“For a hundred years I’ve enjoyed a blessed life,” reported Grace Mylroie Patz, and she’s not exaggerating. On Christmas Day 2013 Grace turns 100 years, and she is a vital and much-appreciated treasure in our community.
With her remarkable gusto as a community volunteer, Grace was celebrated at the recent holiday luncheon for the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center Guild. Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy presented a proclamation to Grace highlighting her many achievements in the community and beyond. The PSJMC Guild’s current president Patt Scully and members cheered their former president, and the great Gentlemen’s Octet a’cappella group from Burbank High School’s Vocal Music Association entertained and sang “Happy Birthday.” Grace was also in the spotlight at the recent RSVP: Retired Senior Volunteer Program luncheon. And another wonderful organization dear to Grace’s heart is Beta Sigma Phi, “I joined in 1935 in Laramie, Wyoming, and I’ve been getting birthday greetings from sorority sisters from all around the world,” she proudly told me.
Along with Grace’s family, the Laureate Kappa Xi sisters of Beta Sigma Phi have organized a “One Hundred Years of Wonder, Good Cheer & Fond Memories” birthday party in Burbank. Family and friends from across the U.S. will be on hand.
“How lucky am I that the whole family will be here to celebrate, my two wonderful sons Jim and Gerry, their wives and children who are all young adults, and they’re all taking the time to come to Burbank. Gerry’s coming in from Maine. They’re coming from all over. I’ve got relatives coming in from Colorado, and friends from Idaho. It’s going to be the nicest thing. I am so proud of my sons and their wonderful families,” Grace enthused.
Talking with Grace about her life she reflected on the past 100 years and said, “I’ve been blessed with good health and a joy for living. And I was blessed with two wonderful husbands.”
Robert Mylroie and Grace got married in 1938, and had two sons, Jim and Gerry. Robert got through World War II but was killed in a car accident, which led to Grace to move from Wyoming to California to be near her sister in Burbank. She worked and raised her two sons and put them through college. In 1974 she married Delmer Patz, “and for more than 25 years we traveled the world. We enjoyed going everywhere, England, Scotland, France, even Egypt, and really enjoyed life,” she said. A Navy veteran and manager for Sears, Del passed away last year at age 96.
Grace was born in San Diego and raised in Wyoming, graduating from the University of Wyoming. She worked for Cook Brothers Equipment Co. for 20 years and Reynolds and Reynolds Data Processing for 10 years, retiring in 1981. Her volunteer work has kept her busy ever since.
Looking ahead to the New Year, Grace told me, “We all have ups and downs, but it’s good to keep busy and do some good. I just want to stay healthy, that’s all I can ask for. I do yoga and I’ve been blessed with a great memory. Sometimes I think I should probably forget some of the things I remember, but I also have wonderful memories of so many things, my great parents and sister.” She told me about rounding up cattle in Wyoming, and learning to drive. “In the 1940s there were a lot of wide open spaces, traffic was not a problem,” she said after noting that she just got her license renewed.
She said her son Jim got her a computer the other day and she’s “looking at it now, the internet is interesting and I’ve got a lot to learn.” With that attitude and ambition you can understand why the PSJMC Guild ladies call her “amazing Grace.”
Grace Mylroie Patz is more than amazing, she is a ray of sunshine that lights up a room when she walks in. I have seen her spread her good cheer at various Guild events. What’s her secret? Grace said, “I’m aware of what’s going on in the world, but you’ve got to be able to get up and go out and be happy. I’ve been blessed with a good attitude. I love life, so I’ve had a good life. I guess that’s the secret.”