On top of the stone, visitors have left loose change, nickels, dimes, quarters - an ancient custom that symbolizes payment for a debt of gratitude and best wishes to the deceased in the afterlife.The stone is taken care of by her good friend, Jeanne Gallant, who was Grace's neighbor. "The first time I did it I was afraid I'd ruin the color," she says.
Her birth certificate, recorded at Notre Dame Hospital (now Catholic Medical Center), lists her name as Marie Grace De Repentigny.To that end, the family rented more than seven apartments on the edge of the exclusive North End between 1924-1942.Laurette felt that she had "married beneath herself." She considered her husband an "uncouth barbarian," a blue-collar worker.Marie Grace's formative years were spent in Manchester.Her mother and father, both descendants of French Canadian stock, clearly made Grace a Franco-American. When Grace was born in 1924, Manchester was dominated by the bustling Amoskeag Mills. On the other side of the Merrimack River lived Greeks, Slavs and Irish, each with their own territory. She had pretensions and delusions that she was not a descendant of French Canadians and preferred to trace her lineage to France instead.When Grace was 10, Alfred deserted the family and joined the Merchant Marines, never to return.