Grace M. Hansen Buell

1907 - 1987

Grace Hanson Buell was an accomplished violinist who taught in Seventh-day Adventist schools in the late 1920s and 1930s in the Chicago, Illinois, and Portland, Oregon, areas and in Southern California. She toured widely in her younger years and played frequently later in life.

Grace was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, one of two daughters of William A. and Margaret Ugland Hansen. Both she and her older sister, Mildred, were talented children who had excellent training in violin and piano, respectively. Grace began violin lessons at age seven and at age sixteen entered the American Conservatory of music, where she was awarded the Kaiser and Paganini medals in performance. She launched a concert career when she performed at age nineteen as a guest soloist in Orchestra Hall in Chicago. She subsequently toured widely as a soloist.

She and her sister were hired to teach violin and piano at Chicago Conference Academy in the fall of 1926, three years after it was founded. They then taught together at Laurelwood Academy, beginning in 1929 and continuing until 1932. At that time Grace married Ronald Edwin Buell, a physician, and they moved to California, where she taught at SDA schools in the Los Angeles area, directed the choir at the Santa Ana SDA church for many years, and frequently performed as a soloist in Adventist churches and with her sister.

The Buells were living in Santa Ana when she died at age eighty, shortly after playing for her nephew's wedding aboard the Queen Mary, which is docked at Long Beach. A memorial scholarship to assist violin and organ performance majors has been established in her name at La Sierra University.

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Sources: 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal Census Records; Lake Union Herald, 18 August 1926, 4; North Pacific Union Gleaner, 20 August 1929, 12; 8 October 1929, 2; 11 November 1930,12; Pacific Union Recorder, 25 March 1963, 4; HansonBodins Family Tree, Ancestory.com; California Death Index, 1940-1997;SDA Yearbooks, 1932-35 and 1939, 1940; La Sierra University website, scholarship listings and biographies.