Grace Roth Hartge
December 24, 1918 – December 1, 2018
Grace Roth Hartge passed away peacefully at the Arnold home of her daughter, Janet, on December 1, 2018, just a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday. She will always be remembered for her love of music, animals, and the water. She had a strong work ethic, intrepid spirit, and endearing smile.
Grace was born in Queens, New York on December 24, 1918, to Elsie and August Roth. After her father’s death in 1920, Grace moved with her grandparents, Charles and Emily Grolz, to Boucher Point, Eastport. Her mother, brother, the late Edwin Roth, and maternal aunts and uncles soon followed. One of her first memories was singing hymns in Sunday school with Edwin who also taught her to read the comics when she was four.
While living in Eastport, Grace developed her life-long love of the water, frequently sailing and swimming with her eight cousins. She fished with her grandfather on Spa Creek and swam with Edwin and his friends at Beverly Beach. She remembered fondly those early mornings with her grandfather and seeing “the sun rising on the Severn and the blue water as the wind made ripples and schools of fish rode under the surface.” Her love of the water inspired her environmental advocacy for Back Creek and the Eastern Shore.
Grace loved playing cards, first being her Grandfather’s formidable pinochle partner and later playing penny ante poker with Edwin and his colorful Eastport crew until they went off to war.
A hard worker from a young age, Grace took to work “like a duck to water,” taking over the bookkeeping for her step-father’s construction business at age 12. She graduated from Annapolis High School in 1936 with her best and life-long friend Evelyn Sadler and then graduated Strayer Business College a year later, completing an eighteen month program in nine months. Grace began working as a legal secretary for Albert J. Goodman for whom she worked for more than twenty years, and during the war, she volunteered as a plane spotter and for the ration board. In 1952, she was one of only 62 women in the nation to pass the Certified Professional Secretary’s examination.
On December 10, 1943, she married her beloved husband, the late Robert W. Hartge, Sr. (Bob) whom she met at a dance at Carvel Hall and whom she thought she might marry after her their first date, which involved a fishing trip and a tangled line on the South River.
The Hartges built their first marina on Second Street in Eastport right after the war. Indefatigable, while she assisted her husband in operating the marina, Grace continued to work as a legal secretary, even after the birth of her children, Robert and Janet. Bucking societal expectations, Grace developed a reputation for being a shrewd, tough business woman who treated everyone fairly. A devoted mother, Grace instilled her strong work ethic in her children, along with her passion for education, and her enduring belief in equality and fairness.
In 1962 the Hartges sold their marina on Second Street and built their next marina, Hartge’s Boat Works in Kent Narrows. Grace continued to assist in the operations of the marina and to work as a legal secretary and an administrative assistant to Janet Hoffman during the legislative session. After her husband’s death in 1980, Grace continued to run the marina. She sold the marina in 1982 and continued to live in Queen Anne’s County, returning to work first as legal secretary and later as an administrative assistant to Judge Sause. In the 1990s, she began working as an administrative assistant for the Department of Housing and Community Development, Codes Administration. In 2006, at the age of 88, Grace decided it was time to retire so that she would have more time to pursue her love of reading and crossword puzzles. Grace reliably completed the Sunday crossword puzzle in New York Times within a day.
Grace is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Barbara Hartge of Columbia; her daughter and son-in-law, Janet Hartge and Kenneth Forrester; her granddaughter Andrea Forrester of Greenville, South Carolina; her step-grandson and his wife, Stephen and Neeva Forrester of Ashburn, Virginia; her step-granddaughter and her husband, Lauren and Mikkel Caiafa of Rowlett, Texas; three great step-grandchildren, Lucca, Levi, and Sufia; sister-in-law Jewel Roth of Laurinburg, North Carolina; and many nieces and nephews, including Diane Anderson of Bland, Virginia.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation on Saturday, December 8, 2018, at 10 a.m. followed by a funeral at 11 a.m., both at Calvary United Methodist Church, 301 Rowe Boulevard, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. A lunch reception will be held at the church after the funeral and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to Memorial Fund Calvary United Methodist Church, the SPCA of Anne Arundel County, or the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
- Visitation Saturday, December 8, 2018
- Funeral Service Saturday, December 8, 2018
- Reception Saturday, December 8, 2018
Grace Roth Hartge
February 5, 2019
Grace Roth Hartge. She was my mom and what an incredible person she was. She could have been an excellent French teacher. She knew the language well. She also would have been an excellent attorney and worked for several during her years of life. She was a shrewd and fair businesswoman and good and fair to anyone she met. She left a wonderful impression on anyone she met or worked with. Well, Janet, my sister, is an attorney, a very good one. Mom leaves behind many talented people in her family and truly led an incredible life. it is true, she took to work like a duck to water. She worked for 76 years, as long or longer than most people live. Like her mother, my grandmother, she was good at anything she put her hand to. She will always be missed b y all of us, but she made a difference in this world and could have done anything she wanted. In my opinion, the nicest and most intelligent lady one would ever want to meet. I speak for my whole family when I say this. She will always be remembered for her love of life and her great accomplishments.
Robert Hartge, Grace's son. I am 65, and can't believe how fast life goes. Mom's philosophy was to have gratitude and treasure every moment. Life is precious and short and gratitude is always what we should have to live a long and productive life. She was certainly proof of that. Love, Robert
December 5, 2018
My wonderful memories of my sister-in-law, GRACE, are when we often talked together. She would say "We are powerful" and also talked about how blessed we were to have good husbands. My memories of her and and
her wonderful family are forever. I know she is rejoycing with Jesus in Heaven.
With Christian love, Judy
Joe & Gail wampler
December 5, 2018
A beloved aunt who made a wonderful difference in our lives. Our blessings to Janet and Robert and their family. With Christan Love and cherished memories. Joe & Gail.