- Date Of Birth: October 5, 1923
- Date Of Death: August 24, 2014
- State: Montana
Grace Davies Harding of Simms, Montana died August 24, 2014 at Benefis Hospital surrounded by her family and the wonderful staff of the Progressive Care Unit.
Grace was born October 5, 1923 in Great Falls, Montana to Elsie Fletcher Davies and Dillwyn Rendel Davies. Grace’s paternal grandfather, David Davies came to Montana from Wales in 1879 and moved to the Sun River Valley in 1881.
In 1941 she graduated from Simms High School as Salutatorian. While she was in high school she was on the women’s basketball team, the debate team, played in the chorus, was the drum majorette and wrote the words for the Simms Tigers’ school song. During this time she developed a group of great friends that she remained close to until death. She started college at Northern Montana College where she met the love of her life, Warren Harding. They shared a great love of music with Warren being a tenor soloist and Grace accompanying him on the piano.
After the war began, Warren was recruited into the National Weather Service. They were married on December 11, 1942 before Warren was sent to an army base located near the small Eskimo village of Bethel Alaska. Grace was also recruited into the National Weather Service and sent to train at Boeing Field as an upper air radiosonde specialist before going to Bethel to work with Warren. Grace was one of the first women to have this job. The job required Grace to release radiosonde balloons in arctic weather, by herself and then analyze and record the data. Grace and Warren loved being with the Eskimo village members. She had a complete traditional white parka with mukluks made for her and she went on a whale hunt with the village. From Bethel Grace and Warren moved to work at another base near Juneau. Grace treasured her time in Alaska.
They returned to Simms in 1946 where Grace gave birth to her children David, Ann, and John.
In 1980 Grace and Warren partnered with Bill and Shirley Rammer in starting Northwest Weather Associates. The company contracted with the U.S. government operating weather observatories around the western half of the country. During this time, Grace wrote articles for and helped edit the book, Montana Weather. In 1983 Grace was one of the primary forces in starting Rocky Mountain Treatment Center. As an owner and Secretary/Treasurer of the corporation, she worked tirelessly for a cause she loved. She particularly loved the historical building and the staff members she became such good friends with.
Grace was very active in historical activities working passionately to save the 10th Street Bridge and the J.C. Adams Stone barn. She was a lifelong member of the Simms United Methodist church where she was the organist, lay leader and was active in the UMW. She was an active member of the Sun River Valley Historical society, and the Sun River Valley Lions.
Grace is survived by her husband of 71 years Warren Harding of Simms, son David Harding of Great Falls, her daughter Ann Bellwood of Simms and her granddaughter Leslie, who is attending Concordia College in Moorhead Minnesota. She is also survived by her nieces Kim Davies McKisson, and Jennifer Davies Redinger and her nephew Dan Davies all of Seattle as well as her niece Lauren Davies of Belleview, Washington.
Grace was predeceased by her son John Leslie Harding in 1975, her brother Douglas Davies in1995 and her brother John Davies M.D. in 2012.
Grace had amazing tenacity, loved her church, missed her son John terribly and felt very blessed to have her granddaughter Leslie.