Grace Darlington Belcher
November 9, 1929 – October 31, 2019
Grace Darlington Barron Belcher passed away peacefully in the early morning of October 31, 2019 at the age of 89 in Houston, Texas, where she has lived for 42 years. Born in Salem, New Jersey to Edna and Fred Barron, on November 9, 1929, Grace was the youngest of three children and their only daughter. She was raised in Pennsville, New Jersey and attended St. George’s Episcopal Church. Grace graduated from Salem High School in 1947, and attended Beacom Business College in Wilmington, DE, and Chic School of Design in New York. While riding the bus one day, Jim Belcher, returning from his years in the Navy and the end of WWII, recognized Grace from high school and a conversation led to a budding romance. They were married in October 1950, had their daughter Jeannette and then, son James within the first 5 years of marriage. Over the thirty years of their marriage they moved frequently, living in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. They finally came back to Texas in 1976, settling in Austin and then Houston. These years were challenging but Grace was a mother who provided love, gentleness, support, and stability, especially to her children. As diabetes took its toll on her husband Jim, Grace returned to the working world and fine tuned her office professional skills in various types of businesses. She found her niche at the University of Texas (UT); first in Austin and then in Houston with the Physiology Department at the McGovern Medical School, UT Health Science Center until she retired at age 67. While there she was a member of the Professional Secretaries International and held various board positions. She often said working at UT was the best job decision ever and her relationships were close. She always would remember working with their teams, especially Dr. Lenard Lichtenberger who included her on a memorable week-long European trip with his family. Even though Grace did not follow a fashion design career (her first love), she continued to sew for herself, her family, and friends through the years. She made dresses (including her wedding dress), suits, sport coats and blazers, and various clothes for her daughter and grandchildren. After Jim passed away in 1981, she bought a small cottage house in West University and enjoyed decorating it in her traditional cozy style. The yard and gardens were especially comforting to her as well as the caring inclusiveness of her neighbors. After retiring from UT, Grace joined the UT Retiree travel group and also became more involved in Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church. At Palmer she participated in the Women’s Spirituality group, Stephen’s Ministers, Kitchen Guild, and especially the Way Station. Her commitment was inspiring to all and she developed many close friendships. In fact, her daughter often said she had the most active social life of all the family during those years! Showing love for her family was also important to Grace. She will be forever remembered for her encouragement of their educational success, as her daughter Jeannette went back to complete her doctorate in Public Health from University of Texas Health Science Center and her son James went back to complete his masters in Fine Arts from University of Houston. Spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren was always special. Her son James is a renowned local actor and teacher and she enjoyed attending his plays with other family and friends. Her support of his career was super and except for her last years with dementia always sent him flowers on opening night. Her daughter Jeannette could always count on her for supportive conversations and reasonable advice and they shared many memorable times attending antique shows, shopping, eating out, visiting relatives in New England, and celebrating holidays. During her later years Grace even joined her daughter and son-in-law, her grandchildren and their spouses, and her great grandchildren on family camping and RV trips. One of Grace’s most consistent and dearest friendships throughout her life was with her friend Ruth Roys. She met Ruth in middle school and they continued to share confidences and time together through every phase of their lives, no matter where they lived. Grace was preceded in death by her parents Edna and Fred Barron, her brother Jack Barron, nephews Gary and Dennis Barron, and her husband Jim Belcher. She is survived by her brother William Barron and wife Polly; son James Belcher; daughter Jeannette B. Truxillo and husband Sandy; grandson Christopher Goode, wife Melissa and great grandchildren Preston and Isabella; granddaughter Meredith Bryant, husband Carson, and great grandchildren Lillian and Owen; step-grandson Patrick Truxillo, wife Diane, and step great granddaughter Jillian Huff; and step grandson Terrence Truxillo. She is also survived by her niece Sharonlee Trefry and husband Jonathan, nephew John Barron and wife Kathy; nephew Jeffrey Barron and wife Lori, numerous grand and great grand nieces and nephews and her dear friend Ruth Roys. Visitation will be held at Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home on Monday, November 11, 2019 from 5:00-8:00 pm. Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at Forest Park Westheimer Funeral Home Chapel at 10:00 am with Rev. Liz Parker from Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church officiating. Interment will follow at Brookside Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be given in her honor to Star of Hope Mission, sohmission.org.
- Visitation Monday, November 11, 2019
- Funeral Service Tuesday, November 12, 2019
- Committal Service Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Grace Darlington Belcher
November 11, 2019
I am so sorry to hear of Grace's passing. She was a bright light all the years we worked together in the medical center in Houston. Thank you for sharing more of her with all your wonderful photos. Having enjoyed her laugh in person many times, it was a delight to hear it again in the "blue pajama" video. Thank you.
May your memories of her be a blessing.