Firth, Grace (Ushler) 1922-2004

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FIRTH, Grace (Ushler) 1922-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born August 16, 1922, in Fairfield, CT; died of pneumonia and complications from Alzheimer's disease, July 29, 2004, in San Antonio, TX. Educator, television host, and author. Firth was best known as an expert on cooking with natural foods. A difficult early life included her move to live with her grandparents at age ten. She worked as an elementary school teacher in Missouri in 1941 and then as a stenographer at State Hospital in St. Joseph, continuing to work while studying for a teaching degree at Missouri State College, from which she graduated in 1942. Moving to California, she worked in a nightclub while earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California in 1945. Firth then traveled to Alaska, where she taught Native Americans in Seward and Sitka, and became an active outdoorswoman, hunting, fishing, skiing, and flying her own airplane. After marrying, she moved back south to Virginia and became an enthusiastic gardener and forager for woodland-grown edibles. She also returned to school, earning a master's degree in sociology from George Washington University in 1968. By the early 1970s, Firth began publishing cookbooks, such as A Natural Year (1972) and Still-room Cookery (1977), and hosting television programs on the benefits of natural foods, including as a regular on the WTTG program Panorama.



Washington Post, August 7, 2004, p. B5.