom but for her delicious deviled eggs and Teriyaki chicken wings.
Born with a compassionate heart and a love of adventure, Grace lived a full life. She doted on her family--from husband Bob, their children Ann and Jane to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved all of her friends, whether she'd known them since childhood or had just met them recently. One of her friends once said of her that “when she talked with someone it was like being the only person in the room.” She had a passion for nature, and often accompanied Bob on his bird hunting trips. Those of us who knew and loved her can easily find a smile as we remember her with a fishing pole in her hand, filling a can with huckleberries or sitting at a campsite playing a card game with her grandchildren.
This singularly wonderful lady leaves behind to cherish her memory her husband Robert, daughters Ann Finnegan (Kevin), Jane Rabe (Mark), grandchildren Lucas Bateman, Evan Bateman, Ross Rabe, Sean Rabe (Christine) and Cassandra Rabe, as well as her great-grandchildren Jayce and Harper. Also part of her family are several nieces and nephews, as well as sisters-in-law Laura Hoffman of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Evelyn Bauermeister of Yorba Linda, California.