Vail Daily obituary: Alice May Koonce, 1920-2015
Alice May Koonce, 95, died at home in Grand Junction on Nov. 27.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Winston Koonce; her oldest son, Harold (Hal) Winston Koonce Jr.; and her daughter-in-law, Pat Koonce.
Alice Randall was born in Boulder on Jan. 28, 1920. She spent much of her early life living in Glenwood Canyon, where her father was the superintendent of the Shoshone Dam Power Plant. She attended high school in Glenwood Springs and in 1941, she graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in elementary education.
On June 22, 1941, she married Harold W. Koonce, of Eagle. Following the birth of their first child Susan, they lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Port Orchard, Washington, and San Francisco while Harold served in the Navy during World War II. After the war, they made their home in a little log house in Eagle that Harold had built for Alice. Soon, sons Hal, Chris and Steve were born, followed by another daughter, Ann. Alice and Harold raised their family and thrived in Eagle for 54 years before moving to Montrose in 1999. In 2001, they moved to Grand Junction to be closer to their daughter Ann.
Alice was a devoted, loving mother and grandmother. Her cooking and baking provided the centerpieces around which family gathered for many meals and mountain picnics. She was a skilled seamstress and knitter, providing her family with beautiful sweaters, socks, suits and dresses for special occasions. She loved the mountains and canyons in which she grew up and where she raised her children. She took a keen interest in the plants, animals and birds of these landscapes and shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for the natural world with her children and grandchildren. Hiking, camping and golf were life-long pleasures for Alice, her family and friends. An avid reader, Alice served on the Eagle Public Library board and was active in the effort to build its new home in 1997. She also shared her love of books and language as a teacher at Eagle Junior High School. She was active in the Republican Party. She enjoyed playing the organ every Sunday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Alice is survived by her children Susan (John Lyons) Koonce, of Durango; Chris (Tonie), of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Steve (Sheryl) Koonce, of Boulder; Ann (David) Baldwin, of Grand Junction; 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of her life will be scheduled in Eagle for the summer of 2016. Memorial contributions may be sent to Hope West and Hospice Care Center, 3090B N. 12th St., Grand Junction, CO 81506.
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