Heckery Dekkery Dot Travel Game Postcards for Children would like to pay tribute to the founder of National Grandparents Day which will be celebrated this year on Sunday, September 8th. Thank you Mrs. Marian McQuade for your love and respect for the elderly.
Born and raised in the mountains of West Virginia, Mrs McQuade eventually settled in Oak Hill, West Virginia, with her husband Joe who was a coal miner. The couple had 15 children, and at the time of Mrs. McQuade’s death in 2008, she was grandmother to 43 and great-grandmother to 15.
Marian McQuade with some of her 43 grandchildren
National Grandparents’ Day – Media
Over the years, Mrs. McQuade served as vice-chairman of the West Virginia Commission on Aging, delegate to the White House Conference on Aging, president of the Vocational Rehabilitation Foundation, and vice president of the Nursing Home Licensing Board. Mrs McQuade’s respect for the elderly began when she was just a child going with her “Grandma” who would visit the elderly of the community after working on the farm all day long. Mrs. McQuade never forgot those visits. She would later tell her children that when an elderly person dies, it’s like a library burned down….
In 1956 she helped to organize a Past 80 Party for her community. Mrs. McQuade’s involvement with the Past 80 Party put her into contact with area nursing homes. That was when she learned about the loneliness that so many of the elderly experience. “They load these people up with gifts at Christmas,” she said, “but they leave them alone the other 364 days of the years. I wanted there to be another day to visit.”
Mrs. McQuade then had the idea to honor the nation’s grandparents wherever they reside, and 5 years of dedication brought about the first special Grandparents Day on May 27, 1973, in the State of West Virginia. She didn’t stop there, however, and in September 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed Public Law 96-62 designating the Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day, and the first National Grandparents Day was observed nationwide in 1979. The Past 80 Party which she helped to organize in 1956 has become an annual tradition to this day. Senior citizens from all over the State celebrate a second Christmas each year which includes a turkey dinner, and everyone past 80 goes home with a present.
“… to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.”
from the statute’s preamble
Have a great National Grandparents Day!
Heckery Dekkery Dot Travel Game Postcards for Children