By: Brian Loncar & Family
Sometimes the brightest star burns out too soon. That was Gracie's life. During her whole life she was a star who was loved by everyone she met. She was beautiful both inside and out. She was also extremely witty and funny. You only have to look at her Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram to see what a brilliant sense of humor she had. Grace wore her heart on her sleeve. She called things exactly like she saw them, and her friends and family loved her for that.
Grace was one of the most talented young actresses that Dallas had ever seen. In her freshman year at Booker T. Washington, she had two major roles in plays and one of them was voted Best Play of 10 plays. She won Best Play and Best Actress. She was also selfless in that she would take small roles or even participate as a stage manager, make-up artist and costumer.
She could also sing like a bird. The family will never forget a trip they took with many other families to Cabo San Lucas, when she stood up in front of sixty people, both children and adults, and flawlessly sang acapella Adele's Rolling in the Deep. She was 13 years old and up until that moment, no one had even heard her sing. The courage this little girl had was amazing.
Grace loved her family with all her huge heart. She especially loved Halloween and Christmas. At Halloween, she would come up with the most elaborate costumes that always involved beautifully and expertly applied makeup. She loved going to haunted houses with friends all year long. At Christmas she would always organize her family's Secret Santa gift exchange. For every Christmas, she would buy each family member at least ten special gifts that she had already thought about. She would shop early, wrap them herself, and put them under the tree. There was barely room for anyone else to place their presents.
The amazing thing was that Grace would always use her own money for everything. She was a compulsive saver. She took every check she got from relatives for birthdays and holidays and put them in a box. She would also bet anyone, on anything and usually win. She played cards like a professional and especially liked Gin Rummy and Manipulation. She once beat her father 12 straight games of Gin, before he gave up. Grace was always very generous to others. She would give anything she had to someone who was in need. She saved so much money from working and gambling that she would loan various family members money. As long as they paid it back with interest, of course.
Grace loved her school, Booker T. Washington. All five of her brothers and sisters went through the Highland Park School System, as did Grace through the eighth grade. However, she really wanted to go to an Arts school. She tried out and was accepted. She was right. She loved it. She was finally in a place that allowed her to express herself. It was like a family to her. She jokingly called the students "a basket of wonderfuls". We can't even count the times she came down the stairs in some kind of costume that she wore to school. The only thing we would say to her was "are you really allowed to wear that to school?" Grace was unique and one of a kind. There will never be anyone quite like her.
Grace loved her house and her comfortable room. The joke in the family was that she would have to go to SMU because she would never leave her house or her cat, Tux. Ah Tux, the cat she loved that would only come to her and slept with her every night. Grace loved to use Favor Food Delivery, and her favorite food was Sushi. Her favorite color was pink. She steadfastly refused to get her driver's license and would always Uber everywhere she went. She also told us that she would play a game with the Uber drivers. If they told her a personal, unusual story about their life, she would give them a $20.00 tip. Grace used to knit hats for family members and friends.
I can't forget that Grace loved strawberries. She had purses, shoes, dresses, all with strawberries on them. If her parents would have let her, she would have gotten a strawberry tattoo. Grace has beautiful fair skin like a little angel, and she wanted to keep it that way. She would use an umbrella on sunny days.
Grace had determination and an iron will. If she decided to do something, she did it. If she didn't want to do something, good luck trying to talk her into it. Family members remember when she was about eight, we tried to talk her into playing soccer. The Coach put her in the game and she stood still with her arms crossed as the thundering herd of kids ran up and down the field, until she was allowed to go back to playing on the side-line. So much for soccer. However, in the last ten months of her life, she decided she wanted to lose weight. She went at it with a vengeance. She lied and told the Equinox Gym that she was a sophomore at SMU, because you have to be over 18 to join. She got a trainer and worked out four days a week. Because she was so tech savvy, she researched on the Internet and became a card-carrying Vegan. She obtained all her own food, and never ate after 6:00 p.m. Just like she told everyone, she lost 32 pounds in four months. The transformation in her confidence and attitude was amazing. She gained so many friends, went out a lot more, and began dating. Everyone in the family was so happy for her.
Grace was a loving, kind person who was wise beyond her years. She was accepting of all people and always rooted for the underdog. Unfortunately, Grace suffered from the often underestimated and misunderstood disease of depression. From the time she was diagnosed at age 11, until her death, she struggled. She would tell her family that she could never feel anything. She couldn't feel all the love from everyone around her. Most tragically, she couldn't even feel the love for herself. She couldn't feel the fierce, undying love of her best friend, her mother Sue. When the disease finally overtook her, she will never know how many people loved her and will miss her, until we are reunited with her in Heaven.