Grace Josephine McDougald (1907-2007)

Over 100 years lived - as a loving sister, loyal daughter, aunt, and friend.

How does one summarize a 100 years, more than half of which I never witnessed, both the humerous and serious parts?

Born to a family of proud and loyal scots, her early training as a social butterfly would server her well in her beloved Warrrrshington. As a social conveynor and personal assistant to ambassadors in numerous embassies, she lived in the fascinating world of politics and international society.

But she wasn't just the cygale of De La Fontaine's fable - the loyal scot in her would give up life in the fast lane to come back and live with and care for her mother.

The strong scot loved all that was Scottish - not the least of which was Robbie Burns. Perhaps this was helped by both the fact that an annual party celebrating his life was well as the more personal aspect of being a secret poet herself.

In looking for an appropriate Burns poem - I came across one that I felt fit rather nicely with the Aunt Grace that I knew and loved: Never have I met a person so gracious at accepting kindness and gifts, good natured and one who so enjoyed life.

De la Rochefoucault said "Gratitude is a useless word - you will find it in the dictionary but not in the real world" - clearly he had never met Grace Josephine McDougald

On a lighter note - one of my favorite memories is her concern about people knowing her age...somewhat of a life long secret. Little did my wife Katie know this when she tried repeatedly to ask one night - only to find that everyone else in the room had become uncomfortable and started to quickly disappear, but of course was easily side stepped by Aunt Grace.

Ever the optimist, she was very particular that no one know her true age...lest the men in the residence get scared off if they knew it.

I think Cicero said it nicest - "No one is so old as to think they cannot live one more year"

For all the she "drank to our health so often" 100 years - she clearly could have indulged herself with an extra glass each time!

The last of her generation - I trust she is know safely reunited with her many loved ones at last.