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FRAMINGHAM – Grace Mary Thorne (née Maria Grazia Phillippi), 101, of Framingham, died as she lived, with her family by her side, on November 4, 2022.

She was the wife of the late Richard Randolph Thorne.

Grace was born on February 14, 1921, to the late Anna Elizabeth Coolidge and Filippo Digiorgio (George Phillippi). Her father passed away in 1921, when she was just 6 months old. She grew up with her three siblings, the late George Phillippi, Augustine (Augy) Phillippi, and Josephine (Phillippi) Ullery, raised by their mother on a farm in Framingham.

As a lifelong resident of Framingham, she witnessed the early years of the Boston Marathon and recalled sitting with a friend and the newspaper, checking off the names of the runners as they ran past her front door.

She married Richard Randolph Thorne in 1942 at St. Stephen in Framingham. They were married 26 years, until his death in 1968. She raised their two children while attending both secretarial school and beauty school. As a working mother, she  built her career first as a medical secretary and then as the sole proprietor of her own business, Grace’s Beauty Salon. Although her grandchildren moved on from sweeping up hair and entertaining clients to actual paying jobs, Grace continued to work until she was 82.

Grace was known for her fashion, and always had a copy of Vogue nearby. She loved jewelry and watches, and had a flair for decorating, once sourcing Mondrian fabric to make into curtains for her kitchen.  She was an accomplished seamstress, cook and baker. She loved reading, shopping, and was at her happiest with a house full of family.

Her sharp wit, frank manner and wicked sense of humor belied her empathetic and supportive nature. She always made time for her family and her many friends. Whether supporting her husband during WWII, or son during his service in Vietnam, nursing a friend back to health or just saying novenas for anyone who confided in her, she was known to put her own needs aside to tend to the people she cared about.

A faithful Catholic, Grace and her best friend (also named Grace, naturally) attended Mass at the Prudential Center’s St. Francis Chapel in Boston on a weekly basis (followed by “a halfa tuna sandwich” each).

She was a lifelong parishioner at St. Stephen, St. Tarcisius, and St. Bridget in Framingham.

Born six months before women were granted the right to vote in the United States, Grace was proud to live long enough to vote for the first female Democratic nominee for president in 2016.

She is survived by her daughter Grace Mary Thorne of Framingham, and son Richard Thomas and Barbara Thorne of Jacksonville, Fla. She also leaves grandchildren Kristin Elizabeth and Sheldon Davis, Hilary Grace and Chris Banda, and Richard Randolph Thorne, as well as great-grandchildren, Mason Richard, Lorelei “Rory” Elizabeth, and Lucas MacKay Davis, and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the caregivers of Care Resolutions, Inc. and Care Dimensions Hospice House for their unwavering support and compassion in Grace’s final days.

Family and friends will honor and remember Grace’s life by gathering for a time of visitation in the McCarthy, McKinney & Lawler Funeral Home, 11 Lincoln St. Framingham on Saturday, November 12th from 9-10:30AM. Her Funeral Mass will follow in St. Stephen Church, 221 Concord St. Framingham at 11:00 o’clock. Interment in St. Stephen Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Grace’s memory can be made to Care Dimensions Hospice House Tree of Light or the American Heart Association.

For online tributes or to share a memory with Grace’s family, kindly visit

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.