Alice Minerva Blakely
January 15, 1906 – January 3, 2004
Alice passed away quietly at the age of 97 years surrounded by family Saturday night in Vernon, British Columbia.
Born in Kalispell, Montana just after the turn of the last century she spent her young years in Kalispell then journeyed with her parents and 5 siblings to Canada to Virden Manitoba and at the age of 16 attended Saskatchewan Teachers College in Regina and Saskatoon. She taught music and classroom subjects in Primary schools in Prince Albert from 1923 to 1967. After marrying her husband Alex in 1933 (taking off 12 years to raise her 2 boys) she left behind a legacy of many individuals, colleagues and families whose time of need was met by a strong, loving and supportive lady.
Alex, whom she met in a violin orchestra, was in real estate and insurance all of his life and active in the Boy Scout movement as a Commissioner. He passed away in 1972 on a golf course in Honolulu.
Alice directed many festival choruses and choirs, sang with her strong contralto voice well into her 80s in the Wesley United Church choir taking solos in the Messiah and other cantatas on a regular basis.
She introduced the children of Prince Albert to the ukulele and established it in the schools. She also enjoyed playing the piano, organ, violin, marimba and timpani drums in the symphony orchestra and was remembered as an accompanist who could sight read and transpose at the same time or play any piece in any key a soloist desired.
Alice was a lifelong member of the Order of the Eastern Star and received her 50 year pin in 1987. She was Worthy Grand Matron for Saskatchewan and visited each of its 100 chapters from 1961-1962. From 1982-1985 she had an appointment with the General Grand Chapter of the World on the Estarl Committee.
She was the President of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation from 1964-1966 and served for 2 years as President of the Superannuated Teachers Group.
Alice is survived by her two children Dr. John (Noreen) Blakely of Toronto and Bob (Lindy) Blakely of Vernon, B.C. as well as six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Known for helping people in difficulty Alice was loved by her family and all those who knew her for her generosity, jolly personality and continual sense of humour. It was typical of her when shortly before her death she joked that she no longer had to worry about ‘dying young’.
Alice’s celebration of life will be held at Trinity United Church on Thursday, January 8, 2004 at 1:00 pm with Blair and Sheila Odney officiating. A memorial service will be held later in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Arrangements are in the care of Coates Funeral Services 558-0866.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Boys & Girls Club, 3300 – 37th Avenue, Vernon, BC.