Gracie Richey Larsen

Honored by:Carolyn Cornette
Brick location:F:24  map

Johann Von Goethe is quoted as saying "We ought to hear at least one little song every day, read a good poem, see a first-rate painting, and if possible speak a few sensible words." Gracie Richey Larsen seems to enjoy just that. She would add "Visit with a good friend."

Gracie has had a successful and productive life as a "career women", wife, mother and community volunteer. Yet she always finds time to appreciate the things that nourish the soul. She is well-read, keeps well informed and seems to be always in good humor. A native of Roscoe, Texas, Gracie chose a career in social work.

She recieved a B.S. degree from Texas Womans University in Denton, Texas and later a Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. Her work most often was with services for children. She worked with Texas Child Welfare and with National Jewish Hospital Denver, Colorado. In Minnesota she worked with Minnesota Children's Home Society and for Columbus Child Guidance Clinic in Columbus, Ohio.

Gracie married, and with her husband, William, moved to Ames where Bill joined the faculty at ISU. Gracie took time to do a second career of wife, mother, homemaker and community volunteer. Because she had special training to care for others she was an invaluable resource for numerous community social service agency boards: American Red Cross, Ames Community Day Care, Ames United Way, Story County Mental Health and Open Line.

When their two sons Eric and Thomas were nearly grown she reentered her career field and assisted in organizing the Story County Council on Aging and served as its first director. Story County Council on Aging is now known as Heartland Senior Services and is an invaluable addition to central lowa's care of elderly. Governor Robert Ray appointed her to the State Council on Social Services. She served 6 years; 2 years as president. She served as co-chair of the governor's Childrens' Day Care Study Committee.

Gracie is not actively working as a social worker but continues to be a resource to the community and a voice of reason to her friends. Gracie Richey Larsen is a wonderful mixture of intelligence and joy; stimulating and refreshing.