LOS ANGELES — Robert W. “Bob” Gracey, a former Inyo County Supervisor, passed away on Jan. 16, 2023, at the age of 94, the Manzanar Committee said in a statement.
Gracey was born on Dec. 10, 1928, in Kearsarge in California about five miles east of Independence, which is roughly eight miles north of Manzanar.
Gracey worked for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power as a hydrographer, spending time checking on LADWP wells at Manzanar.
“Gracey was elected in late 1992 to the Inyo County Board of Supervisors, representing the Fourth District, which includes the Manzanar National Historic Site. Almost immediately after taking office, he dove, head first, into work to establish and develop the site,” the statement said.
Two projects that Gracey played a key role in were the hazardous materials clean-up of the former Manzanar High School auditorium (now the Visitors Center), which had been used by Inyo County as a maintenance facility for decades, and the land exchange that would allow the Manzanar National Historic Site to be expanded from its original 500 acres to its current 814 acres.
“Gracey took on a leading role regarding Manzanar on behalf of Inyo County, but not only because the site was in his district. He also understood the importance of the Manzanar National Historic Site on all levels,” the statement said.
The committee presented Gracey with the 2016 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.