Charles C. Grace, Jr., 84, of Trumansburg, N.Y., professor emeritus at Ithaca College, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. The cause was lung cancer, recently diagnosed. He was born in St. Augustine, Florida, the son of Dr. Charles C. and May (Clarke) Grace. As a boy, he was creative, musical, and loved working with his hands. He graduated from Ketterlinus High School in 1952 and from the University of Florida with a BA, cum laude, in 1956 and an MA in 1958. He was a member and eventually chapter president of Phi Delta Theta. He earned his PhD in English Literature from Cornell University in 1975.
Charlie’s teaching career began with a position at the University of Maryland University College (also known as the Overseas Program), which took him to Turkey, Italy, Spain, and finally Germany, where he met Margery Fry, who was also working for the program. They were married in Bern, Switzerland in 1963. Margery preceded him in death in 2013.
The couple moved to Ithaca, New York in 1963, and settled in Trumansburg in 1966 to raise their young family. By 1964, Charlie had joined the English Department at Ithaca College, where he taught until 1995, much of that time serving as department chairman. In 2011, he was named Professor Emeritus. Retirement brought more time for his beloved sailboat and frequent travel with Margery to visit friends and family, especially in England. He was an active volunteer, benefactor, and member of the Ulysses Philomathic Library in Trumansburg, serving on its board for several terms. In the final phase of his life, Charlie devoted himself to woodworking and sharing his knowledge, tools, and famously cluttered shop. In addition to the legacy of a long teaching career, Charlie leaves the world a richer place for all the fine furniture and turned bowls he created and gave away. He will be remembered for the ideas, skills, and camaraderie that were exchanged liberally in his wood shop, over meals, and on the back porch with so many friends, young and old.
He is survived by two sons, C. Christopher Grace (Kathleen Roberts) of Boston and David H. Grace of Madison, Wisconsin; two grandchildren, David F. Grace and Amy E. Grace of Boston; a sister, Marilyn G. Heyck of Lutz and St. Augustine, Florida; nieces and nephews; and many devoted former students he loved like family.
Services will be private. The family intends to host a celebration of Charlie’s life on a date to be announced. Those wishing to make a memorial donation are asked to consider the Ulysses Philomathic Library, https://trumansburglibrary.org/UPL/support/donate-to-the-library/, 74 E. Main St., Trumansburg, NY, 14886.