GRACIA RASOR BELL
GRACIA RASOR BELL Gracia Rasor Bell, known as "Tutu" to her beloved grandchildren, passed away at her home in Walnut Creek, California on September 7, a day after her 88th birthday. Gracia grew up on a grape ranch near the town of Livingston, CA and would later regale her family with stories of her early years in the San Joaquin Valley. She told about her sweet horse Ruby, and her German pointer, Flush. Although she was an only child, her life was enriched and her vivid imagination fueled by books and by visits to and from relatives in the Bay Area. She attended Whitmer Elementary, Livingston High School and matriculated to Stanford University at the age of 16. She loved life on "the Farm"(Stanford) --where she was known as "Marty"-- and made many lifelong friends and met her future husband, Richard Eugene (Dick) Bell. They were married at the Stanford Memorial Chapel on September 14,1948, he an engineer with an MBA, and she an English major poised to teach. They lived first in LA, where Dick had been hired at Gilfillan. Gracia's first teaching job was in Compton, and she loved the challenge of it. Daughter Dana was born in 1952; Sara followed in 1954. In 1959, Dick was assigned to work on a project in Hawaii and the family moved to Honolulu where Gracia came to love and embrace the Hawaiian culture. In Honolulu Gracia was active in the League of Women Voters, the AAUW, and the Stanford Alumni Club. Aside from her family, the focus of her life in Honolulu was the Academy of the Pacific, a private high school where she served as teacher, counselor and development director over four decades. Gracia was an academic and an intellectual, but a small-town girl at heart. She was the consummate educator, turning every opportunity into an educational experience. She was fond of reminding her family in tough times that they came from "pioneer stock." To her children and grandchildren, this translated to: "Be tough. You come from ancestors who faced worse crises, so you canand you will-- handle this." Still, the message that came through clearest to her family was that they were loved, and that they were wonderful. Gracia is preceded in death by her husband, Richard. She is also preceded in death by Herman Silverman, who gave Gracia's later years interest and dimension and beloved dogs Shaunty and Shana. Gracia's family is grateful to Joan and JayR for the devoted care they provided in her last years. She is survived by daughters Dana and Sara, grandchildren Addison, Margo, Ben and Jordan and several nieces and nephews. Donations can be made in Gracia's name to the Animal Rescue Foundation of Walnut Creek, or to the Alzheimer's Association.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased