Alice Christina (Book) Spear passed peacefully from this life on Sunday, December 25, 2011, at Childers Place in Amarillo, TX. She was 87.
A memorial service for Alice will be held in Tulia, TX at the First Presbyterian Church, Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 10:30 a.m., and her remains will be interred with her husband’s thereafter at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Alice was born in Williamson County, TX on April 28, 1924 to George William Book and Ella Anna (Richter) Book. Shortly after Alice’s birth, they moved to Nazareth, TX,where the family farm still stands today. Alice’s childhood was not unlike that of post-depression era children, from whom hard work and sacrifice were expected. It was at her mother’s elbow, though, where Alice learned the skills and values that would guide and enrich her life: an appreciation of fine tailoring, handwork and baking, the importance of a strong work ethic, and the value of quality over quantity.
After graduating from Nazareth High School in 1942, Alice went to Lubbock, TX, where she attended Draughon’s Business College. Upon completion of her studies at Draughon’s in 1943, she moved to Washington DC, where she worked in the wartime Office of Price Administration. The move to DC was a bold one for a young woman of her time, but Alice flourished in the big-city experience. Among her many memorable experiences in the nation’s capitol was the unique privilege of attending a tea at the White House at which she met then first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. During her time in DC, she blossomed into a self-reliant, impeccably fashionable, smart and fun-loving young woman.
In 1944, Alice was transferred to Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX, where she met a handsome sailor from Tulia, TX, Roy Carruth Spear. She and Roy were married at the chapel at Randolph Field on January 28, 1946. After their wedding, the couple moved to Tulia, where they lived, happily married and devoted to one another, until Roy’s passing on July 21, 2008.
From the time she arrived in Tulia until 1987, Alice enjoyed a long career as accountant and buyer for Heard and Jones Drug Store. The hub of a thriving post-war Tulia, Heard and Jones was a purveyor of not only the medicines and sundries typically associated with drug stores today, but also fine jewelry, gifts and tableware. Alice’s role as giftware and jewelry buyer was one in which she thrived. The appreciation of high quality finery that had been engrained in her from childhood suited her well for this post. Her personal collection of glorious tableware and linens served her beautifully on the numerous occasions she entertained friends and family throughout the years.
Alice had a full, blessed adult life. She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Tulia. With camera always in tow, she was the master chronicler of not only her life, bu tthose of her siblings and their families. She always maintained an active interest in her extended family’s lives. Even in her later years, with over 20 nieces and nephews spread across the country, she knew and cared exactly what each was doing and what was going on in their lives. Her mastery of culinary skills, fine tailoring, needlework, impeccable taste, and gift for entertaining brought her joy and enriched the lives of those around her. She loved a good joke, and had a wonderful, contagious laugh. She enjoyed a long, happy marriage, and was a deeply devoted wife.
Alice was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Roy C. Spear.
She is survived by a brother, George Henry Book of Blufton, TX, sisters Lois Virginia Sinclair of Yuma, AZ, Joan Frances Harvey of Santa Fe, NM and Elizabeth (Betty) Ann Sofia of Goodman, MO, 21 nieces and nephews, and 28 great-nieces and nephews.
The family is deeply indebted to the staff of Childers Place for their fine care and attentiveness to Alice during her final months, and to the directors of Boxwell Brothers for their kind and capable guidance and support during our time of loss.
“Live life well, without compromise, and enjoy!”