OBITUARY

Gretchen Grauer Vanderhoof

Born August 9, 1930
Gretchen Grauer Vanderhoof, age 91, of Trinity Fl., formerly of Cleveland, OH, died peacefully July 27, 2022. Dear mother of Heidi (Glenn) Spurlock of Land O’ Lakes, FL, Melanie (Dennis) McGauran of Viera, FL, loving grandmother of Addison (Kimiko) Cavanaugh of Ocoee, FL, and William (Allison) McGauran of Medford, MA. Gretchen was a lifelong enthusiast of the arts. She was born August 9th, 1930 in Cleveland, Ohio, to artists and teachers William C. Grauer and Natalie Eynon Grauer. A newspaper interview from the 1950’s shared a glimpse into her childhood. “Her memories of a bohemian childhood are some of her fondest. There was the Fine Arts Studio where a young Gretchen rode her tricycle up and down aisles of artists practicing their craft. And there were glorious summers at the Greenbrier Hotel near Charleston, where her father taught art classes while painting murals at the legendary hotel. “He would allow me to paint small spots on those murals,” she shared. She would continue to paint and draw at her leisure for many years. She attended Laurel School in Shaker Hts., Ohio and entered Briarcliff College in New York, where she studied art and design before returning to Cleveland to study at Western Reserve University (which would later become Case Western Reserve University.) She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1952. Her first job after graduating was working for the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) adding color to their comic strips. Gretchen always had a sophisticated eye for design and, in the mid-1970’s, accepted a managerial position at a new store in Cleveland Heights. Design Corner opened up new trends in design, including the Finnish Marimekko line of fabrics. That same eye extended to fashion, where she excelled at selling in upscale boutique clothing stores. Gretchen always dressed in a chic, classic style. After Bill Grauer’s death in 1985, she worked on his behalf, keeping local newspapers up-to-date on any posthumous awards given to her father. She wanted to keep his artwork and legacy in the public eye. It elated her when the Smithsonian Museum of American Art accepted his 1929 painting “Brick Kilns.” Later, she sent her father’s awards, letters, photographs, etc. to the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, which became the “Letters of William C. Grauer” collection. In 2000, she traveled with her family to the Greenbriar Hotel in West Virginia to see her dad’s famed murals in both the Virginia Room and the President’s Cottage Museum. She moved to Florida that same year and joined The Fine Arts Society, whose volunteer fund-raising helped support the Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Clearwater. Living independently after her husband’s death (Charles David (Dave) Vanderhoof) in 1978, she showed endless strength, which is the legacy she has passed onto both her surviving daughters. She is predeceased by her half-sister, Blanche “Beam” Barloon, who died in 1999. Gretchen had an exceptional laugh and a great sense of humor. She enjoyed looking out at the night sky; a ritual that perhaps dates back to her early teen years when she spent many summers with her dear cousin, Gwen Stoughton, and family at the Indiana Dunes. She was an avid reader who still enjoyed walking down book aisles at her local library at age 89. Fond memories include her magical talent in transforming a white linen napkin at a restaurant or holiday dinner into bunny ears with a bunny nose. Her daughters could be heard saying, “do it again!” Her invincible spirit will always be remembered; as well as her love for ice cream. A Celebration of Life boat ceremony will be scheduled at a later date to scatter her ashes near the Neptune Memorial Reef in south Florida. For those who wish to make a contribution in Gretchen’s name, please send donations to: Friends of the Seminole Library c/o Seminole Community Library 9200 113th St. Seminole, FL 33772

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  • Friends of the Seminole Library c/o Seminole Community Library 9200 113th St. Seminole, Seminole, Florida 33772

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