Nov. 16, 1942 — Oct. 12, 2012
Alice Rae (Saunders) Stoltz, 69, passed away Friday.
Alice was a loving wife to Michael Stoltz, this spring celebrating 50 years of marriage. Together they had four children, five grandchildren and a lifetime of adventures, including traveling the world in their retirement and enjoying gardening, bird and nature watching, and gourmet cooking at their home in Albany. Alice was the cornerstone of the family, providing the planning, organization, vision and love that kept everyone together.
Alice believed in helping others. She inspired her husband, Mike, and all four children to complete their college education. She pursued her own college education over 10 years by consistently taking night classes while raising the children and working to support the family.
Alice was born in a small town, Scobey, Mont., near where her parents, Edna and Laurence Saunders, operated the L&E Saunders General Merchandise store in Whitetail, Mont. After her father died when she was 4 years old, Alice was raised in Bozeman, Mont., where she met Mike.
After their marriage on May 28, 1962, in Bozeman, Alice and Mike farmed in Sunburst, Mont., for six years before moving to Culbertson, Mont., from 1968 to 1972. Alice was instrumental in starting the Newcomers Club that welcomed new arrivals to Culbertson. She also was the president of the Home Demonstration Club.
The growing family then moved to Glendive, Mont., from 1972 to 1979, where Alice became a talented legal secretary and became an active leader in her children’s activity clubs, including
4-H and the Glendive Swim Team, and helped her children excel in competitions.
Alice had a tremendous capacity for hard work and commitment to building a better life for her family. With Alice’s vision and planning, in Glendive the whole family participated in building a solar home, complete with homemade solar collectors. For nine months, while Mike pursued his master’s degree in Oregon, the family of six lived in a two-bedroom apartment while Alice worked to support them.
Following the opportunity for a better job for Mike and a broader experience for her children, Alice and the family moved to Eugene in 1979, staying until 1986 when the children completed high school. She continued her legal secretarial career in Eugene and in Pendleton, where she and her husband moved after the children left for college.
In Pendleton, Alice was an active member of the Soroptimist Club, once making 30 pies to support the club. In 1998, she and her husband moved to the Corvallis/Albany area, where she retired from being a legal secretary.
Throughout her life, Alice actively supported her husband’s efforts to further international relationships, enjoying both travel and the opportunity to teach and learn from people all over the world. In 1992 Alice accompanied Mike on a six-month assignment through the Polish-American Extension Project Team, to help Polish farmers become responsive to a free-market system. The project won international acclaim.
While in Poland, Alice taught computer skills and held classes for the Polish home economics extension specialists on how to cook low-fat meals. Alice also accompanied her husband on assignment to Ethiopia.
During their retirement, Alice and Mike often spent two or three winter months in Arizona traveling in their RV, and eventually traveled to more than 22 foreign countries. Thailand was her favorite.
Alice was an 11-year breast cancer survivor. Her surgeon credited her with saving her own life through self-examination.
Alice is survived by her husband, Mike Stoltz of Albany; children Rhonda Stoltz and husband Steve Mustoe of Eugene, DeNel Stoltz and stepdaughter Kiara of Bellingham, Wash., Craig Stoltz and wife Amy and children Erin, Cody and Courtney of Portland, and Shawna Moos, husband Rich and children Terrence and Olivia of Centerville, Mass; her older sister, Mary Deighton of Bozeman; older brother Leslie Saunders of Bozeman; and younger brother Allen Saunders of Jackson, Wyo.
Alice was a private person and did not want to be in the spotlight. At Alice’s request she will be cremated and there will be no memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name can be made to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer foundation in care of Fisher Funeral Home, 306 Washington St. S.W., Albany, OR 97321.