Sunday, May 21, 2017

She Was Amazing

Usual on Wednesday I would take Grace to do her marketing. She stood up for the wrongs in our world and she did it with class...I'm very proud to know her and learn about being a better person...

Grace Siler
December, 1922 ~ March 4, 2017
March 13, 2017
Grace Siler passed away peacefully on March 4, 2017, at Hospice House of Spokane, at age 94. The cause was heart failure. An informal memorial gathering of friends and family will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at the Pearl Theater, 7160 Ash Street, Bonners Ferry.

The hours are scheduled to be from 2 until 4 p.m., but we will stay as long as is appropriate. The event will be a "light refreshment" pot luck. Coffee and tea will be provided, and we will be serving Junior's Cheese Cake from Brooklyn, New York, one of Grace's favorites. Feel free to bring a little something or not, as the mood takes you. Everyone is invited to share their memories of Grace. This is not to be a solemn occasion, as Grace would have absolutely hated that.

 Since Grace had so many friends that we have not had the good fortune to meet, if you know of anyone who would like to be there, please pass on the invitation.

The family would like to thank Hospice of Spokane and Dr. Paula Dygert for their compassionate care of Grace.

Grace was a Bonners Ferry resident from 1988 until 2014, when she moved to Spokane to be nearer to family.

Grace was born in New York City in December, 1922, to immigrant parents Minnie and David Fishman. The Fishman marriage was not successful, and Minnie raised Grace and her sister with the help of extended family. After graduating high school, Grace held various office and factory jobs. During World War II she worked as a machinist.

Grace married William Siler in 1946, and they had two sons. The young family lived in various places in New York and spent two years in Birmingham, Alabama, in the mid-1950s. When the marriage ended, Grace raised her sons in Queens. After they were grown, she went to night school and earned a B.A. in anthropology, magna cum laude, from Queens College in 1979. She retired as a secretary from the American Paper Institute in Manhattan in 1987.

Throughout her life, Grace was an advocate for human rights. As a young woman, she was a union organizer in the light bulb factory where she worked and also helped engineer the employment of the first black light bulb assembler there. Grace was a firm believer in desegregation and did not just talk about it. She and her white friends would interview as prospective tenants in what were then all-white buildings, get approved, and then have black families move in instead. As a young mother, Grace noticed that all the Cub Scout troops in her area were racially segregated. She became a den mother and went against scout policy to form an integrated den.

Later in life, Grace actively supported environmental causes, education, and civil rights.

Grace greatly enjoyed her retirement years in Bonners Ferry and was an avid gardener and photographer. She was a member of the Human Rights Task Force for many years. She always wanted what was best for the community and worked tirelessly to improve education in Boundary County. She was a popular reading buddy at Valley View Elementary School, and pushed hard for school bonds and levies. She was recognized as the BCEA Friend of Education for 2005-2006.

Grace is survived by two sons, XXXX  and XXX , and grandchildren XXX, XXX, XXX and XXX, as well as a great-grandson. Grace was predeceased by her sister, Joy Fishman, also a longtime resident of Bonners Ferry. Grace was a beloved matriarch who was absolutely loyal to family and friends and inspired great loyalty in return. She lived fearlessly, with humor and wisdom, and will be greatly missed.


  1. She sounds like a very good woman. You were lucky to have known her.

  2. Am sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful person.

  3. Sorry to hear about your friend Grace.

  4. Sounds like a life well lived.

    I have family in Bonners Ferry.

  5. Grace was a very busy woman and will probably be missed quite a lot.

  6. She sounds like a wonderful lady Dora, that was a really lovely tribute.

  7. It is always hard to lose great people like this one.

  8. Anonymous8:35 AM

    What a wonderful tribute Dora. It sounds like the world lost a beautiful soul. I send my condolences.

  9. An excellent woman, by the sounds of it. Sorry she passed.

  10. What an amazing lady.

  11. What an amazing lady.

  12. Sounds like she lived a good life.


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