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Shaker Square Citizen
Celebrating persons who have helped make Shaker Square a special place.
Third in a series.

Carole Grady
How will we ever manage without her?
By Carol Lowenthal

Our latest Shaker Square Citizen is Carole Grady who has just retired as the Assistant Director of SHAD, the Shaker Square Area Development Corporation.

Carol Lowenthal, author of this tribute, was founding editor of The Connection and president of Friends of Shaker Square, 1991-94. Her essay first appeared in the Winter 2005 issue of The Connection.

For twenty-six years the most consistent face at the Shaker Square Area Development office has been Carole Grady's. But Carole plans to retire in December to move to southern California.

Starting when the organization was in its early adolescence and still called "Friends of Shaker Square, Inc.", Carole has served as secretary, bookkeeper, security director, office manager, and eventually as the Assistant Director, all at various times during her career depending on what was needed in the SHAD office.

The original organizer of the neighborhood security patrol, Carole also staffed the Very Square Affair annual events, for holiday lighting ceremonies, and for band concerts on the Square, and she was a founding board member of the Uptown Cleveland Security Corporation.

I had the pleasure of working closely with Carole when she helped me start The  Connection newspaper back in 1977. In those days before computers she typed each article into columns and helped with the layout crunch when those columns were pasted onto the printer's sheets, fitted with headlines, and proofread again and again. Then she helped stuff inserts and finally delivered them to neighborhood households, businesses and libraries.

When Friends of Shaker Square needed a "temp" a couple of years later in 1979 as they searched for a new Executive Director, Carole decided to apply. She's been here ever since, even continuing past her retirement age. Carole has worked with six very different Executive Directors, Catherine Dickman Merritt, Jane Campbell, Hanna Fink, Sarah Rasmussen, Joe Mazzola, and for the past fourteen years Reid Robbins. It's a stretch for anyone associated with SHAD to imagine the office functioning without her.

In addition to her full time commitment to SHAD, Carole has served as a dedicated volunteer at St. Ann's Catholic Church as the Director of the program for Religious Education for Students with Special Needs from 1973 to 1980. She also participated in PTA activities at her children's schools, and delivered books for the Home Bound Book program for the Shaker Heights Library from about 1995 until 2000.

A long-time neighbor in the Shaker Square neighborhood, Carole sold her family home several years ago and moved to a more compact apartment. Her two sons, David and Kevin, both married now, serve as police officers in Greater Cleveland.

California calls because Carole's daughter Kathleen recently moved there and the two are looking forward to sharing a home again. An avid traveler and reader, this dynamo "never lets grass grow under her feet" and will certainly continue her busy life wherever she goes.

Carole with grandson Sean, Thanksgiving 2005

Carole Grady

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