All the Way My Savior Leads Me
Safe in the Arms of Jesus
Someday the Silver Cord Will Break
Abide With Me
Near to the Heart of God
Out of Ivory Palaces
Beyond the Sunset
Born: 3/18/1914 - Mt. Troy (Pittsburgh, PA)
Her mother, Selma Rotzler (of German decent) married Swedish immigrant William Swanson.
Grace was the second of 4 sisters ---and the last surviving one of the four.
Started school at age 5
Her family moved to Lima, Ohio for a while and her father called her his "little Lima bean."
Later returned to Mt. Troy.
Sickly child ---suffered from rheumatic fever, missed a year of school (at about age 10-12.)
Her father worked for American Bridge.
Her mother was the "go-to" neighbor who helped take care of children when a parent was ill, helped deliver babies, took care of people, gave food to beggars.
Grace had to drop out of school in her teens to work (during the Great Depression.)
Worked for the Clark Candy Company on the North Side.
Worked as a seamstress for a company which made one-of-a-kind gowns for "society ladies." She often told stories of women who would arrive at 6:30 pm for their final fittings while 6 or 8 of the girls would hem their gowns by hand, before the clients ran off to the opera.
Met my father Charles Peiffer (from Spring Hill) at a church conference (Evangelical and Reformed Church, which later became the United Church of Christ). On an old photo that Grace had given Charles in May 1936 she wrote on the reverse, "To Mr. Charles Peiffer from the future Mrs. Charles Peiffer." They were married in June 1940, after dating for more than 4 years. She made her own wedding dress and those of her attendants.
When I was a preteeen, she worked part-time for Kaufmann's department store selling baby clothes.
Taught Sunday school
Active in church women's "Circles"
Was a Girl Scout Leader.
Volunteered for Meals on Wheels
Active in the local Book Club
Worked on the committee that catered wedding receptions at the church
Made most of the clothes for her daughters and herself, even made prom dresses for both daughters and the dresses for her oldest daughter's (Linda, deceased) wedding
Liked to make crafts
Was very frugal ---even reupholstered her own furniture rather than buying new
Did the crossword puzzle in the Pittsburgh Press every day for decades.
Was an avid reader. Often walked with her daughters to the Shaler North Hills Library. Especially liked mysteries by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Agatha Christy. Also enjoyed biographies.
She liked to travel. She and Charles took driving trips across the U.S. and also flew to Hawaii and Alaska, visiting 49 states at least once. (They missed North Dakota) Grace and her youngest sister, Jeanne (pronounced Jeanie) also drove across the country when Grace was in her 80's and her sister in her 70's. Grace also visited England and Sweden.
A few close friends called her Mazie ---short for Amazing Grace.
Charles was the church organist (for both Catholic and Protestant services) at the Western State penitentiary and St. John's Lutheran Church on the North Side. Because we could not attend church at the penitentiary, and we had only one car, we joined the Glenshaw Presbyterian Church after we moved from Spring Hill to the Glenshaw area in 1953.
Grace was happy when Charles retired from being an organist, because they were able to attend church together for the first time in about 30 years. Charles died in 1982. Grace's older daughter Linda died in 1988.
Grace had been a member of the Glenshaw church for about 55 years.
Died peacefully in her sleep: 11/25/2009