Grace Orndorff Stuart passed away at her home on Liberty Lake, Washington on January 7, 2022. She was born in Spokane, Washington on April 16, 1925. Her parents were Col. Clarence A. Orndorff and Gladys Kelly Orndorff of Spokane.
Grace attended Saint Aloysius elementary school and Holy Names Academy. When she was a teenager, she convinced her parents to rent a lake cabin at MacKenzie Bay on Liberty Lake for her and her three younger sisters. Liberty Lake was to be a spiritual home and source of inner peace until the day she passed away.
As World War II approached the family moved to Austin, Texas to be near Fort Hood, where her father was commanding a regiment of the Spokane National Guard and preparing for wartime duty in the Pacific.
Grace attended the University of Texas earning a Bachelor of Science in Bacteriology in 1946. She was active on campus in Austin with the Newman Club, the Poona club of badminton players, and she was president of Mortar Board, a women’s academic honor society.
While at the University of Texas, she met Edward F. Stuart II, an Army Air Corps veteran returning from duty in Europe. They married in 1947 and moved to Houston, Texas. They had four children and were married until 1966. Grace was active in the work of her parish at Holy Ghost Catholic Church, especially educational programs where she taught CCD classes.
Grace enjoyed bringing her children to spend summers at MacKenzie Bay and enjoy the lake and that special time with her sisters, her parents, and fourteen nieces and nephews.
Grace earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Houston in 1970. After receiving her degree, she established a private practice in individual and family counseling at the Grace Stuart Counseling Center.
During her work as a counselor, she became active in the Houston World Affairs Council doing special work helping the victims of the civil war in the Sudan.
It was during this time in Houston that Grace began to participate in one of her great joys, world travel. Grace traveled to Cape Town with a group of social workers to observe the workings of the Truth and Justice Commission in post-Apartheid South Africa. Grace traveled to Nepal and rode elephants in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. She went to Antarctica, a disappearing continent, to see the Emperor Penguins. She climbed the steps of Machu Picchu in Peru. She visited many cities in Europe including Berlin just after the Berlin Wall came down. One of her favorite trips was a journey across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Express with her son Edward, where she got to dip her toes into the icy waters of Lake Baikal, the largest body of fresh water on Earth.
After retiring from her counseling work, she moved to Kalispell, Montana to live with her youngest daughter and granddaughter. This gave her more opportunities to spend time in all seasons at Liberty Lake where she had a family cabin.
In May 2017, Grace moved into her own home at the Sandy Beach Mobile Villas on Liberty Lake. She had a wonderful view of the lake and was mere yards from the beach. She enjoyed swimming every day when the lake wasn’t frozen and taking long walks with a lively companion, Jack, her devoted Yorkshire Terrier.
Grace is survived by her sister, Katherine Orndorff Krutch of Bainbridge Island, Washington, her two sons, Edward Francis Stuart, Chicago, Illinois, Richard Clarence Stuart, Westminster, Colorado, her two daughters, Ellen Tarver, Sugar Land, Texas, Marian Stuart, Kalispell, Montana, her grandson, Sean Martin Tarver, Sugar Land, Texas, her granddaughter, Kianna Storm, Kalispell, Montana, fourteen nieces and nephews, mostly in the greater Spokane area, and Jack.
To share memories of Grace and leave condolences for the family, please visit Grace's Tribute Wall.