Former local farrier Pat Grady of Portola Valley dies at 79


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By David Boyce

Almanac Staff Writer

Patrick Grady, a former resident of Portola Valley and a longtime farrier for area horses, died on Jan. 2 at his home in Sutter Creek, where he raised miniature horses. He was 79.

Mr. Grady learned the horse-shoeing trade from his father Ed, said Grady family friend Sue Sheehan in an interview. He shoed polo horses at Webb Ranch (just east of Ladera) and the horses of Portola Valley co-founder Bill Lane, a lifelong equestrian.

Mr. Grady was a horseman himself and a life member of the San Mateo County Horsemen's Association, of which he was president in 1975, Ms. Sheehan said. After he moved to Sutter Creek in 1984, he would come back to this area to continue his trade. "He enjoyed it. He really enjoyed it," Ms. Sheehan said.

Mr. Grady was born in San Mateo, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and lived in the Woodside Highlands neighborhood of Portola Valley for 26 years. He and his wife Agnes raised three sons, all of whom went to Portola Valley Elementary School and Woodside High School, his daughter-in-law Connie Grady said in an e-mail.

Throughout his life, he was known as a good storyteller with a positive attitude, Ms. Sheehan said. As a young man, he was a speed skater.

Mr. Grady contracted terminal stomach cancer and had been living in a hospice in Sutter Creek in the expectation that he would die soon, Ms. Sheehan said. He did not die soon and eventually moved in with his son.

On Aug. 20, his family threw him a combination birthday party/wake at which he reportedly said: "I'm probably the only one having a birthday and wake in the same week!"

"They expected him to die any day but he didn't," Ms. Sheehan said. "He fooled everybody and lived a lot longer than they expected."

"He continued to go to the casino, eat all his favorite sweets, and smoke until the very end," his daughter-in-law said.

Mr. Grady was preceded in death by his wife, Agnes, and their son, Daniel. His survivors, all of whom live in California, are his sons Ed Grady of Sutter Creek and Mike Grady of Shingle Springs; sister Katie Hayes of Cameron Park; and brother John of El Dorado.

Donations in Mr. Grady's memory be made to Hospice of Amador and Calaveras.

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