Grace LaFerney, 89, passed away peacefully on October 24, 2013 at her home in Brenham, Texas with family by her side. Grace Louise Ryberg LaFerney was born on April 13, 1924 in Bay City, Texas, the daughter of Naomi Ryberg Burkett and R. D. Burkett.
Grace often spoke of the hard times growing up during the depression in a logging camp in Kirbyville, Texas. During her childhood, her family made numerous moves around southeast Texas. Grace graduated from Brenham High School. She lived in Somerville for 30 years, where she raised her four daughters. She was a member of First Baptist Church, Somerville, during those 30 years. She worked at Priesmeyer’s Dept. Store in Somerville for many years. From Somerville, Grace moved to Independence, Texas, which she dearly loved. She worked at Brenham State School for 18 years. She was a member of Independence Baptist Church. Grace was a seamstress and sewed for many people during her lifetime. Up until her passing, she was still sewing. In 2011, due to health issues, her daughters moved her to the Lake Somerville area to be closer to them.
Grace was often referred to as “amazing Grace”. She had a remarkable mind, up to her passing. She loved history, reading, keeping up with the news of the world, bluebonnets, Longhorn cattle and hummingbirds. She had deep admiration for men and women who sacrificed their lives in law enforcement and the armed services. She had many dear friends throughout her lifetime who overlooked her faults and shortcomings. Grace was a simple person who loved simple pleasures in life.
Grace was preceded in death by her parents, Naomi Ryberg Burkett and R. D. Burkett. Survivors include daughter Sharon Morin and companion, Bill Blowey, of Somerville, daughter Sandra Jones and husband, Clif, of Brenham, daughter Carol Hill of Somerville, and daughter Janis Shelton and husband, Zack, of Kountze, Texas. Grace is survived by eight grandchildren, Chet Sawtelle, Jr. and wife Gina of Lyman, Maine, Tonya Huber and husband Bruce of Nacogdoches, Sarah Rassa and husband Todd of Red Lion, Pa., Zina Harris and husband Eric of Bryan, Stefanie Haggerty and husband Michael of Bryan, Bryan Hill, III and wife Felicia of Cedar Hill, Jack Stamps Campbell, Jr. and wife Michelle of Kountze, and Dustin Campbell and wife Annemarie of Cypress. Sixteen surviving great-grandchildren are Noah and Sydney Sawtelle, Jacob, Jordan, Janae and Jared Huber, Ashley and Hayden Harris, Mason and Erin Haggerty, Blake and Kyle Hill, and Taylor, Allison, Colton and Samantha Campbell. Grace is also survived by her sister Betty Autrey of Brazoria and her brother Richard Ryberg of Round Rock, numerous nieces and nephews, and her beloved Daniel Moehlmann, whom as a neighbor in Independence, gave her such happiness as he grew from childhood to a young man. Grace’s zest for life the past several months was to live to see Daniel’s marriage, which she attended on October 12th.
Grace’s daughters are very thankful to all the many friends who touched her life and showed her so much kindness. Special thanks are extended to the members of Independence Baptist Church, Hospice Brazos Valley staff, nurses, special aide, Lela Schwartz, and her special volunteer visitor, Vicki Bruce, and to Dr. Jon Bode and his staff. The family would also like to thank the Moehlmann family, Scott Stewart and Otto Hanak for their kindness to their Mother over the years.
Respecting Grace’s wishes, her body was cremated. Her remains will be scattered amongst the things she loved dearly, a field of bluebonnets and Longhorn cattle, the piney woods of East Texas, and the hummingbirds and whooping cranes in Rockport. Arrangements are under the direction of Callaway-Jones Funeral Home.
A celebration of life will be held for Grace at a later date for family and close friends. Memorials may be made to: Independence Baptist Church, 10405 FM50, Brenham, Tx. 77833 or Hospice Brazos Valley, 302 East Blue Bell Rd., Brenham, Tx. 77833.