The Heroines

Grace E. Siefkes

is honored with a Brick from Marilyn Chapman Hansen and Rhonda Serafin

 Grace E. Siefkes

Grace Siefkes was born February 25, 1909 in Eureka, Kansas, second youngest of eight children of John T. Veach and Minnie Fritts. Her father bought and sold grocery stores, and the family lived in a number of small towns including Chanute, Garfield and Mount Hope. She graduated from Ellinwood High School in 1926 and attended what was then Emporia State Teachers College.

She taught in rural schools near Ellinwood until she and George were married in 1934. During that time she was active in civic and church activities. She was the church pianist at the Methodist Church, and she and George were part of a quartet that sang regularly at church and social functions. During World War II, Grace followed George to Greeley, Colorado where he served as an interpreter in a German prisoner of war camp.

The couple moved to Wichita in 1947 to start a travel agency. Grace followed the dream of her husband and helped him create the agency. He was the marketing and public relations person. She was the detail person and handled the agency’s business.

In addition to managing an office with several employees, she was a skilled tour conductor, leading dozens of groups. She traveled in more than 50 countries on six continents. She had a career when most women did not, retiring in 1980. But even then she conducted several tours for various tour operators.

Grace was active in various Wichita organizations including Soroptimist International, Psi Psi Psi and Rotary Ann. She was also active with College Hill United Methodist Church where she was a member for over 50 years.

One of her favorite pastimes was bridge. She was continually trying to improve her game and had little patience with players who preferred to visit rather than keep their minds on the game. She was a proper, elegant woman, known for her candor and dry wit.

We are proud to be her daughters.

Submitted by Marilyn Chapman Hansen and Rhonda Serafin