For 90 years, Grace Harris has been representing her City with the utmost faith and…well, grace.
Living in her childhood home on upper Broadway since she was 5, Harris celebrated her 90th birthday at the Glendale Methodist Church on Sunday, and then with a small ceremony at her long-time home on Broadway Monday.
She turned 90 on Monday, Jan. 11.
“On Sunday they had a party for me at church and we all stayed six feet away from each other,” said Harris. “We had some cake, and I am so grateful that I got many cards from all my friends and family. My cousin came up from Rhode Island on Monday with his wife, and my nephew was here too.”
Harris grew up in Everett, living on Reed Avenue until she was 5. At that time, the family moved to a home in the 900th block of Broadway that her grandfather had owned.
She attended the old Lafayette School, the Parlin and graduated from Everett High School. For most of her working life, she was a professional underwriter for John Hancock in the insurance industry. Her father was a US Postal Service worker in Boston for his entire life, and her aunt worked at the State House.
“Everett has always been a good city to live in,” she said. “Living on Broadway, it was always easy to get the bus out of here and get to work in Boston.”
The joy of her life, she said, has been music.
Since a very young age, Harris has sang in the Glendale Methodist Church choir, and still continues to do that to this day. She always has enjoyed going to Symphony Hall in Boston and taking in the many concerts performed there as well.
“I just sang a solo of ‘Silent Night’ for Christmas at another church,” she said. “I started into music just on my own. I started out in the choir when I was very young. I still love music a lot and I like classical and jazz.”
Harris said she also has traveled extensively to England, Spain and Italy. One place she never got to go, though, was France. She hopes that maybe she can make it there in the next few years.
“I always wanted to go to France, but never made it there,” she said. “In Italy, I remember riding the gondola and they played guitar and sang. In England, I went up the Thames to Windsor Castle.”
Her caregiver, Linda Gaffney, said she is a “saint” and loved by many in Everett at her church and within her circle of friends.
City Councilor Gerly Adrien also said she has been blessed to know Harris, and wished her a Happy Birthday this week as well.
“Happy Birthday, Grace, who has been blessed to be on this earth,” she said. “May God continue to bless her and give her great strength. I know she is loved by so many, including Everett resident Linda Gaffney. Thank you everyone for making her feel very special for her birthday.”