Gardening 02

Grace (Younger) Leger

June 22, 1957 ~ December 20, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old

Grace (Younger) Leger Obituary

ORANGE — Grace Léger, 66, of 40 Chestnut Hill Road in Orange, died on

December 20, 2023, surrounded by her immediate family.

Grace was born in Boston, MA, on June 22,1957 to Paul Younger and Phillis (Jenner) Younger.

She was named Jayle Grace Younger at birth, but most knew her as “J”. In 2006,

she legally changed her name to Grace - a name reflected in her soul and her

approach to people. Grace was one of 9 children, a classic “his, hers and theirs”

family group. After a chaotic childhood, Grace escaped the madness in the early

70’s, when her sister Diane and family helped her to stabilize her life. In 1976, she

graduated from Pentucket High School and enrolled at Salem State University.

In 1978, while working at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport,

MA, she met her future husband Anthony Léger, who was an employee at the

Refuge. Almost immediately, Grace and Tony were inseparable, each realizing that

they had met “the one”. They were married on December 1,1978. Grace and Tony

moved around the Eastern US as Tony advanced in his career and Grace attended

college in pursuit of her goals. Their daughter, Emily Anne, was born on May 13,

1980, in Geneva, NY. Their son, Alexander, was born in Newburyport, MA on

October 2, 1984.

Her early life experience greatly influenced Grace’s decision to commit to a career of

helping people. In 1993, Grace graduated from Old Dominion University in Norfolk,

VA, receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. In 1997, Grace received her

Master’s of Social Work from Smith College in Northampton, MA. Grace worked

throughout the Pioneer Valley as a licensed clinical social worker. She was a

clinician and supervisor and a school adjustment counselor within the Orange Public

Schools. She dedicated her career of over 25 years to helping families and children

solve problems. Her passion was to make life better for the numerous people whom

she heard and supported on their journey. Grace touched the lives of every person

she met.

Grace was a devoted mother and wife, a gardener, and a lover of all music. She

was the co-owner of Foothill Farm and Grace Gardens in Orange, MA, which she

established with her husband. Her beautiful perennials have been shared with many

homes throughout the North Quabbin area bringing joy. Grace loved finding JOY and

sharing it with others.

Grace loved her family, her gardens, yoga, hiking, and waterfalls. She visited many

waterfalls in New England and elsewhere over the past 5 years. The only thing that

brought her more joy was her Grandchildren; Clara Grace and Maxwell James

Kelsey. To the grandkids, she was GG (Grandma Grace). She spent every moment

she could with them.

Grace called “Bullshit” when she saw it and was always advocating for fact-based

discussions. She supported causes for women’s rights, equality, justice, and civility

in her actions and deeds. Particularly enraged by the rise of fascism in America

through right-wing politics, Grace supported many organizations that challenged the

slide of American society into the dysfunction we see today. Grace marched. She

marched for equality and women’s rights both locally and nationally. In January of

2017, just 4 weeks after having a hip replaced, she rode a bus all night to participate

in the Women’s March, in support of democracy and equality in America. Grace

marched over 6 miles in Washington DC. that day.

Grace is survived and deeply missed by her husband Tony; daughter Emily Kelsey

and husband Shawn of Greenfield; son Alexander Léger-Small, and husband

Matthew of Holyoke;  and her grandchildren, Clara and Maxwell Kelsey. She is also

survived by her sisters: Diane Dean of Dudley, NC and Jodi McNamara of

Manchester, NH; and brother Daniel Bennett of Danvers, MA, as well as many

beloved friends and extended family.

In lieu of flowers, friends may make a donation in Grace’s memory to any cause

which supports equal protection for all people. Grace was especially supportive of

women’s rights and voting rights. She admired the work of the ACLU, the Movement Voter Project and Planned Parenthood.

Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, assisted the family.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Grace (Younger) Leger, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Grace (Younger) Leger?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Grace (Younger)'s memory.


February 23, 2024

4:00 PM


© 2024 Witty's Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility