I left this world on October 1, 2021, surviving 81 years of life. I was born in Kemmerer, Wyoming on March 18, 1940, the only child of my parents Joe S. and Valeria Moffat Marland. After growing up in Kemmerer, I spent most of my adult life in Star Valley, enjoying the place, its people, its culture, its history—but not the long, cold winters and the deep snow so much!
I have four children that I love very much. They are Stephen Allen Smith, Cheryl Dawn Smith Gunderson, Patricia Lynn Smith Rogers (Vergil), and Layne Dee Hyde (Laura). I have 16 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
I love history, especially the history of Star Valley and its people. I am proud to have been a founding member of the Star Valley Historical Society. My membership in the Lincoln Company and Susan B. Cazier Camp of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers was also a rewarding experience for me.
For many, many years I studied long and hard, finally earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Wyoming in 1998. This accomplishment was more meaningful since it happened while coping with life and forty years after my high school graduation at the Kemmerer High School.
One of the joys of my life for many years was being called “The Cake Lady” and celebrating birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and good news with numerous Star Valley folks by decorating cakes for their special occasions.
I had the greatest and most fun job in the whole world for 24 years as the Children’s Librarian at the Star Valley Branch Library. I loved the kids, the story times, the summer reading programs, the crafts, the parties, and the sharing of books and learning. One of my favorite quotes is “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” I am honored to have my family make a donation to the Children’s Room of the Star Valley Branch Library as a legacy of my love of reading.
Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has given me a great sense of comfort. I know I will meet my parents again upon my death, as well as see my children and their families when the time comes.
Because I find no joy in funerals, I have requested that there be no services. I will be laid to rest at the South Lincoln Cemetery in Kemmerer Wyoming, next to my parents on Saturday October 9th, 2021, at 12 noon.
Following Mom’s burial, the family has chosen to have a celebration of her life at the Afton Tabernacle 325 Jefferson St. on Saturday, October 9th at 4:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to either or both events.
We are fortunate to have been raised by our mother Grace. She is the most independent, strong, resilient, and talented woman. She passed on these impressive traits to her children. She was an inspiring mother and grandmother who thought of us all, no matter how far away we were.
There was never a task too difficult for her, even if it meant not sleeping for days. It had to be perfect, whether it was a wedding cake, library program, DUP project or anything in between. Our mother gave her whole heart to the community. She was an outstanding Scout leader, 4-H leader, Relief Society Secretary, DUP Secretary and President. Mom was instrumental in getting grants for the Auburn church historical status, acknowledging passing DUP members service, and making the Children’s Room at the Star Valley Branch Library a place of fun that instilled a love of reading in the hearts of so many children. She was passionate about history and genealogy and was a census taker and voter recorder.
Mom was a fantastic cook, home decorator, and incredibly crafty. She was a dog lover, a fan of Elvis and boasts a huge collection of bears and butterflies. She proved that she could overcome any obstacle life handed her. She is our hero, and we will miss her immensely but know she had a joyous reunion with family in Heaven. Families are Forever. Rest in Peace Mom. We love you!
To send flowers to Grace's family, please visit our floral store.