Alice Edith Switzer ( nee: Collett)
Was born in the early hours on Sunday December 28 1930, to her mother Pegg and her father Ed in Calgary Alberta. She was only just over 3 lbs, due to her being premature. Alice was one of the first babies to utilize an incubator in western Canada.
Spent her early life in East Calgary with summers spent on Vancouver Island. She was a voracious reader this started early age; this lasted from 3 till her passing were there was always a book by her bedside.
She showed athletic prowess but due to a childhood mastoiditis was limited due to effects on her hearing and balance. This led her to her true passion, ART. Her gifts were fostered by her favorite Aunt Jeanine. They both had talents and their attachment was lifelong. This they shared with her longest lasting friendship of 80 years, Amy.
The two shared much more than a birth year. A love for classic and modern aesthetics. As well as an intellect that brought them close. Over the next decades there were of hijinks and over the war years some hardships.
She remained scholastically gifted in most subjects, but her love for Art and poetry prevailed. This led her to A.C.A the Alberta College of Art. It was situated on the campus of S.A.I.T in SW Calgary. This where she met her life love Phill Switzer. Their connection was made via her friend Mary, Phill’s younger sister. Alice friendship shifted to a romance of over 65 years.
Over the following decades and two provinces. They married, had 4 children; Colette, Edward, David and their youngest Bert. Not only did Alice work, go back to university and volunteer in amateur theatre, she raised a family and made a home.
After working for the Yellowhead youth center ( what became EYOC ) and taking at risk youth into her home. She took a position at a small add agency Homerschams, before starting her teaching career with Edmonton public school. This then led her to becoming one of the inaugural facility at GMCC. This was for their first campus dedicated to Art and music in Edmonton’s westend. She remained there till her retirement in the mid 90s.
She was loved and sometimes feared but always respected. An endless array of collaborators including co-workers and dear friends Jill and Stephanie helped her match to the beat of her own purple drum. Off beat but still beautiful. Her students and all knew Alice could throw a party. Usually an end of year wrap-up Bash.
Most would of found this sufficient, not Alice. Her and her partner in Art and Life Phill, started numerous art installations. Bronze in St. Albert ceramics at the Boyle Street and so on. Her clay work was fostered by St. Albert Potter’s Guild and by endless supports. Their final work hangs in a dear friends bedroom as of today.
There are many celebrations and friends too numerous to mention but she always kept her chosen family close. Even In her new home Rosedale Est. She was always up for a visit, a Caesar or lunch. She was content and surrounded by those who cared.
As we know that all changed in 2020, and this health crisis. This effected the amount others could see her purpleness. Even with the birth of great grandchildren Aiden and Xander this limited her. The months passed in safety till late 2020.
Alice passed away at RAH on January 3 2021 after contracting COVID 19 sometime in the weeks before. She came and left this world on a winter Sunday. She will be missed by a battalion of loved ones both related and chosen.
Please take care of our purposely purpled people 💜 they are rare jewels in this dull world.