ITHACA, NY – Teresa Grady, matriarch of the activist family known for their involvement in anti-war protests and acts of civil disobedience including the “Camden 28,” Plowshares movement, The “St. Patrick’s Day Four” and most recently the “drone grandma” protests, died early Sunday morning. She was 88.

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An email statement from daughter Mary Anne Grady Flores indicates that she died peacefully around 1 a.m on Sunday. Grady was in declining health and had been suffering from dementia, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

Grady and her family have long been central to the Catholic Worker movement in Ithaca. The organization is a “Catholic left” group dedicated to principles of charity, mercy and peace. Teresa Grady’s late husband, John Grady, and her five children, as well as some of the grandchildren, have all spent time in jail and prison for anti-war actions.

Despite her six-month prison sentence, Mary Anne, the aforementioned “drone grandma” wrote about being able to visit her mother before her passing.

“I walked, shackled, wrists to waist and ankles, to be at mom’s side, leaning over her to kiss her big smiling face. I told her over and over that I loved her, my tears wetting her soft cheeks. I asked if she was in any pain. ‘No, I’m not in pain. I’m okay.’ She kept smiling and fell asleep. What a precious, blessed moment,” wrote Grady Flores.

“Her deep faith informed everything she did, how she lived in the world,” Teresa’s daughter Ellen Grady DeMott told the National Catholic Reporter. “Peace and justice were central to her life. Loving and caring for the poor was always part of her work. It was essential to her to share with her children and others what she had learned.”

Grady is survived by five children, 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A wake was held on Monday at the Quaker Meeting House. A funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday, April 12 at Immaculate Conception Church on 113 North Geneva Street.

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.