Grayce Wills MacDonald
Grayce Wills MacDonald, 95, of Franklin, passed away peacefully at home on July 6, 2019.
The daughter of William Wills and Lily Pope Wills, she was born on May 11, 1924 in Butte, Montana. Grayce was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Ivan Alexander MacDonald; her brother, William Wills and her sister, Pearl Wills Stuart. She is survived by many nieces and nephews, as well as a host of good friends.
Grayce was educated in Canada after her family moved to British Columbia and later to Ontario. She joined the Royal Canadian Air Force during the war years of 1943-44. After marrying her Canadian husband, she and Ivan moved to Florida, where they became pioneers in the health food business, operating a store in Lake Worth for many years.
While traveling between Canada and Lake Worth, they stopped to play the Franklin Golf Course and soon decided to make Macon County their home, purchasing a small cottage with a beautiful view of the mountains. Grayce became an active member of the community, both in the Franklin Ladies’ Golf Association and as a charter member of the Federated Women’s Club.
Her huge heart embraced the plight of lost and unwanted animals, leading her to become a volunteer and later, a director, of the Macon County Humane Society. She was soon operating the first thrift shop to benefit the Humane Society.
Committed to social justice, Grayce stood with Franklin’s Voices For Peace Group on many a cold and windy street corner vigil in protest to U.S. involvement in war.
Those who knew Grayce will remember her dedication to fitness throughout her life. Friends at the Franklin Health and Fitness Center could count on seeing her smooth strokes and diving turns as she swam a mile or more every morning. She competed in the Senior Games, winning nearly every event she entered, even at the state level. In her mid-80s, she added the demanding butterfly stroke to her repertoire, easily wiping out the competition.
Grayce’s friends will remember her as an extraordinary lady, so easy to love; wise, with a sharp mind and wit, vivacious and fun personality, caring heart and positive attitude. She was truly interested in the adventures and misadventures of each friend who shared time with her. She lived to laugh and have fun and had the gift of making each friend and family member feel loved and special. She showed great appreciation towards all who loved her and whose lives will continue to be touched by her beautiful spirit.
A memorial service will be held at Little Rapids, Ontario as well as in Franklin at a future date. Hospice House, PO Box 815, Franklin, NC 28744 will welcome donations in Grayce’s memory.