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Yvonne Alease Robinson Grasty, affectionately known as “Ma G,” was born August 16, 1929, in Washington DC to the late Samuel and Julia Fox Robinson. Yvonne was the youngest of three children born to this union and was preceded in death by her brother Samuel E.D. Robinson and sister Lillie Mae R. Precia.
Yvonne possessed the rare status of native Washingtonian; she was born and raised in the LeDroit Park neighborhood on You St NW (old school spelling!), educated in DC public schools, worked in the District, and, far into adulthood, lived in the Petworth community for 50 years.
She attended Lucretia Mott Elementary, Garnet Patterson Jr High, Dunbar High (’47), and finally Miner’s Teacher’s College (’50) where she joined the Delta sorority.
Yvonne found her spiritual life in the District as well. In her early years, she attended Third Baptist Church (a DC historical landmark) before joining Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ in 1974. Yvonne was an active member and served on several committees including the Greeters, Food Pantry, Peoples Quilters, Board of Christian Education, and Peoples Pictorial Directory Committee.
During her high school years, one classmate in particular caught her eye; in August of 1952 she married the late Enoch Homer Grasty (April ’65) and in December 1956, her only child, Kevin Michael Grasty was born.
Yvonne began her career in 1952 as an elementary school teacher in the DC public schools system, serving at Turner Elementary, Cleveland Elementary, Charles Young Elementary and finally spending 29 years at Richard Kingsman Elementary (now Kingsman Academy Public Charter School.) She retired from Kingsman after a total of 34 years of teaching service.
Even after retiring, Yvonne enjoyed volunteering in the field of education; from 1987 through 2003 she served as a docent for “The Field to Factory: the Great Migration” exhibit at the National Museum of American History (Smithsonian). Other interests included membership in the “Paragons,” a 60-year-old social club that offered outings and camaraderie for its members.
In 2003, she moved to Riderwood Village, a new (at the time) retirement community, where she enjoyed many of the clubs and activities offered; she was a prolific quilter, enjoyed sewing, needlepoint, and attending many of the music and social events offered at Riderwood. Yvonne also loved word puzzles; she could often be found with a puzzle book in her hand, while she watched any of the many “Judge” programs or game shows (she particularly loved Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud!) Yvonne also often enjoyed spending time with her family; everyone lived locally and at EVERY gathering folks would beg for her to bring her rolls -- the best homemade bread ever made. She’d chuckle and say, “I don’t know—maybe.” Her family could usually count on rolls if Ma G was coming over! She “loved on us” and we “loved on her.”
She is survived by her son Kevin Grasty (Tawna), grandsons Devin and Austin Grasty, granddaughter Erin Grasty, great-granddaughter Cameron Grasty, goddaughter Kristina Smith, and a host of other close family and friends. On Sunday morning, January 28, 2024, Ma G departed this life with a little bit of Dionne Warwick (a favorite) and “Family Feud” in the background.
She “loved on us” and leaves behind many who “loved on her.”