Alice Marie Grau, 94, church secretary, gardener

May 12, 2002|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

Alice Marie Grau, a former church secretary who loved crocheting and gardening, died of cancer Tuesday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson. She was 94.

Mrs. Grau served as secretary at Messiah United Church of Christ in Baltimore from 1957 to 1985, where she was a member for 34 years.

At her death she was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Linthicum.

Born and raised in Baltimore, Alice Marie Getterman attended school through the eighth grade and later earned her general equivalency diploma, said her son, Arthur M. Grau of Columbia.

In 1931, she married William R.C. Grau Sr., who died in 1990.

Mrs. Grau was an active member of several organizations, including Job's Daughters Bethel No. 1, a Masonic group, and the Tuscana and Parkville chapters of the Order of Eastern Star.

She was known for her crocheting and gardening prowess, her raisin bread, and her passion for the Orioles.

"I remember her crocheting when I was a little boy," Mr. Grau said. "She made afghans and pot holders and jackets. She crocheted things for family members, friends, and she donated items for charitable fund-raisers."

Family and friends often described her as the "perfect gardener," Mr. Grau said.

"She could raise and grow just about anything," Mr. Grau said. "When we lived on Old York Road in Baltimore, she did a lot of landscaping and grew a lot of flowers. She loved roses and azaleas and lilacs. She would spend several hours a week gardening, and even when she moved into an apartment in 1994, she still was surrounded by flowers inside and outside."

Mrs. Grau enjoyed watching television mystery shows, including Murder, She Wrote.

Mr. Grau said his mother followed the Orioles since they came to Baltimore.

"She would not miss a game on TV," he said. "She could quote pitchers' ERAs and batting averages, but her absolute favorites were Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson. She used to go to some games at Memorial Stadium, but because of illness she was unable to attend a lot of games at Camden Yards."

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. John Lutheran Church, 300 W. Maple Road.

Survivors include another son, William R.C. Grau Jr. of Taneytown; two daughters, Lenore I. Bredthauer of Columbia and Alice M. DeBarge of Delaware; two brothers, John W. Getterman of Baltimore and Leonard A. Getterman of Orlando, Fla.; two nieces; two nephews; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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