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Growing Up in Wauwatosa


Young Grace attended St. Bernard’s School in            in nearby Eagle, Wisconsin. There she could spend
       Wauwatosa. As expected by strict German          time with her cousins. Wauwatosa grew fast in the
Catholic parents whose families had assimilated         early 20th century and was quickly integrated into
quickly into American culture, she excelled in her      the fabric of urban Milwaukee. But on the farm,
school work. Although she was surrounded by             Grace, a “city girl,” could revel in nature, help with
aunts and uncles, her childhood was lonely and she      farm chores, ride ponies, and learn about the ani-
looked forward to summer visits to relatives’ farms     mals she loved.

Grace with her parents at Post Lake                       Shy and introverted, Grace found comfort in
                                                        reading books and in the company of her kitten,
                                                        Boots. Often Boots would climb from the cellar
                                                        along the Lily vines growing up the side of the
                                                        family’s home to the window of Grace’s second-
                                                        floor bedroom. Grace would sneak the kitten inside
                                                        and harbor it in her room—a small act of defiance
                                                        in a strict German household.

                                                          At Holy Angels, an all-girls high school in
                                                        Milwaukee run by the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin
                                                        Mary, Grace gradually blossomed into a young
                                                        woman some remember as adventuresome—even a
                                                        little mischievous, as when she and her friends told
                                                        the nuns that the electric street car had broken
                                                        down on the narrow viaduct leading to central
                                                        Milwaukee, so they couldn’t get to school. Instead
                                                        they went shopping or to Gilles for hot fudge
                                                        sundaes. At Holy Angels, students were expected to
                                                        adhere to strict rules, even those governing the

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