Josephine Weatherbee Grady
Josephine Weatherbee Grady, 98, born March 15, 1916 in Morrill, Maine, passed away April 25, 2014 at her beloved home on Tufts Road in Belfast, the home she and her late husband Chester "Chet" Grady enjoyed for more than 60 years. She was the youngest of five daughters and two sons of Herman and Abbie Merriam. Her last wish was to never leave "the farm," a wish that was made possible by family and an excellent group of caregivers. Josephine was educated at the Morrill Village School and Crosby High School in Belfast. She worked for several years at Colburn Shoe Store, know as the "oldest shoe store in the country," also working for many years for Central Maine Power until she retired. Jo, as she was commonly known, also assisted "Chet" in the operation and bookkeeping of the Grady Machine Shop.
She is survived by her two daughters and their husbands, Mary and David Clark of Belfast and Florida, and Nancy and Stephen Weitz of Beverly Hills, Florida and Old Orchard Beach, Maine. She was predeceased by her son Croll L. Grady. She has several grandchildren Lisa Clements and husband Dean, Sherry Flagg Leigh Frayne, Daniel Morrison and wife Tinsley, Leslie Frazier and husband Paul, Chester Kucerak, Sharon Grady, Michael Grady; several neices and nephews, along with many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She was very active in local politics, managing her husband's successful campaigns for city council on which he served for 22 years, and county commissioner, a position he held for 8 years. She was a regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a Mayflower descendant, member of Colonial Dames of America, Belfast Garden Club, Belfast Historical Society, Old Maine Cemetery Association, Waldo County Law Enforcement Association and an avid supporter of the Morrill Historical Society. She and her husband also set up several scholarships for local graduates.
Although she was always busy searching Belfast and the surrounding area for interesting people to talk with, she found time to travel extensively with her sisters Hope and Adelaide. She also founded, managed and produced (with the help of her loyal group of assistants) the Crosby High School Alumni Reunion for 20 years, drawing 400 to 600 alumni each year from as far as California and Florida. Her programs featured a social hour, catered dinner and entertainment, which was kept secret until "show time."
Shortly after the passing of her husband, she was contacted by Bill Lynch of Knox, a member of the Maine Forest & Logging Museum at Leonard's Mills Historic Settlement in Bradley, Maine. Bill was looking to relocate a complete, historical old-time working machine shop to a new museum building at Leonard's Mills. Jo, realizing this as an opportunity to preserve the historical value of the Grady Machine Shop, made a proposal that the building and the placement of the tools and all machinery be an exact duplicate of the original, even to the outside paint. The public dedication is scheduled for mid-August and will be announced in the newspapers.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Service at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 8 at Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chester and Josephine Grady Scholarship, Bangor Savings Bank, or Maine Forest and Logging Museum Inc., P. 0. Box 104, Bradley, Maine, or to your favorite charity. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.ripostafh.com.