Photography

Alice Louise Stoneman

February 20, 1926 ~ February 15, 2020 (age 93)

Tribute

Alice Louise Cox was born February 20, 1926, to Joshua James Cox and Genevieve (Schnebly) Cox on their farm near Genoa, Colorado.  Her family, including Alice and 5 younger siblings, stayed on the farm through the Great Depression; times were tough, and they learned frugal habits that lasted their whole lives.  Her mother died when Alice was 13, so Alice and the older children helped their father raise the younger children.

The family moved to Denver. Alice attended North High School, and was an active member of Beth Eden Church. Traveling with her church youth group to church conferences and to ski trips gave her first taste of travel and adventure.  World War II was raging during her high school years; she spent her spare time writing letters for recovering soldiers and going to USO dances.

After Alice graduated from North High, she went to work as a secretary for various businesses in Denver.

Alice met William R. Stoneman, the love of her life, at a party, thrown by mutual friends. Alice and Russ were married August 22, 1957, at Beth Eden Baptist Church.  The happy newlyweds proceeded to build their new family and life together.

They had 4 children and started to travel: Becky, in Denver; Debi and Lafe, in Fairbanks, Alaska (Russ working at Eilson Air Force Base); and Jan, in Bremerton, Washington (Navy). 

With 4 young children in tow (ages 5 yrs to 8 mo.), the real adventure began in 1964, when Russ took an engineering job in Lahore, Pakistan, designing and building a system of canals, dams and reservoirs for USAID.

The Stoneman clan thrived in the exotic culture.  The heat, dirt, tropical diseases, and poisonous snakes were offset by the comradery of other ex-pats (especially Bishop and Haycock families). After school, Alice took the kids for fun afternoons at the British Club pool.  Highlights of Pakistan were vacation in the Himalayan foothills and the yearly Horse Show in Lahore, where Sikh and British military traditions combined in a great show.  Alice and the kids left Pakistan on an American military airplane that evacuated all the women and children when the Pakistani Civil War became too dangerous.  Russ followed 6 months later.

After about 1 year in Denver, Alice and family moved to Thailand in 1968, on a similar work assignment.  Their first year was in a small town on the beach on Gulf of Thailand called Hua Hin.  Alice taught the kids correspondence school till lunch time, then, if all lessons were done, they went to the beach for the afternoon.  The kids were soon playing soccer and swimming with the local kids, all the grammas wanted to hold Jan, and Alice learned to haggle (bargain) for food in the markets. The idyllic life in Hua Hin lasted one year.  Cobras, sea-snakes, and tropical fevers were persistent dangers, and emergency medical treatment consisted of black-market sulfa packets from the nearby Vietnam War. 

They moved to Bangkok, the capitol, where they stayed for 4 more years.  Life was more civilized and modern, but overpopulated and had terrible traffic.  Alice drove the kids to the Ruam Rudi Catholic School across town.  She helped at the American Women’s Club charity events and thrift store. There was no beach or nearby pool, but the family soon became good friends with 2 interesting sets of neighbors.  Madame Nuanchan, our neighbor and landlord, was the first wife of the previous Thai Prime Minister.  She raised beautiful orchids, and could whip all of us at badminton.  She spoiled Jan terribly, as she wanted grandchildren and her own 2 children were single and in college in Michigan. 

The other neighbours were the Deane-Smiths, New Zealanders, with 2 kids that were the same age as the Stoneman kids, and just as fun and adventurous.

While in Thailand, the family enjoyed the great Thai food, took numerous trips to the zoo and Rose Garden, the Floating Market, rode elephants, rode the train from HuaHin to Bangkok, visited many Buddhist temples, etc, and took vacations at the beach in HuaHin.

The family moved back to Denver in 1973. The work was wrapping up, Russ’s father was sick with ALS, and Russ and Alice had decided that the kids needed to go to high school in the US so they would be socially adjusted and education-ready for college.  Instead of flying back, the family spent a month crossing the Pacific on a freighter, with stops for loading in HongKong, Taiwan, and finally to Seattle.

Back in the US for good, the family adjusted to typical American life. They lived in the same house in SW Denver (owned by Russ’ parents) that they had lived in  before Pakistan and between Pakistan and Thailand; it was truly a “home base” amidst all the travel; Russ’ parents lived across the street, most of the families on the block had known each other for years:  Reeds, Sinclairs, Allens, Garcias, and Stonemans. The kids went to junior high and high school, got good grades, and were on swimming,  diving, and soccer teams. Alice was active in PTA, and took care of the kids and the house, and drove kids to swim meets and soccer games. Russ went off to work.

Alice and family lived in Denver until 1980, then moved into a house they built near Berthoud, CO, on 40 acres on the edge of the Front Range.  Becky, Debi, and Lafe were in college at CU Boulder, and Jan would be starting soon. After several years on the farm, Russ started looking into work overseas again, and soon was back in Pakistan, evaluating the structures he had made 30  years before.  Alice went along with him several times over the years.  She was with him in Pakistan in 1992, when he died of a heart attack. He was 62 yrs old.  She never quite recovered from Russ’ death; they loved and depended on each other so much.

The years passed, the kids became adults, got jobs, homes, spouses, kids, of their own.  Alice got older, too,  and arthritis made movement more difficult, and eventually she moved into elder care at Acel in Longmont.  She passed away on Feb. 15, 2020, just days before her 94 th birthday.  She died after breakfast, watching the morning news, holding Jan’s hand, without pain, and no doubt happy to be reunited with Russ.

Alice loved people; she loved her husband, kids, grandkids, and friends. And they loved her back.  No one could accuse her of being shy. Her generous nature kept her corresponding with friends she had made around the world. Friends from college or work always had a place for a good home-cooked meal, a quiet weekend at the farm and often received cards for birthdays and events in their lives. She was a prolific reader.  She loved God and prayed often for everybody she knew.

Alice was predeceased by: her husband, William Russell Stoneman of Berthoud, CO;  her parents,  Joshua James Cox, of Denver, CO, and Genevieve (Schnebly) Cox, of Genoa, CO;  1 sisters, Helen (Cox) Burham, of Simi Valley, CA and a brother, Jim Cox, of Conifer, CO.

Alice is survived by 4 children and 6 grandchildren:  daughter Becky Stoneman, of Houston, TX, and her son, Nate Bachtel, of New Haven, CN; daughter Debi (Stoneman) Altany, husband Bob, and daughters, Claire and Margie  of Midland, TX;  son, Lafe Stoneman, wife Karen, and sons, Alex and Will, of Longmont, CO; and daughter Jan Stoneman Mathis, husband Andy, and son Wiley of Lafayette, CO.

Alice's family will have a gathering to remember her down the road when it is safe to do so in Colorado.


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