I must point out, although any one who knew her undoubtedly knows this, she was not merely an enthusiast for the big ideas or concepts, she was a champion of individuals as well. She was filled with encouragement for both the struggling student and the gifted student. She was filled with encouragement for the struggling beginning teacher and the accomplished master teacher. She encouraged and applauded the artistic pursuits of so many, and she shared that enthusiasm with others. Whenever our paths would cross—at a school event, an art event at Hillcrest or the Pomona Fair, or an art showing of one or more of the amazingly talented Nakamura clan, Grace would invariably say, “There's someone here that you have to meet.” I can honestly say that I am a better person for having met her.
I would like to share a poem that I originally wrote for a friend of Grace's and mine, Ralph Jim Kane, who left us much too soon while in the middle of his teaching career. I think it a very fitting homage to Grace as well: