Grace Florence Williston

Grace Florence Williston
b. 4 May 1882, Butler, DeKalb Co., IN to William W. and Mary Jane (Porter) Williston
d. 29 May 1942, Detroit, Wayne Co., MI
bur. Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne Co., MI

Grace Florence Williston

Grace Florence Williston

Herman Greek

m/2. 20 Sept. 1909, Wallaceburg, Kent Co., Ontario, Canada
Willis Emerson Alexander
b. 08 April 1882, Vincennes, Knox Co., IN
d. 25 March 1911, Detroit, Wayne Co., MI
bur. Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Wayne Co., MI

Children with Herman Greek:

  • Dorothy V. (1903-1986)
  • Leonard E. (1904-1971)

Child with Willis Emerson Alexander:

  • Willis Dolly Alexander (1911-1978), married Harold L. Bliss

Grace was born in DeKalb County, IN, but her father and older brothers were born in Ontario, Canada. According to census records, the family immigrated to the United States in 1881. The most likely reason for her Indiana birth is that her father, a machinist, relocated to Indiana when he worked for the Wabash Railroad. By 1885, the Williston family had moved to Detroit where William Williston was employed by the Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway.

Grace was first married to Herman Greek, and they were the parents of two children: Dorothy V. (1903-1986) and Leonard E. (1904-1971). After their divorce, Grace married Willis E. Alexander of Boone Co., IN. They were the parents of one child, Willis Dolly Alexander, born 3 August, after her father’s death on 25 March 1911 in Detroit.

According to family lore, “Gracie” was a witty and resourceful woman who enjoyed people and crafts. She quilted, was an accomplished seamstress, and painted beautiful china plates, using violets and other flowers in her designs. She owned mother-of-pearl opera glasses so she must have enjoyed attending live performances in Detroit. After her husband Willis’s untimely death, she supported herself and her three children by taking boarders into her home. Grace Florence Williston Alexander died in Detroit and is buried next to her parents and sister Genevieve in the South Lake section of historic Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan.

Submitted by:
Grace Elizabeth Bliss Smith (granddaughter)

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