Cover photo for Stella Joyce Grard's Obituary
Stella Joyce Grard Profile Photo
1936 Stella 2020

Stella Joyce Grard

February 17, 1936 — July 19, 2020

Born Stella Joyce Roberts, February 17th,1936 in Waterville Maine. Stella soon developed a love for the outdoors and horses. This love brought her an opportunity to work for a man named Mr. Niel Oliver, known in Hollywood as Bing Russell, a Western TV Star at the time. Her duties on the ranch included taking care of Mr. Russell's horses and his young son, Kurt Russell, who later became a Superstar in Hollywood starring in Disney movies and in such movies as "Escape from New York" and in his most iconic role as Wyatt Earp in "Tombstone". Stella soon met and fell in love with a handsome young man in which she would soon marry, Mr. Hervey Edward Grard. They found themselves with a family consisting of 3 young kids, a daughter and two sons. Times were tough for the young couple so with great angst they loaded up all their belongings and 3 small children and traveled over 2500 miles in an old beat up station wagon to a small town in Texas called Weatherford. The year was 1966 and Stella found herself a stay home mom for a short while until her kids got a little bigger. Stella then decided to go to Weatherford College and get a nursing degree. Stella worked in the emergency room of the Mineral Wells Hospital. This time had a profound effect on her. Seeing young people being brought in from car accidents. She would often express the difficulty of dealing with this reality. After years of this stress, she decided to make a change and began work at a local nursing home.  She met a lady who would become her long-term best friend Miss Kay Lane. She pursued her passion for horses and began participating in rodeo like events called Play Days. She loved barrel racing and won several awards while competing. Stella would buy and sell horses to support her new hobby. She somehow ended up with a mule that would spark a fascination and she began raising mules that are trained to clear unbelievable heights. She became known as the "Mule Lady".  She co-wrote and illustrated a book titled "Horse Tales - Equine Adventures of Louise Townsend and Stella Grard".  Stella went from a young mother of three kids, to owning several properties and her own home in Santo, Texas.  When you met Stella you would always remember her and she touched many lives. Coming from humble beginnings she took great pleasure in anonymously helping others in her community after her retirement. 

Stella Joyce Grard passed away on July 19, 2020 with her best friend Kay Lane by her side to the end. Stella is survived by three children Jody Rogers, Maurice Grard and Randy Grard, several grandkids, a few great grandkids and her sister, Thelma Thomas of Maine. She has gone to be reunited with her husband, Hervey Grard and our precious Lord. She will be deeply missed. Thank you, Kay Lane and Jennifer Grozier and family, for being there throughout my mother's journeys and most of all for being a friend to my mother until the end and the kind of friend we all wished we had.   

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