Grace Baumbach Warner, whose 40 year teaching career ranged from country school houses to more than three decades as a highly respected fourth grade teacher in Central Lake Elementary died Thursday, November 8, 2018. Mrs. Warner, a resident of H & D Farms at Norwood Corners with her son Douglas, was 99 years old.
“She was my 4th grade teacher and I knew her as “Mrs.Warner,” said Kari Groll, who works part-time at Central Lake Elementary School. “I remember her, so so well. She was a force to be reckoned with, an amazing woman.
“She was very stern but very fair and loving in her way. She would brook no nonsense. She always read out loud to us. I remember her reading Pippi Longstocking. I really enjoyed that. We all did.
“She also had a Gabby Gertie list, and if you were caught talking out of turn your name went up on the blackboard, and then you had to spend time with her at recess. She was also big on penmanship. She had us do something called ‘running ovals.’ She would count out loud and you had to stay on the line in your notebook. I had trouble with this and I would erase above and below the line and she would catch me every time.
“She was always spiffy, very well dressed, and this was in the mid-60s. She was stylish but conservative, very trim and in very good shape, very energetic.
“We were a terrible class. In fact the teacher who had us the next year had a nervous breakdown, whereas Grace always had us under control. There was never a doubt in my mind who was in charge. Anybody who had her would remember.”
One of those who remember her well was Ron Mortensen, whose firm is handling her services. “I feel blessed to have her with us,” he said. “She made such an impact on my young life, it’s an honor for me to take care of Grace. I was a pupil for her last year of teaching. She was strict but fair. That’s what I remember about her. She had fingernails and she’d give you a tap on the head if you got out of line. I saw her ten years ago and I said, “Times change,” and she said she might not have made it in this day and age. “They don’t discipline them the way they used to.”
In the years before graduating from Central Michigan University in 1958, she began her career via the County Normal system in the 1950s. The program allowed high school graduates with one year of study to teach in country schools such as those in Norwood and the Warner School in Charlevoix County. She herself went through her first eight grades in the Norwood school, where she was to return as a teacher.
Her husband Harrison preceded her in death. Survivors in addition to her son include her granddaughter, Sarah Roy and husband Jason, three great grandchildren, Parker, Temperance and Annabelle along with several nieces and nephews. During Mrs. Warner’s last years, she was cared for by Darla Pawson. The family will be forever grateful for her loving care and attention.
Funeral services will be held Friday, November 16, at 11 a.m. at the Charlevoix Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the time of service and also Thursday, November 15, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be in Brookside Cemetery, Charlevoix. The Grace Warner Memorial fund will be set up thru 4Front Credit Union in Charlevoix. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Refreshments will be served at the Norwood School House south of Charlevoix following the service.
Please sign her online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com