We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beautiful Grace, a young woman who truly lived up to her name.
Grace died of brain cancer. As with everything she faced, and there is too much to recount here, Grace faced her disease squarely and with a characteristic pragmatic optimism. Not once did she give into the temptation to feel sorry for herself, which in and of itself is extraordinary, especially for one so young. She determined to stay in university throughout treatment. She had found her calling in disability studies. She realized her goal in the fall of 2020, graduating with honours. While Western University aired its commencement ceremony Gracie lay in a hospital bed at Princess Margaret weak from a second course of radiation that proved unsuccessful.
Her dream was to open a bridal boutique that catered to the disabled. She did not live long enough to fulfill that dream. We are eternally grateful that she did, however, powerfully experience true love in her life in the person of Matthew Wareham, her life partner of four years who was by her side every moment until the end.
She also experienced what it was like to have a soulmate in the person of her beloved sister April. The two read each other’s minds, never once fought, and seemed to communicate by telepathy. This both delighted and disconcerted their parents, Mary McGugan and Ted Koutsogiannopoulos, who are both devastated by Grace’s loss.
The family and Matt are grateful to have been able to care for Grace at home until her passing and we want to thank the Temmy Latner Centre for palliative care and specifically Yury Zakharin for his care. We want to especially thank her aunt Sheila, Grace’s own private nurse, who was always on call day or night to help us tend her and to ensure Grace had the best possible care.
Grace is grieved by her grandparents Barbara McGugan and Peter & Mary Koutsogiannopoulos, by her many cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends too numerous to mention. In her short life, she genuinely touched so many lives that we would need epistles to tell all the tales.
It is impossible to sum up her impact, but these things are true: Grace was uniquely kind and patient. She was polite to a fault. She had a gift for delivering the perfect zinger. She always gave far more than she took. She shone from within without ever demanding the limelight. Her gravitas, heart and courage were unparalleled. We feel her loss as vividly as her legacy.
Due to Covid, a private service is being held at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Details of a memorial service will follow whenever we are able to gather together in her memory. Gestures in her memory are cherished. Anyone wanting to make a donation in remembrance of Grace to a charity of their choice or any of the ones that held special significance for Gracie is deeply appreciated. The links can be found here: https://linktr.ee/Grace_Memorial_Donation
(The family wishes this to be a private event.)
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Centres