Gracelyn grew up on a 40 acre farm in Osseo, Michigan. Noted for being fiercely independent, she married her childhood sweetheart at age 18 and drove across the US alone to live with him while he served as an Army Medic during the Vietnam War. The couple later settled near San Francisco, where Gracelyn worked as a secretary in law firms, then for the famous Napa vintner Robert Mondavi, before retiring to have her son, Dee Blackmer.
In 1977, she returned to work selling custom wooden gift packaging at Bendix Forrest Products. Simi Winery hired Gracelyn to be its Public Relations Director in 1980. Four years of exceptional media coverage launched Simi’s new wines and elevated the brand’s image. In 1984, she founded a public relations agency, Gracelyn Associates, in Healdsburg. With a staff of seven, it generated national media coverage for upscale family wineries until 1991, when she sold the agency.
Gracelyn retired mid-life in New England with her husband to travel, garden, sail, and play tennis. Rapid growth of breast cysts and tumors, however, brought surgery twice in 12 months, altering the course of her life. By adopting holistic, drug-free medicine, she stopped the growths in 1999 and ended bipolar mood swings by 2002.
The science in her first book, Healing Depression & Bipolar Disorder Without Drugs (Walker 2006), led to delivering day-long, accredited seminars for medical practitioners across the US. When patients asked for short, simple steps to recovery, without all the science, she wrote Who’s Crazy Here in 2010, outlining drug-free ways to treat the underlying causes of nine mental diagnoses in 114 pages.
Once aware that chemicals contribute to major illnesses, Gracelyn became an ardent environmentalist. As Stonington Garden Club Environmental Chair in 2002, she spearheaded creation of a 62-page guide, Earth Friendly Alternatives to herbicides, pesticides and household chemicals. Five thousand copies sold, and in 2006-2008 she became Garden Club of America Conservation Leader for 21 Connecticut and Rhode Island clubs. In 2006-2012, she founded and was President of CUSH, Inc. (Clean Up Sound & Harbors), a still-thriving non-profit.
Gracelyn produced her first television series in 2012, "Restoring Health Holistically,” and still produces a new series annually. Designed to raise awareness of effective, drug free healing options, most shows are interviews of holistic medical practitioners discussing natural treatments for so-called “incurable” diagnoses. First aired locally on SEC-TV (Channel 12), some are now available via YouTube and Facebook. For free viewing, click here.
Following the 2013 shootings at Sandy Hook School in CT, Gracelyn was appointed to the Connecticut Children’s Mental Health Task Force as a Complementary and Alternative Medicine expert. She submitted a 30-page executive summary of ten scientifically proven, easy to use, holistic treatments for State consideration, the subject of her next book.