Educational Administration, Department of



Terri Deayon

Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, 2020

doi: 10.32873/unl.dc.jwel.195

ISSN 2379-2191


Copyright 2020 Terri Deayon


Grace’s life overflowed with leadership accomplishments and accolades. Beginning in 1950, Grace was a member of JWI (Jewish Women International) and its predecessor organization, B’nai B’rith Women (BBW). JWI is a leading Jewish organization immersed in empowering women and girls of all backgrounds through economic literacy, communication training, healthy relationships, and the proliferation of women’s leadership. Their mission is to make certain that all females have the fundamental right to live in a safe home, thrive in healthy relationships, have control over their financial futures, and realize the full potential of their personal strength. Grace gained national distinction as the International President of the organization from 1980-1982. While in this role, she made frequent trips to Washington, D.C., affording her the opportunity to meet dignitaries such as President Gerald Ford, Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy (Grace Day obituary). From 1960-1962, Grace was special assistant attorney general for the state of Missouri. In 1963, she was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Grace was named the first female president of the St. Joseph Bar Association in 1972. In 2005, she was recognized by her alma mater, receiving the Marjorie Breeden Award from the Women in Law at the University of South Dakota, as well as the Alumni Achievement Award. In 2010, she received the YWCA’s Women in the Workplace Lifetime Achievement Award. She was named Missouri Lawyer Weekly’s Woman of the Year as part of the 2011 Women’s Justice Awards for over six decades of service to family law, even when representing women was unpopular, as well as unprofitable. This award recognizes women in the state of Missouri who demonstrate leadership service, integrity, and sacrifice. It lauds women who have been successful in improving the quality of justice and exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession. All of these distinctions provide evidence of her lifelong dedication to the field of law, women, and leadership.