Grace Pelissier died June 21 in Jackson. Her family provided the following.
Gracie Pelissier was born Agnes Grace Nelson to Mose and Lucy Nelson in 1940. She was a granddaughter of Martin “Sloughgrass” Nelson and the first white woman in Jackson’s Hole, Betty Nelson.
Gracie joined her brother Tommy and sister Betty on the family’s Zenith ranch until she went to live with her Aunt Beth and Uncle Milliam “Minnie” Nelson who were childless and had fallen in love with her as a baby. When she was 17 they legally adopted her.
Gracie’s childhood was spent in Jackson Hole during warm weather months, engaged in idyllic pursuits with her hero-sister; she spent winter months in Southern California taking art, dance and piano lessons and becoming “refined.”
In 1960 while working at Jackson Market she met the handsome young milkman, Robert Cannon, and they soon married. They then alternated living at Goosewing Ranger Station during the summers and living on one of the Hansen Ranches in Spring Gulch during the winters. Their son Todd arrived in 1961 and then Curt in 1965.
In 1966 the family bought and moved to remote but beautiful Owen Lake Ranch in British Columbia, where Gracie kept the home fires burning and homeschooled the boys while Bob tended cattle.
In 1968 Bob and Gracie divorced, and in 1969 she married James Pelissier and she continued to be a rancher’s wife in British Columbia. Their son Cody was born in 1970 and daughter Iona “Oney” was born in 1974, just before they moved to the Pelissier Ranch out of Medora, North Dakota. They lived there until Jim and Gracie divorced in 1984.
She then lived in Dickinson, North Dakota, and Rapid City, South Dakota, but her heart had always been in Jackson Hole so she moved back in 1989 and continued to live here until her death. She most recently resided at Pioneer Homestead Apartments, where she was on the board of directors.
She will be missed for her self-described warped humor, her selfless and loving mothering of her children or their friends, her willingness to help friends and family any way she could and her love of cats, dogs and horses. No one was a stranger for long around her!
Gracie is survived by sons Curt (Stephanie) Cannon of Victor, Idaho, and Cody (Tanya) Pelissier of Roundup, Montana; sister Betty Nelson of Victor, brother Clyde “Bubba” Blair of Jackson; grandchildren and great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends wherever she lived.
Friends are invited to a family gathering to remember and celebrate both Gracie’s and her cousin Claudette Blair Higgins’ lives Saturday at Mike Yokel Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a pot luck luncheon where drinks and desserts will be provided.
Donations may be made to the Animal Adoption Center in Jackson.