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Grace Utsey

Grace Arant Bowen Utsey, 104, resident of Abbeville Nursing Home widow of Earl Utsey, Jr. passed away Wednesday Dec. 8, 2021.

Grace was twice married first to the late Paul K. Bowen, Sr.
Born in Greenwood, SC she was a daughter of the late Shedrick and Allye Bullock Arant.
Grace attended the City schools of Ashville, NC where she lived with her aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Williams. During her years in Asheville she was a member of a youth orchestra and was First Chair in the Violin Section. She attended Lander College and Draughton Business College, majoring in Business.
She held positions with the Auto Finance Company in Greenwood and Charlotte, NC; was a private secretary to the Chief Engineer of Sanderson and Porter Construction Company of NY; was private secretary to the President of Erskine College, Dr. R.C. Grier, and to the Business Manager, Mr. Robert Brownlee. She left the business world to enter the music field, studying at Lander College and Erskine College. For over 50 years, until the age of 92, she taught piano, voice, art and violin to hundreds of children, teens and adults. She was more than a teacher to many, caring for their lives as individuals. She was known as MaMa Grace to many. In addition to her music career, she was an outstanding artist, specializing in hand painted lamps, a very delicate field of art. She was one of the first to do this type of art in the South and at one time had 27 dealers over the South with whom she worked.
Mrs. Utsey was active in her church at Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church as Choir Director and Sunday School Teacher.
She was honored to receive the title of Abbeville Woman of the Year. She was also instrumental in organizing the Abbeville Farm Bureau Talent Show and was the 1994 Vice-President of the AARP Chapter. By staying active with her music and art, she stayed “young at heart”. She saw life as a gift. She loved unconditionally and saw only the good in people, no matter their race, financial status or position in life. Her motto in life was “Never Give Up. You CAN do it!”

Survivors include: a son Paul K. Bowen, Jr. of Abbeville, SC; a daughter Judy Bowen Cannon of Abbeville, SC; three grandchildren Adam Smith, Brooke Smith and Clint Smith; eight great-grandchildren Kayleigh, Landon, Maddison, Walter, L.C. and Maci Smith, Randy and Michael Gray; three great-great-grandchildren; And a special “grandson”, Duane Adams.

She was preceded in death by a daughter Lynda Bowen Gray, a granddaughter Paula Kay Smith, a grandson Paul Monroe (Skip) Gray, a brother Jake C. Arant, sisters Lucy Arant Webb and Vivian Arant Montgomery.

Funeral services will be conducted Sunday Dec. 12, 2021 at 3:00 PM in the Chandler Chapel at Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home with the Rev. Wayne Wicker officiating. The burial will follow on Long Cane Cemetery.

The family is at the home of her daughter Mrs. Judy Cannon, 1505 Greenville St. Abbeville, SC.

The family will receive friends Sunday afternoon from 2:00 until 3:00 PM at the funeral home prior to services.

Memorials in memory of Grace may be made to Agape Hospice, 326 Montague Ave. Greenwood, SC 29646.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Grace Utsey, please visit our flower store.

Recording of Service


A candle was lit in memory of Grace Utsey

asdf Jan 10 2022 3:32 PM

❤. Beautiful. My condolences to all.

Mary Martinez Dec 12 2021 7:56 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Grace Utsey

Clairli thrower Dec 12 2021 12:06 PM

We are sad she is no longer with you, but know she is in heaven with Sammie playing and singing music with the angels. Deb and Barney

Deb Kanezeck Dec 11 2021 10:47 PM

Grace was so SPECIAL to me , my Art and Voice teacher , my Mentor, my dear Friend .She touched my life in so many ways and made me feel like part of Her Family.
Just knowing her ,was a blessing to my life.
She was truly a very talented Beautiful Lady and I feel blessed , just knowing ,She Loved me too..
That's the kind of special Lady she was. I never saw her without a Smile and will always remember the wonderful Memories of my dear friend.

Sandra Carwile Boyd Miller Dec 10 2021 11:56 PM

So sorry to hear of Mrs. Utsey's passing. What a grand lady she was. Prayers for the family. 🙏🙏🙏

Jim & Miriam White Dec 10 2021 7:11 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Grace Utsey

Susan G Gladden Dec 10 2021 1:41 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Grace Utsey

Susan Bond Dec 10 2021 12:51 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Grace Utsey

Melinda Gray Dec 10 2021 11:34 AM

I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Utsey at NHC Greenwood. She was there for a short rehab stay, and then transitioned to her apartment in Abbeville. I loved hearing the stories of her life, and all her adventures. She was always so proud when talking about her family. What a long, fulfilling life she led, and Heaven has definitely gained an angel. Keeping her family in my prayers. She will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to have met her.

Angie Gibson Dec 10 2021 11:29 AM

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