Grace Adelaide Burns MacLeod passed away on March 30, 2019 in South Jordan, Utah, surrounded in her last days by her loving children and grandchildren. She was born on the winter solstice in 1921 in Monticello, NY, to parents James Alfonso Bailey Burns and Mary Elizabeth Alexander Burns. The family moved upstate to Essex, the hometown of her mother, when Grace was a child. With both parents traveling to find work, Grace lived with her maternal grandmother, Delia Murphy Alexander, her aunt, Marcella Van Walden, and cousin, Katherine Stark Cross.
She received her bachelor’s degree in education from the Plattsburgh Normal School and married Leo MacLeod while teaching in Corinth, NY. After raising seven children, Grace returned to teaching as a remedial reading specialist at the Highland Elementary School, eventually earning her master’s degree at the age of 50 and serving as district coordinator of the remedial reading program. She retired in 1992 and moved back to Essex, where she served as choir director and organist at the Essex Community Church. Grace was well known and admired for her musical talent and her age-defying spirit.
She was predeceased by her husband, Leo, her son, John Alexander, and her cousin Katherine. She is survived by her children, Bonnie, George, Scott, Leo, Brian, Dan and Mary, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 13, at 11 a.m. at the Essex Community Church at 2306 Lakeshore Road.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name to the Essex Community Fund, PO Box 101, Essex, NY 12936 or the Essex Community Church, PO Box 125, Attention: Dorothy Bliss, Essex, NY 12936.