October 7, 1937 – May 5, 2019
Grace Audrey DeBiasio (Fox), beloved wife, mother, grandma, great- grandma, teacher and volunteer passed away after a sudden illness on May 5, 2019 in Kelowna General Hospital with family by her side. She was 81.
Born October 7, 1937 in the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba to Carolyn (Carrie) Miles and John (Pete) Fox. Grace grew up mainly on a farm in Sandridge, Manitoba. Grace married Rino DeBiasio on June 25, 1960 in Trail. Grace and Rino enjoyed 58 years of marriage, raising their children Kevin, Colleen and Jeannine.
Grace was a lifelong learner and loved school. Upon returning home from her first day of school she declared to her mother that she was going to be a teacher; a declaration that came true. On completion of Gr. 11 and after attending a six-week summer short course for Permit Teachers at the Manitoba Provincial Normal School, Grace was assigned to a one room school at Pebble Beach Manitoba, just shy of her 17th birthday. She completed her teacher certification schooling and taught in Dauphin, Manitoba before moving to Trail in 1958 to work at the Tadanac School. She returned to University to complete her Bachelor of Arts Degree in General Studies from Eastern Washington State University followed by a Master of Arts Degree in Administration and Curriculum from Gonzaga University in 1992. Grace continued to work the remaining of her teaching career in Trail and retired in1997. Many people in Trail continue to say to her kids “Your mom was my Kindergarten teacher”. Grace ensured that every child she taught received a card from her at their high school graduation.
Grace enjoyed life in the Kootenays. Grace and Rino began boating and she learnt how to water-ski. This led to memorable family time at cabins on Christina Lake and at Valhalla on Slocan Lake. In the winter, Grace learned to snow ski and had a season’s pass at Red Mountain for more than 50 years with her last day skiing with Colleen and Rino on April 6, 2019.
Grace’s greatest joys were her grandchildren and great grandchild. Always available to help with child care, gave rides when called upon, arranged family ski trips and family dinners. She always attended every recital and sporting event to watch and record the grandchildren on video, which she then made a video for each grandchild to give at their high school graduation.
After her retirement she enjoyed multiple activities. She volunteered for literacy programs with ESL students, Victim Services with RCMP, KBRH Ladies Auxiliary and Catholic Women’s League of Canada. She was involved with the Retired Teachers’ Association, the Canadian Federation of University Women and the West Kootenay Family Historians.
Retirement also afforded her time to travel and work on researching and writing her multiple books about her family history. She was always so excited when she found a long-lost family relative and she was able to meet some of these relations on her trips.
Grace is survived by her loving husband, Rino, son Kevin (Leanne), daughters Colleen and Jeannine (Brian), grandchildren Dustin, Joel, Alyssa, Hannah, Jessica, Thryn, Josh, September, Sage, great grandchild Autumn, sisters-in- law Marjorie, Shirley, Eileen (Albert) and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Grace was predeceased by her parents, brothers Jack, Harry and Roy (Dorothy) Fox, in-laws Albino and Fiametta and brother-in-law Alfi.
Thank you to the KBRH Emergency staff and Kelowna General Hospital’s Cardiac and Surgical Centre staff for their heroic effects to do all that could be done to help Grace.
In lieu of flowers, donation can be made in her name to the KBRH Hospital Foundation, Heart and Stroke Foundation, or charity of your choice.
A Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate Grace’s life will be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Tuesday May 14, 2019 at 10:30 am, with reception to follow at the church. Interment at Mountain View Cemetery following the reception.
Gwen Ziprick of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services has been entrusted with arrangements. You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s online register at www.myalternatives.ca.
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