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Grace Maas


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Earl, Grace Maas mark 70 years together

Feb 19, 2014 


Earl and Grace Maas celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary Feb. 12, 2014


Earl and the former Grace Cushman were joined in marriage on Feb. 12, 1944, at St. Bernard's Church.  The bride and groom were attended by Edith Maas and Al Maas.


Grace worked as co-owner of The Yarn Shop in Watertown from 1961 until 1988.  She is now retired.


After two years in the U.S. Navy, Earl Maas worked at Maas Brothers Construction Co. Inc. for 44 years and retired as president in 1990.


The couple have three children, Tom (Kathy) Maas of Duluth, Minn., John (Chris) Maas of Watertown and Bob (Paula) Maas of New Smyrna Beach, FL.


They also have six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.


The couple celebrated their anniversary with family and friends at Norwoods Restaurant in New Smyrna Beach, FL




Grace Maas walks through life at 102 Dec 1, 2021


Centenarian plus Grace Maas of Watertown attributes her longevity to walking and one glass of wine a day. Those two things, along with several quirks throughout her life, have kept her healthy to surpass the age of 102.


Maas was born in Watertown on Nov. 13, 1919, with a twin brother Tom, to Augustus T. and Alma Cushman.


Her father was 70 years old at the time of her birth. It was a second marriage for Augustus, who was a widower. He had a son from his first marriage, Martin, who was 48 when his half-sister and half-brother were born.


Her mother, who was a widow from her first husband, was 39 years old when she gave birth to the only children from the marriage.



Her father died in 1926, when she was 6 years old, and her mother died in 1932.


According to Augustus Cushman’s obituary published in the Watertown Daily Times, he was a pioneer of the city. His father was a gunsmith and had a reputation among the Indians for repairing their guns. His mother was of Beecher descent and a relative of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”


Augustus Cushman was the direct descendent of Tom Cushman. Tom and his son, Robert, organized the Mayflower voyage, according to John Maas, Grace’s son. A family member did lineage for school and discovered the two Cushmans came to the United States in the 1600s, not on the Mayflower, but on a later ship from England.


The Maas family recently learned Grace had two birth dates. John said the family discovered his mother’s birth certificate when they moved her to Marquardt Manor. The certificate states Grace Maas and her twin brother Tom were born Nov. 7, 1919.


After all these years, she continues to celebrate her birthday on Nov. 13.


Grace is a 1938 graduate of Watertown High School. Following graduation, she was the recreation director in Watertown during the Depression. She was the summer playground director worked under the government program, Public Works Administration for four years. In the winter months, she worked with school children. “They were happy years as far as I was concerned,” Grace said.


She had a variety of jobs, including working in a factory assembling boxes, at a vocational school in business training, at Carnation Company in Oconomowoc as a receptionist and at the Watertown Employment Service.


In February of 1944, during the middle of World War II, she married Earl Maas of Watertown. He was naval officer at the time. They were married for 74 years. He died just before his 98th birthday.


The couple, who enjoyed fish fries in Pipersville on Friday nights, have three sons, Tom (Kathy) of Duluth, Minn, John (Christine) of Watertown, and Robert (Paula) of New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Grace has six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.


When the boys were all in school, Grace and a good friend started The Yarn Shop in downtown Watertown. They operated the business for 27 years. She said she has lost count of the number of sweaters she knit over years. She also did crochet and later got into macrame.


Earl was president of Maas Brothers Construction for many years.


“Longevity was not a family thing,” Grace said. Her twin passed away in his 70s. “I lived a good, healthy life,” she said.


But she did a lot of walking in those 100 plus year, all around Watertown. She continues to walk one to two miles a day on a treadmill at Marquardt Manor.


“I walked all over town,” Grace said of her daily strolls. “I walked five plus miles a day for 25 to 30 years.


“I walked when I felt like it,” Grace said about the timing of her walks. She walked every day, no matter the weather conditions.


When Grace and Earl first moved to Marquardt 27 years ago, Grace had a treadmill in her home and walked three miles a day, John said. She wore out a treadmill and had to get a replacement. Today, she takes her walker, for safety reasons, to the exercise room where she continues to clock about mile a day. “I go down and work out every day.”


She also does leg and arm stretches and participates in workouts offered at the manor.


Grace said she has been blessed with good health. “I have followed a good diet, and I am not sure if that has anything to do with it (longevity),” she said.


She also looks forward to her afternoon glass of white wine.




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History of Watertown, Wisconsin