February 16, 1934 ~ July 5, 2019

Born in: Chicago, Illinois
Resided in: Arvada, Colorado

Billie Grace was born to Clarence and Helen Croft on February 16, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois. After a brief illness, she passed away in her home, surrounded by her family, on July 5, 2019 in Arvada, Colorado.

During her life, she lived in Michigan and then in Nebraska, where she attended the University of Nebraska and received a Bachelor of Music Education Degree. She was the only female percussion player in the University Band and she attracted her trumpet-playing, husband-to-be, with her flamboyance, energy and good looks. They married in 1957 and she spent five years as a Navy Wife and Mother before settling in Arvada with her husband, Daniel Grace. She spent the next 55 years working as a substitute band teacher in Jefferson County Schools along with teaching private percussion lessons in her basement; all the while being a wife and mother to her family.

When asked to describe Billie, friends and loved ones spoke of her as being kind, generous, helpful, a wonderful listener, a bright light to all who knew her and most of all, a real lady.

She is survived by her husband, Dan; son, Eric (Donna); daughters, Christi (Rob) and Andrea; four grandchildren, Sarah (Matt), Reid, Jesse (Kasha) and Holden and three great-grandchildren, Everlee, Larkyn and Justus.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 10:30 AM at Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 East Hampden Avenue, Cherry Hills Village, Colorado.

If you wish to make a memorial gift, please consider the music program at Bethany Lutheran Church or the Colorado Chorale.

Please share memories of Billie and condolences with her family by signing the online guestbook below.


Celebration of Life: August 24, 2019 10:30 am

Bethany Lutheran Church
4500 E. Hampden Ave.
Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113


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Memories Timeline


  1. Our love and deepest sympathy to Dan and family.
    Billie was a lovely, kind, caring, talented, sweet person who impacted my life for almost 45 years. She was unfailingly interested in me and my family, and always had a warm smile to share with the many hundreds of people who had the identical experience as me. Truly Dan and Billie were/are an amazing couple. She will be remembered.
    With gratitude and warm remembrance for Billie!
    Kent (Kathleen) Rautenstraus

  2. Everyone who was lucky enough to know Billie was blessed with her kindness and loving personality. We will all miss her sweet way of making us feel special. There is a very special place in heaven for our dear Billie! My thoughts and prayers are with the Grace family during these very difficult times. She leaves behind a wonderful legacy. Lynn Harrington 🎼

  3. She was my “Step” grandmother for some of the great young years of my life. I will never forget her smile, Trick or Treating on Halloween. I will also never forget getting to see the beach boys perform at a school she was teaching at. She will be missed! I am sorry I can’t be there in person to support her/my family.

  4. Billie was an amazing lady and an outstanding teacher. She taught many of my students at Arvada West High School, and also subbed for me on many occasions. She was the favorite sub and the first person I always called. She helped so many kids! She will truly be missed!

  5. Billie was a kind and loving aunt, and one of those rare people who never seemed down or upset. She continued to show her love through the birth of my children, and sent our daughter beautiful dresses every birthday and Christmas. Truly a wonderful person, and of a wonderful family. We all miss her very much…

    Brian and Erica Croft and Family

  6. It is with great sorrow and surprise to hear of Billies’death.She and Dan were the heart of Bethany Lutheran’s music program and the Colorado Chorale. Such a loving person and friend to all she met. Our heart goes out to Dan, Eric, Christi and Andrea in their time of grieving and we grieve with them.

  7. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, I spent many hours on the road taking my son to percussion lessons (Billie insisted he be a percussionist, not a drummer) in their basement in Arvada. Thanks to Billie’s wonderful teaching Tom Clement became an award-winning percussionist at Wheat Ridge High School and continues to play drums at his churches wherever he calls home. She was the ultimate professional teacher.

  8. Billie was such a genuinely kind woman. Blessed to have known her. May God grant your family peace and comfort during this sad time.

  9. I have so many great memories of Mrs. Grace. (I never could call her “Billie”). I began taking private lessons from her while at Manning Junior High. I continued through my senior year at WheatRidge High School. She influenced me greatly in my formative years. She was always respectful and achieved excellence in her way of teaching. Our WRHS percussion ensemble was lucky to have her as a mentor. My son also took lessons from her while he attended Dakota Ridge High School in the early 2000’s. My condolences to her family. Your wife and mother had a very positive impact on my life during my “percussionist” years.

  10. I took percussion lessons from Billie my senior year in high school. She always pushed me to do my best. She shaped who I became (a band director) with her passion for teaching. What an amazing woman! My condolences to her family.


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