Gael Grant 1937-2023
Durham, NH – Gael Grant passed away peacefully while in the company of family, hospice and Brookdale staff on November 4th 2023. Although this last chapter of her life was not as full, Gael’s zest and pluck were still present. Family and friends are grateful to reconnect to the full spectrum of Gael’s life as we say goodbye.
Many in Durham NH would know Gael as a Master Gardener, who offered gardening tips at a booth at the Durham transfer station. A hard working Scottish Yankee, she loved a good day’s work, and would gladly grab a shovel and come over and lend a hand. All were examples of her ardent enthusiasm. She was a consummate lifelong learner and teacher. She enjoyed study of French later in life, not shying away in the course of learning.
She raised her children in Wilton, CT. She shepherded her young family into immersive world travel abroad, motivated by her expansive cultural appreciation. Later in life she and her second husband Bill Henze enjoyed many travel adventures. They built their very special last home, on the Lamprey river, in Lee, NH. Bill and Gael truly made the most of their shared decades together. Bill pre-deceased her in 2018.
Gael loved language, like the word “perspicuity” and a solid turn of phrase. Her time at High Mowing School, in Wilton NH was foundational to her core values. Initially she was fascinated by philosophy which led to her relish of discussion and debate. From there, she went on to complete her undergraduate degree and later a masters of education, as her own children were entering elementary school. This led to her long career teaching English to middle schoolers, in: CT, NY, MA and NH.
Pleasures, aside from gardening, included: ice cream, bag pipes, an open door to visitors, and pets. She grew up on her parent’s working farm, in Andover, MA. She was the daughter of Glen Wright Grant and Jane Cowdrey. Gael was the sister of three surviving brothers Glen, Celt and Mac. Over the years she shared her homes inside and out with a variety pets, including: a raccoon, parrots, dogs, cats and farm animal. She loved healthy food well before it was trendy. Our memories of her gatherings, around the hand hewn farm table crafted by her father, remain cherished. The food and conversations from these times were both hearty and enriching.
Gael is survived by three children from her first marriage to Eugene Friedrich. They are Susan, Belinda and Scott. She had five grand children: Katherine, Elizabeth, Isaac, Dana and Donald and two great grandchildren. She also is survived by four step children through her second marriage: William, Susan, Tom and Jessica Henze. She leaves four step grandchildren: Dana, Phillip, Elias and Siona, as well as five step great-grandchildren.
Anyone who wishes to honor Gael, please plant a new bulb or seed in your garden and welcome all that it will bring.