Rosie the Riveter was an allegorical cultural icon of World War II. She is used as a symbol of American feminism and women’s economic advantage. American women played important roles during World War II, both at home and in uniform. Around 5 million civilian women served in the defense industry and elsewhere in the commercial sector during this time with the aim of freeing men to fight in the war.
Grace Kenyon of Cassopolis is our own local Rosie the Riveter. Grace grew up in Lake Odessa, Michigan and married her high school sweetheart in 1944. When her husband fell ill, Gracie started working at a General Motors plant in Grand Rapids. She worked there for over a year with her sister-in-law and an all-female crew. Grace’s main job at the plant was to smooth out rivets on the planes that were being built, while her sister-in- law worked in purchasing parts and supplies for the planes. Grace enjoyed her time working on planes and was happy to contribute to the war effort. She was proud of being the main breadwinner in the family during this period.
Grace’s children encouraged her to move to Cass County when she became a widow so she would be closer to her family. She loves to visit the COA on Fridays and participates in our Knitting/Crocheting Club. Grace creates a variety of crochet items and is particularly proud of making lap robes that are donated to local Veterans. Thank you Grace for your lifetime of support and patriotism; we are blessed to have you part of our community.