Violette LaDalle Smith-Grate - or ‘Vie’ - was born on May 26th, 1955 in Amarillo, Texas. She arrived in Denver, Colorado with her younger brother Ralph in 1958. They were joined by the youngest sibling, Clifton five years later.
“Vie’s” childhood education took place in the Denver Public School system, including George Washington High School where her lifelong friendship with “sister/friend” Marie Phason began. She continued her scholarly career by obtaining a succession of medical certifications while at Concorde Career College. She exemplified her natural relentlessness by earning numerous professional certifications from Phlebotomy to Surgical Technician and others, using them to progress in her decades-long career.
One position she cherished was her time with the Denver Public Schools as a school nurse. The level of care and concern Vie showed the children was no surprise to those who knew her best. Consistently denying herself over the course of her life to help a child was common fare in her own household, and a beloved style in the schools. During her later years, this nature was exhibited in her undying devotion to her precious grandchildren.
Violette was united in holy matrimony to Frederick W. Smith of Denver, CO.They were introduced by Fred’s sister, Christine and they rarely spent a day apart from that day on. In addition to the loving, gentle relationship they shared, the union tied two families with familial bonds that will reach through eternity.
As the unmistakable matriarch of her home, she seemed most happy when she was feeding someone or simply helping to usher in a good time. Convincing her to leave the house eventually became a hard fight unless the suggestion was to visit the home of a relative, or to go shopping. Sharing her money with any store owner willing to accept it was definitely one of Vie’s favorite pastimes. As much as Violette loved to take care of others, when it came to protecting or defending her children, she was a force to be reckoned with. Rather than reach out for brute strength, power, or force from someone, Vie was usually her children’s first call in times of distress.
Violette is preceded in death by her parents Bettie & Arthur Grate, and her youngest brother Clifton Grate.
Violette LaDalle Grate departed from us on May 30, 2021 and those who are left to cherish her memory and mourn her loss include brother Ralph Grate, three sons Damone Grate, Michael Wheatfall-Grate, and Christopher Wheatfall-Grate; daughter-in-law Tiana Taplin,five grandchildren: Princess Wheatfall-Grate, KaMari Wheatfall-Grate, Kemonie Wheatfall-Grate, Armani Grate, Nicholas Hurley; One Great-grandchild: Ananias Leeks-Grate, plus a host of close friends and cherished family members.
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