Grace Evelyn Halberg, 103, of Lewiston, passed away at home on December 17, 2019 after a brief illness at the conclusion of a long, full life.
Grace was born on April 15, 1916 to Rollin and Elizabeth (Vondette) Wickersham in Detroit. She grew up in Detroit with many cousins and was hardly ever seen without a book in her hands.
Throughout her teens, young Grace took the train north to Lewiston in summers to spend time with her Uncle Frank and Aunt Marie and cousins on the Vondette farm near Lewiston. It was there that she met a handsome young Finn named Henry (Hank) Halberg, whom she wed on June 20, 1934.
The couple settled with Hank’s parents on the Halberg family farm seven miles east of Lewiston in the Hunt Creek area. They got through the Depression by supplying CCC Camp Lunden workers and others in Lewiston with eggs, milk, cream and other farm products. When Hank was drafted at age 37 in the waning days of World War II, Grace and her two young children followed him to army bases in Virginia and El Paso, Texas, before returning to Lewiston where they built the family home and their lives on Lake Avenue.
While Hank turned from farming to carpentry, building many fine homes in the Lewiston area, Grace cooked at the old Lewiston School; welcomed visitors for the Lewiston Chamber of Commerce, and served as Montmorency County Treasurer from 1959-1980, a County Commissioner from 1980-1984, and a board member of the Montmorency County Commission on Aging.
An avid golfer well into her 90s and an amazing cook past the century mark, Grace loved to play cards with her friends, read, watch horse racing, and spend time with family. Asked the secret to her longevity, Grace said that she got up and did something every day.
Grace was a longtime active member of the Lewiston Congregational United Church of Christ, Lewiston Historical Society, Fifty Plus Club, and the Friends of the Lewiston Library. She and Hank were also founding members of the Lewiston Curling Club and helped open and operate the former Sheridan Valley Ski area near Lewiston, where her children and grandchildren grew up skiing.
Grace was preceded in death by her husband, Hank, and both children, Elizabeth (Betsy) Halberg and Thomas Halberg; a daughter-in-law, Roberta Jean (Worsley) Halberg, and a sister, Ruth Ann Rudy. She is survived by a daughter-in-law, Marcia (Rick) Boynton of Traverse City; three grandchildren: Jon (Syll) Bahk-Halberg of Seoul, Korea; Kelly (Brian) Case of Traverse City, and Laura Halberg of Traverse City; seven great-grandchildren, Jacob (Alisha) Halberg of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Devin Halberg of Atlanta, Ga., Alec Maule of Grand Rapids, Megan and Kyle Case of Traverse City, Choroek Henry and Haneul Grace Bahk-Halberg of Seoul, and two great-great-grandchildren, Thomas and Ava Halberg of Steamboat Springs, Colo. She is also survived by nieces Janet (George) Hooper and Carolyn (Glynn Talley) Rudy of New Hampshire, Joanne (Bruce Althen) Rudy of Connecticut, and Karen (John) Rendall of Massachusetts; and many generations of cousins, nieces and nephews whom she enjoyed regaling with historical anecdotes as the eldest family member, especially at Vondette Farm Family Reunions.
A memorial service for Grace is set for Saturday, April 18, 2020 at the Lewiston Congregational United Church of Christ, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. and a service at 11 a.m. A luncheon will follow the service.
Those who wish to may make a memorial donation in honor of Grace to the Lewiston Congregational United Church of Christ, Lewiston Historical Society, Fifty Plus Club,
or Friends of the Lewiston Library.