Gracia Ann Cardwell, age 68, of Casper, passed away June 29, 2018 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer at Central Wyoming Hospice. Gracia fought this disease aggressively for almost three years. She had a tremendous fighting spirit that allowed her to live her life to the fullest. Her strength and perseverance through her illness will forever be remembered by her family and friends.
Gracia was born July 24, 1949 in Graceville, Minnesota to Richard Luverne and Gloria Mae (Kvatum) Piechowski. She graduated in 1967 from Beardsley High School in Beardsley, MN. One of the highlights of her high school career was being named Homecoming Queen. After graduation, she attended Alexandra Area Tech and obtained her secretarial certificate. She went to Beauty School in 1969 in Willmar, MN and opened her own shop, The Classic, in Ortonville, MN in 1970. She married Roger Cardwell on June 16, 1973 in Ortonville, MN. They later divorced. In March of 1978, she gave birth to her daughter, Tanya Marie in Graceville, Minnesota. In 1979, she relocated to Casper, Wyoming and began employment at the Wyoming School for the Deaf. In June of 1981, her son Marc Allen was born.
Family was at the center of Gracia’s life. She loved hanging out with the family, baking for every occasion. She is well-remembered for her cut-out sugar cookies and her chocolate, pumpkin and rhubarb pies. Her crust was passed down from her maternal grandmother. Gracia passed this love of baking down to her daughter and grandchildren. Gracia made it a point to go garage selling and thrift store shopping with her family and her long-time friend Connie Wiseman. Gracia rarely paid full price for anything. She loved a good bargain! Gracia also loved to travel. She went to Ireland with the Casper Civic Chorale. Gracia established meaningful relationships with many of the members who would get together for a “girl’s night” every Friday. Gracia was an ardent reader of mysteries and adored watching westerns. One of her favorites was Gunsmoke, a show that her dad also adored.
Gracia worked as a secretary for 20 years, and in 2001 she went to work for the State of Wyoming as a Specialist in Unemployment Taxes. She retired from the State in July of 2014. She was a member of Eastern Star, the V.F.W Auxiliary in Ortonville, MN, and she sang with the Casper Civic Chorale and Festival Choir.
In May of 2013, her niece Andrea introduced her to the love of her life, Jerry Mosley. Jerry and Gracia went on many adventures together. They enjoyed traveling, eating out, dancing, attending movies and watching westerns on Saturdays. One of her favorite travel experiences with Jerry was going to Lone Pine, California where they hiked Mt. Whitney with his sister and her husband. They also traveled to Lake Tahoe as well as Las Vegas and Washington State. They often drove to Buffalo or Cheyenne to go antiquing. Thermopolis was also a favorite spot to go. Jerry convinced her to walk over the bridge despite her fear of the raging river below. Gracia loved dancing and Jerry was a willing partner. They enjoyed going to the Senior Center dances together. Jerry remembers her fondly as being a classy lady, one with great fashion sense. His name for her was “Beautiful.”
Gracia was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents, Joseph and Elizabeth (Haanen) Piechowski and Melvin George and Selma Bertha Louise (Oletzke) Kvatum. She is survived by her boyfriend, Jerry Mosley, daughter, Tanya (Jon) Wassink, son, Marc (Nicole) Cardwell, grandsons Brandon, Darrick, and Calob Wassink, granddaughter, Baily Smith, grandsons, Owen and Luke Cardwell, sisters, Candice (Johan) Ohnstad, Kristi (Jeff) Gades, brother, Alan Piechowski, niece, Andrea (Kyle) Tuma, great-nephew/niece, Tristan and Addie Tuma, plus numerous friends.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, July 9, 2018 at Newcomer Casper Chapel with a reception following at St Patrick's Church.
To leave a special message for Gracia’s family, please visit www.NewcomerCasper.com