A celebration of Barbara Grady’s life was held at Dover High School on Saturday, September 29th.
Laurie Heyer, Barb’s life friend of 32 years opened the service sharing how Barb touched her life in countless ways.
Dover High School principal, Bill Reinking, spoke next sharing his tale of starting at Dover in 1983 and Grady telling co-workers she knew him. He had been her teacher in Intermediate School. She remembered him, but he didn’t remember teaching her.
Kent James spoke next as Barb’s former student, coach and eventual co-worker and close friend. He shared the story of his senior trip at Dover to the Poconos with Grady, and metal shop teacher, Mr. Harmon, as chaperons. The students were asked to leave the resort early, and each walked by Grady with their head down as she gave them her “look” while shaking her head in disgust. In the 1990′s James and Grady went on many adventures together. Their trip to Costa Rica amazed the pair with active volcanoes, rain forests, natural spas, zip lines and monkeys swinging from trees. They spent some time on the beach where Sports Illustrated had done a swimsuit photo shoot. Barb was pestered to do her best swimsuit model pose and her response to their delight was “over my dead body.” The highlight of the beach for her was the Miller Light, “buy one-get on- free” cabana.
James is also holding a 5K walk/run in honor of Grady on September 22, 2013 with the proceeds going to the Ovarian Cancer fund. Anyone interested in participating can contact James at email@example.com.
Ashleigh Rhinert called Grady “a force of nature” who coached her when she was a student on the volleyball team. It was the passion Grady brought to volleyball that inspired Rhinert to become a physical education teacher and volleyball coach in Red Lion. Reinert also coaches the cheerleaders and finds that Grady continues to impact people. Only now it’s through Rhinert’s coaching, and believes Grady “lives on through our lives.”
Sonya Guyer spoke about Grady being a person who was there for each and every student. Guyer now, as a coach and teache,r strives to model her life with students after Grady’s ability to touch every person’s life and make them feel special.
The Dover High School Choir group “Renaissance” performed two songs dedicated to Grady, “In Remembrance” and “Benediction.”
Cassi Ney, an English teacher at Dover stated, “The simple and respectful acknowledgement from another human being goes a long way to the students in Barb’s life” and Ney wishes she had a laugh track of Grady she could play over and over when she needs a lift in life.
Bobbie Mitzel Strausbaugh came to Dover in 1986 and was the assistant coach to Grady. Strausbaugh learned quickly that Grady’s goal was to major on people-her to do list was to make you feel like #1-and make a difference in others lives while we still have time. Grady was also Strausbaugh’s Maid of Honor, after setting Strausbaugh up on a successful blind date. Grady wore a dress, heels, and hose, sporting a fancy hairdo, but insisted on being called the Best Woman.
Michael Grady, the younger brother of seven Grady siblings, was touched by the Tweet campaign that helped his sister get through her last days. The messages touched Grady and her entire family with overwhelming support during the difficult end time. A few miscellaneous facts that others may not have known about his sister: she started at Dover as the football coach and athletic trainer, she played guitar, climbed several mountains, including Mt Washington, backpacked through Tasmania, and one arm was shorter than the other. That shorter arm was the result of rough play with her brother Bill and her refusal to tell their parents, for fear of getting in trouble. Grady loved Tab and Fresca and when she learned they were going to discontinue it, she stacked cases in her office to the ceiling. Her favorite saying was if she won the lottery was she would start “Grady’s girls gym” and wouldn’t have to share it with boys.
A video highlighting Grady’s life from childhood through her amazing accomplishments as a teacher and coach was shown. The video brought many (including myself) to tears.
Grady’s little sister, Cori, (the spitting image of Barb) closed the memorial service. Cori thanked those attending and pointed out how one person can touch the lives of so many people. Barb taught at Dover High School for 32 years, reaching several generations in the Dover school district. “Barbra’s gift of always finding the good in people is a legacy that we all should carry on. She would want us all to move through our lives striving to be ‘the best’ we can be.”
A memorial fund is being established in Barbara Grady’s name to support the students and school she loved so much. Contributions can be made to:
Dover Dollar for Scholars
c/o York County Community Foundation
14 W Market Street York, PA 17401
or online at http://www.yccf.org. Please designate Grady Memorial Fund
Barbara Grady March 25, 1956 – September 2, 2012
Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened. ~Dr. Seuss
Rest in Peace Ms. Grady. Teachers like you touch the life of every student lucky enough to cross your path.