Alice Marie Simon

Alice Marie Simon

June 05, 1923 - March 19, 2023

Alice Marie Simon

June 05, 1923 - March 19, 2023


Alice Marie Stanley Coleman Simon Strait
June 5, 1923 – March 19, 2023

Alice passed away peacefully just two months shy of her 100th birthday at her daughter Caryn Puma’s home in Laguna Woods, California where she lived the last two plus years of her life. Even in her later years, she enjoyed a rich life with many interests including family, church, and volunteer work. But as much as anything, we will remember her as an enthusiastic lover of and ambassador for square dancing. One of her few regrets was not being able to persuade her children and their families to become square dancers.

Born in 1923 in Mankato, Kansas as Alice Marie Stanley, she was raised in Topeka, Kansas where her family moved when she was two years old. She was the third of her parents’ four children and became known as Ree in the family when her young brother had trouble saying Alice Marie. Her father owned a grocery store, and she loved working there with him after school and on Saturdays. She used to say she wasn’t a better cook because she was at the store with Dad instead of home with Mom. After high school, she stayed in Topeka to attend Washburn University, graduating with a major in mathematics and a minor in music.

In 1945 she moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to work for the army as a computer (mathematician). After the war she worked at the China Lake Naval Ordinance Test Station in the Mojave Desert of California. There she met her first husband, Robert Coleman.

Marrying in 1948, and settling a few years later in Los Angeles, Alice gave birth to five children over the next ten years. Initially, a stay-at-home mom, she later went back to work as a bookkeeper and office manager. Through good and bad times, she devoted herself to raising her kids and keeping the family together. She often referred to her children as her pride and joy; looking back her children marvel at her strength providing a nurturing and stable home. But her husband Robert became ill and died young.

In 1984, Alice married her second husband Robert Simon, and the couple moved to a new home in Temecula. They had met at a square-dancing class and spent many happy evenings dancing in fine square-dancing attire. After having spent so many years raising kids and taking care of others, Alice thoroughly enjoyed how Bob Simon took care of her. Sadly, after six happy years together, Bob died suddenly following a heart attack.

Alice then moved to Rancho Bernardo where she continued square dancing and took up the game of bridge. In 2000, Alice married her third husband, Art Strait, who was another square dancer. Art was a kind man who played guitar and sang with a gentle voice. He died from lung cancer in 2002, but they had two great years together.

Alice continued square dancing, enjoying the advanced and challenge programs. She often hosted dancers at her home in the garage and even the driveway if there were enough dancers for two squares. For her 95th birthday party at her daughter Cheryl’s house, she invited a caller and did her best to get all her family and friends in a square with her. Her other interests included membership and volunteering in the Assistance League, PEO and RB Singles, and being involved in Hope United Methodist Church. She was vigorous into her 97th year and sharp and feisty until the end.

Besides her three husbands, she is preceded in death by her first child, Robert Stanley Coleman, her parents Albert and Gladys Stanley, and her siblings Ruth Stanley Johnston, Carl Seaton Stanley, and Oren Andrew Stanley. She leaves her four other children Richard Dennis Coleman, Caryn Ruth Puma, Cheryl Diane Gabele, and Lori Marie Walker, along with many nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held June 10, 2023, 1PM, at Hope United Methodist Church at 16550 Bernardo Heights Pkwy, San Diego, CA 92128 where we hope to soon place an outside bench in her honor. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Society, the Salvation Army, or perhaps your local square dance club. See you in a Square!


Celebration Of Life

  • Date & Time: June 10, 2023 (1:00 PM)
  • Venue: Hope United Methodist Church
  • Location: 16550 Bernardo Heights Pkwy San Diego, CA 92128 - (Get Directions)

American Cancer Society

American Diabetes Society

Your Local Square Dance Club

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