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December 22, 1944 ~ June 14, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old
Grace Shirley Giesbrecht passed away peacefully in her home on Wednesday June 14, 2023, at the age of 78 years.
Grace was born on December 22, 1944, to loving parents Leo and Iola Cutler. Grace was the seventh of eleven children. Grace’s early years were happily spent on her family farm near Travers. When she was 10 tragedy struck with the loss of her family home due to a house fire. Later that year tragedy hit again with the death of her daddy. Grace and her family moved several times over the next few years. Grace spent time living in Enchant, Shaughnessy, Diamond City, Lethbridge, and Red Deer.
Grace married Chester Barnes in 1964. Although the marriage ended in 1968, she was blessed with two children, Johnny and Kansus. Grace remarried William Giesbrecht in 1970 and was blessed with two more children, Darek and Melanie. In 1978 Bill and Grace fulfilled their dream by moving the family to an acreage in Burmis. Although the marriage ended in 1980 Grace continued to be a significant support to Bill until his death in 2006. Times were tough and in 1982 Grace and her children left the Burmis acreage. Over the next several years she lived in Lundbreck, Cowley and finally settled in Pincher Creek.
Grace had been taught the value of hard work from an early age and she tirelessly provided for her children working as a waitress, bus driver, and teacher’s assistant. In the early 1980’s she went back to school and completed an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) program. Grace was proud of this accomplishment and began a rewarding career in the nursing profession. Her career began as a casual LPN in both the Crowsnest Pass Hospital and the Pincher Creek Hospital. After a few years she secured full-time employment at the Pincher Creek Hospital. Her work ethic and heart for people made her an excellent caregiver and she excelled in patient service.
In 1997 she selflessly made the long move north to High Level to provide childcare for her two eldest grandchildren, Lauren, and Logan. Shortly after arriving in High Level, she began a new adventure becoming a foster parent for Alberta Family and Social Services. Her heart for children, coupled with her nursing skills made her an excellent candidate to provide care for a medically fragile young boy desperately in need of specialized care. Grace provided loving care to him for the next 12 years. She opened her home to many children during those years, some staying for a short while and some staying for years. Regardless of how long the stay, she touched the life of each child who passed through her home. She became known to many as Grandma Grace in High Level and surrounding communities.
In 2008 Grace returned home to her roots in Pincher Creek. She returned to nursing and began a meaningful career with Lethbridge Family Services. She was able to continue fulfilling her passion of caring for those in need. Grace continued this work until 2016, and if possible, would have continued for many more years. Her return to Pincher Creek allowed her to spend time with both of her sons and their families. She was fortunate to have the opportunity to live with her son Darek and granddaughter Justina.
In 2018 Grace was diagnosed with COPD. The disease took a toll both physically and emotionally. Grace had always been a caregiver and helper and suddenly this role was taken from her. Grace’s loving commitment to family continued and she enjoyed time with her children and grandchildren. Grace was fiercely independent, and she remained in her home until her passing.
Grace is survived by her children; Johnny Giesbrecht, Kansus (James) Connellan, Darek Giesbrecht, Melanie (Samer) Al Ramahi. Grandchildren; Teresca, Jackson, Lauren, Logan, Lane, Justina, Walid, Reema, Ali, Deena, and Seena. Sisters; Esther Tocher, Clarice Pro and Leola Irlam, brothers; Lyle Cutler and Charles (Chuck) Cutler. Countless nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her father, Leo Cutler, her mother, Iola Hollingsworth, brothers; Robert (Bob) Cutler, James (Jim) Cutler, William (Bill) Cutler, and sister, Donna Thurlow.
Some of Grace’s life passions included the King Elvis Presley and card games, such as cribbage, solitaire, scrabble, casino, and dice. She spent many hours reading and learning. Grace loved to travel, and some highlights included Mexico, California, Caribbean, Las Vegas, the Northwest Territories, and multiple road trips to Vancouver Island. Her collections displayed these passions, demonstrated in her large photo treasury and many different collectibles and expansive jewelry selection.
Grace’s family would like to extend gratitude to the amazing health care professionals who supported her during her illness, Respiratory Therapy Pincher Creek Hospital, Chinook Oxygen, and Home Care.
A Celebration of Life for Grace was held on Saturday, July 1, 2023, followed by a Dinner, at the home of Chuck and Thora Cutler in Claresholm, AB.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the children’s charity of your choice.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Grace Giesbrecht, please visit our Tree Store.