Grace Lavina Fults Van Drunen, 94, a pioneer resident of Dance, Ont., passed away Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2000 at the hospital in Emo, Ont.
Grace also was the last member of the family of Wesley and Lucy Fults to whom she was born Sept. 24, 1905 in Burriss Township.
Grace attended school in Burriss and after graduating grade eight, she moved to Fort Frances, where she worked for several families.
At the age of 19, Grace returned to school at the new Burriss Consolidated School, which offered grades nine and 10 for the first time. She excelled in her studies.
Grace married Peter Jacobminus Van Drunen on Dec. 9, 1926 in the United Church Manse in Emo. They lived in Carpenter Township with Peter’s parents until they took up homesteading in Dance on the south half of Lot 9, Concession 2.
Grace continued to live on the homestead until the time of her death.
Grace was very active in the community, sitting on the school board, the Statute Labour Board, the Community Club, and working in the federal and provincial elections until her 90th year.
She joined the Women’s Institute, and was honoured with a life membership having served the W.I. for more than 50 years.
Grace also ran the Dance General Store and the Dance Post Office until its closure in 1970. At the same time, Grace farmed. She started with one cow and ended (in 1972) with a small herd, plus chickens, as well as a pig or two.
Grace was a driving force in the founding of the Women’s Institute Museum in Emo. The museum was her mission in life as long as her health permitted.
She is survived by four sons, Neal (Sophie), Bert, Bob (Phyllis), and Ben (Connie); one daughter, Lois Cooper; 13 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews of several generations.
Grace was predeceased by her husband, Peter, in 1963; infant son, Joseph Henry in 1940; son, Peter Thomas in 1971; infant grandson, Peter Thomas Cooper in 1974; sisters, Bertha Wood, Clara Angus, and Esther Bowman; and brothers, Dave, Ben, Joe, Henry, Bert, and Richard Fults.
Funeral services were held Monday, Feb. 7, 2000 at the Green Funeral Home, with Rev. C. Cooper officiating. The eulogy was given by her daughter, Lois Cooper.
The pallbearers were grandsons, Peter, Greg, Jim, Dick, and Rob Van Drunen, and family friend, Keith Munro.
Spring interment will take place at the Burriss Cemetery.
In memoriam donations may be made to the Emo Hospital or Emo Museum.