Alice Mae Reece Canada
1935-2016
Click on pictures to see full or larger image
Some dates are approximate.
There are more photos on
Zeb & Vallie's Photo page -
HERE
When I describe my mother to people who have never met her one of the first things that I say is that if you put her in a line or in a room
with complete strangers, within 15 minutes she will know everyone within her radius’ life story. That was her personality.

Because this story is more current than the others, the way I am going to tell this will be different from the previous format. It will consist
less of census records – which can be found on her (
Zeb Reece and Vallie McClure) parent’s pages – and more of stories and photos I
want to share. I do have some records like her DD214, her birth and death certificate and her marriage certificate to Bobbie Canada, but
will not be sharing them here. If you need a copy, please just let me know.

Per her birth certificate, Alice Mae Reece Canada was born at home at 18 W. Archwood Ave, Akron OH on January 28, 1935 at 6:30 a.
m. and delivered by midwife Mary Markva.  I tried to google it but I think the house is no longer there and has been replaced by a
commercial building. It was on the little section of Archwood between Main St and Firestone Parkway.

She moved to North Carolina with her family when she was under 2 years old.  They stayed there for a year and a half while Firestone
Tire and Rubber was on strike.  Her father worked there 38 years and retired from there.

When they returned the lived at 1542 Woods Rd, near Springfield, Ohio.  In about 1944 the whole family moved onto a 45 acre farm
outside of Lodi. 9601 Rivers Corner Rd, Homerville, OH.
Alice as a Junior (1952) at Homer High
School.  Front row, 4th from the left.
Momma went into the Navy on July 21, 1953 right after high school and served as a Wave until May 28, 1954.  She was granted an
Honorable Discharge with a code I am still working on unraveling. But I believe it was a medical code pertaining to pregnancy.  Before 1973
women were automatically discharged when they became pregnant.  I have her DD214 and she lists her address as living in Arlington,
Virginia, which agrees with what I know of my early childhood. I cannot find any duty station mentioned other than Washington DC and as I
mentioned I am still working on unraveling the codes to glean more.
After 5 of the children married, her parents moved to live at 4421 Manchester Rd, Akron, OH in Coventry Township.  This is the house
I remember most although I did visit my grandparents in Candler NC many years later. This is also the address I believe momma lived
at when she graduated from Coventry High School. She always felt Homer High School was her high school as she only attended
Coventry her Senior year (1953)
Sunday School Class - Ca 1945.  Alice
is near the back
(see arrow) and her
sister, Vivian, is the blonde in the
center of the second row.
The only story she told me from these years was that back then the high school girls used to write their phone number on scraps of
paper and throw them out the bus window.  I once asked her why and she just laughed and said she couldn’t remember. Jean McFerren
was her best friend.
1953 High School Senior Picture
In uniform
In front of the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier in D.C.
In the barracks - she is on the far left
with her back to the camera.
Alice (L) in her pea coat
In Dress Whites - Alice kneeling
In Dress Whites, Alice far Left
What follows here are my attempts to share some of the little things and some big things that pop into my head when I think about life with
my mother.  I know I am leaving a lot out, but you are welcome to write your own story.  If you share it with me I can add it to here.

Being the oldest gives me some advantage as I remember living places my other siblings might not.  
As the oldest, I always knew when a
baby was coming because the big pot that was the bottle sterilizer got brought out and cleaned.

My brother Ronald and I and our Dalmatian (Lady) lived in Arlington VA when I was a toddler.  So I don’t have too many more memories
from there. I know we lived in Keene NH for a short time, but I don’t remember quite where this fit in the scheme of things.

She and Richard (marriage #1) appeared in the city directory living on 26 Sims in Newport Rhode Island in both 1958 and 1959. He is
listed as being in the Navy.  This was in Navy housing and I remember the siding was those funny chalky shingles and across the street
was a big hill that led down to a busy road that we used to sled on when it snowed. This was also the house that I remember after a
hurricane the storm drain was full to overflowing and one of our balls was bobbing about on top.  She waded out there and unclogged it
rescuing the ball.  Pretty sure that we were still living in Rhode Island until sometime shortly after 1960.

As I look back I realize that she was very young. In 1960 she would have been just 25 years old.

I remember traveling on a stinky greyhound bus when we were all very young. We may have been going to Ohio to see her family. It also
could have been when we moved to Ohio to be near her family. But she was by herself and had a pile of little kids with her. What a lady!
Probably Easter - East Barberton Homes
After Richard and Alice got divorced, we lived in Ohio on $180 a month child support and surplus food.  We lived in the ‘projects’ (which
are re-built now) on the East side of Barberton, OH and later moved to Norton Homes (another housing project in Barberton).   Even
though we were sometimes the family that Salvation Army gave toys to at Christmas - we were together. Some hard choices were made
during those years and today everything is as it should be.

It was there we trick or treated at night with momma following the whole way. We learned how to ride bikes and played hide and seek
and had picnics with neighbors at night during the summer.  I remember chocolate no-bake oatmeal cookies and that great Cheese that
came in a box meant to hold crayons later.  The funniest thing was the neighborhood water fights which momma always won because
she had the biggest ‘army’ bring her ammunition.  Which involved guarding the water hose and getting around them to go into the
house and fill pitchers and buckets and whatever from the kitchen sink to hand off to momma to throw at her neighbor who was doing
the same thing.

Through it all my momma was beautiful and strong and kept us all safe, fed and with a roof over our heads.  I never felt poor or
deprived. We all made it just fine.

There are a bunch of us girls and if you heard the list of names (Mar-She-Norm…until she got to you – you knew she was mad). And
when it was haircut time my brother, Phillip, used to throw such a fit that we all stood around and cried while she held a screaming
thrashing toddler down to give him a haircut.  Poor woman.  LOL.  I once asked her how she did it. How she raised so many kids and
didn’t go crazy.  She said that her philosophy was to have a good sense of humor and don’t ask too many questions.
The sometime in the mid 1960’s Bobbie Canada came into our lives.  Momma used to wear these pink gingham shorts and push us on
the merry go round. I think Poppa came to watch her one day. My first memory of him was his red jeans, black and red long-sleeved
soccer shirt (which I later confiscated for my own) and dark hair styled in a duck-tail.  Poppa, who was a great one with nicknames
(everyone had one) called mom Lucy. They finally got
married on July 5, 1977. Unfortunately, he passed away December 12, 1990.
Eleven days after the last time I saw him
He was 5'4". she was barely 5' - I think
she told me they had to fib a bit so she
could get in the Navy.  This paisley
pantsuit was mostly turquoise.
As you would expect some of my strongest memories involved food. I got out of shucking corn because it kicked my allergies off so horribly!
I hated tomatoes and would refuse to eat them. This was way before the days you could order what you wanted like a restaurant.  
Whatever she made, you ate or you didn’t. There were days we only had beans…probably why later I refused to eat them.

Because our family was always big it seems she was always cooking for an army. A five pound sack of potatoes would go in one meal.  I
don’t know how she fed us all but I am sure that poppa being around and working at 20th Century Furnace helped.

I remember her Purple Passion and Coleus plants in the bay window at our house on Wilbur Avenue. I know she loved plants, but seldom
had time for them.  These were grand and wild and beautiful and I hope I inherited some of her green thumb.  She loved her rose bushes
and I planted a gardenia by her porch and hope that folks there take care of it. Or just call me and I will come get it.

I remember Kyle not wanting to go for a ride in the car and standing up in the front seat throwing a fit.  I was sitting in the back.  I remember
Loretta as a very small infant.  I remember the whole family walking into town with a few kids riding the stroller and the others holding onto
the sides or back. All walking in a tight group.

I remember her hands being red from canning chow-chow and the stink of the sauerkraut the time she tried to make it.  I remember the
sweet potato pie she made just for me.  I think Sheila’s pie was cherry.

If memory served me right, one of her favorite snacks was cornbread buttermilk and onion mixed together in a big Tupperware cup.  And
the butter pecan ice cream she always ordered whenever she got the chance.

I left home shortly after I turned 18 (1972) and didn’t move back in again, so my memories become more disjointed here.

At some point my best friend from high school, Reca, was working in a little neighborhood bar on Waterloo Rd. I was up there for what my
memory wants to call New Year’s Eve, but I don’t remember anyone there except mom and poppa who were jitterbug dancing like pros.

I remember her working very little. She had her hands full taking care of all of us.  After she moved to Alabama with Poppa, she worked at a
Hibbit Sports store, as a product demonstrator and (of all things) at a church daycare! I believe that when I was little I heard a story of how
she once worked at a candy factory.  I have visions of the I Love Lucy episode and can totally picture her there!
Ah here it is!
And on the same visit.

Momma wanted to go pay her respects at her parent’s graves, so we drove out to Perrysville, Oh.  After we were done we noticed a
canoe rental right next door.  “Come on”, I said, “I have done this loads of times!  Let’s go!” It was a nice sunny afternoon so we rented
a canoe. Amy got in the front, momma in the middle and me in the back.  As we pushed away from the shore of the Mohican River I said
– “Oh by the way, I have never steered.”  Momma shouted “Take me back take me back right now”.  The current was already taking us
down river and that wasn’t going to happen. So the three of us bounced our way from side to side for two hours. Laughing the whole
way.  Once our canoe got hung up in about 2” of water and some shallow rocks.  Momma refused to get out so we could get unstuck.  
Pretty funny!
2015 on the Glass bottom boat - Silver
Springs State Park, Ocala FL
Easter 1955 (me & Mom
Check out those red shoes!
Growing up in the 1960s-70s with momma and poppa was interesting to say the least.  As the oldest and first one to date I was the
guinea pig. She once helped me get past poppa when I came in late from a date. Once when my sister’s forgot to put the ladder away,
she took it down so we couldn’t sneak out of the house. We never did find that roll of scotch tape that she put up so we wouldn’t use it all!
ca 1972
1055 Wilbur Ave.
Akron, OH
Fast forward to probably 1993 or thereabouts to two of my favorite mommy stories.  

Stop me if you’ve heard them….too late…here goes.

My niece, Amy, and momma came to Ohio to visit.  When they pulled in to the driveway, I asked her if she was tired and wanted to rest,
she said, no she wanted to go out. Oh?  Ok.  So she and I went to a local country western night club called Broncos.  We sat at a high top
table right by the steps up to the bar and looked out over the dance floor and ordered a couple of beers.  I don’t remember much else
about that night, but what I do remember is her talking about roping cowboys and the line of young men standing a step below us lined up
and hanging on this little white haired sparkly blue-eyed lady’s every word. I think I have a picture somewhere…..
In June of 1991 she got to visit with her siblings in NC.  
Like any grown daughter who had moved away. We saw each other not often enough and talked on the phone when we could. I should
have paid more attention when I had time with her.

Since I had been working on her family history, I was excited when the first annual McClure Reunion was planned for the Spring of 2014.  
It was, unfortunately, the beginning of a very rough time for momma and for us all.  I called her that morning from our hotel with the
intention of going by the house and picking her up to go to NC.  She sounded awful and an executive decision was made to take her
immediately to the hospital where we learned of her Stage 4 problems.

She fought hard and she was strong.  She was independent as she could be until a day or so before she passed away.
Some random photos I liked.
ca 2000 - mother's church portrait
Pretty sure these are the pink
gingham shorts Poppa liked.
mid 1960s
Some of the most beautiful pictures of
her were taken at my daughter's
wedding in 2012.
2009 at a Pow Wow
while visiting Florida
2010 on her 75th birthday
She looked like a queen
Being silly at the wedding photo
booth.  If you have been through her
mother's pages you will know that the
apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
I couldn't resist!
See!
Probably my all time favorite photo -
I call it JOY
(me, daughter, and Alice)
I was fortunate enough to have her be able to come stay in Florida with me for 6 weeks in the fall of 2015.  We jumped right in and went
to the flea market (I pushed her in a wheelchair) and not long after we went on a glass bottom boat ride at Silver Springs State Park in
Ocala, FL.  We had the silliest time because I pushed her really fast in her rolling walker chair thingy! She had a terrific day and loved
seeing the birds and the turtles and a gator up close. Not to mention the ice cream afterward.
2014 September
December 2015
2015 Alabama at T's house
She even (grudgingly) learned how to drive one of those carts in Wal-Mart! That was
funny too!  And she only backed into one guy.
2015 Silver Springs State Park - that
ice cream sure was good!
This is the hard part - After all these
happy pictures and memories.

I decided to put her
In Closing on a
separate page.  You can find it by
clicking
 HERE.
In The Misty Moonlight Lyrics
by Jim Reeves

In the misty moonlight
By the flickering firelight
Any place is all right
Long as I'm with you (long as I'm with you)

In a faraway land
On the tropic sea-sand
If your hand's in my hand
I won't be blue

Way up on the mountain,
Way down in the valley
I know I'll be happy
Anyplace, anywhere
I don't care

In the misty moonlight
By the flickering firelight
Any place is all right
Long as you are there

I could be happy in one little room
With only a table and a chair
As happy as I'd be in a kingdom by the sea
Darling, if you were there

And I could be rich or I could be poor
But if you were by my side
I could be anyplace in this whole wide world
And I know I'd be satisfied

Way up on the mountain,
Way down in the valley
I know I'll be happy
Anyplace, anywhere
I don't care

In the misty moonlight
By the flickering firelight
Any place is all right
Long as you are there...
Click on the musical notes to listen
to Mom and Pop's 'Song'.
grade school ?
2003
in OH for her
class reunion
And a few more - taken in Washington
DC in April 1954