DERBY – Gracella Lane (“Gracie”) Hiett passed away Saturday, Sept. 18. 2021. Memorial services 11:00 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at Smith Mortuary in Derby. Donations may be made to: P.E.O Chapter JY (c/o LeArta Watkins, Treasurer,139 Maxine Ct., Derby, KS 67037). All donations will benefit Cottey College.
She was born on Aug. 18, 1940, in Chanute, Kan., to Vincent V. and Dorothy M. Lane. Most of her childhood was spent in Kansas City, Kan., where her father was a reporter and owned a printing business and her mother owned a retail store.
Gracie excelled in speech and debate at Wyandotte High School and at Kansas State University. While debating for KSU, she met and subsequently married William R. Hiett of Hutchinson, Kan., in 1959. They had two daughters. They divorced in 1974.
Gracie’s love of travel led to a 35-year career in the travel industry. She began as a travel agent in Hutchinson. She managed agencies in Wichita and Jonesboro, Ark., before moving to Boston, Mass., to become a travel consultant with the Institute of Certified Travel Agents. She loved the public speaking opportunities and also wrote curriculum to train new travel agents.
After retirement, Gracie returned to Kansas, settling in Derby.
In 2020 Gracie reached a milestone of 50 years with P.E.O., a women’s philanthropic organization. She was a founding member of the JY Chapter in Derby.
Survivors include two daughters, Jeni Hiett Umble and Kym Roberts-Mitchell, both of Colorado, and their families; two brothers, Hoppy Lane and Rob Lane; and one sister, Jaime Mertz.
She was predeceased by one sister, Becky Tompkins.