How do you condense one’s life into 500 words, particularly if it is the life of Alice Uyeda, the matriarch of Kiwanis Club Robson Ranch? With great difficulty. Though diminutive in stature, she had a powerful impact on each life she has touched. Alice left this world on December 5, 2016, but she continues to live in our memories and hearts.
Born 96 years ago on February 19, 1920 in Baldwin Park, California, she faced a life of challenges during and after World War II as discrimination towards those of Japanese descent predominated American thinking. Despite losing all her possessions during her wartime evacuation, Alice never harbored any bitterness. She and her family remained undeterred and steadfast and after the war established a successful nursery business.
Over the years Alice raised a family, which now includes two children, eight grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, and three great, great grandchildren. In 2009 Alice moved to Robson Ranch with her daughter and became an integral part of the community with active participation in over 20 clubs including the Kiwanis Club.
During its December 16 meeting, the Kiwanis Club dedicated its entirety to remembrances of Alice. She was described as a person who loved life and lived it to the fullest. Her thriftiness was put to work as Alice always served as the club’s cashier during its many fundraising events. During a Support Our Troops July 4 parade, Alice reigned as the Kiwanian “Queen.” Not surprisingly no one noticed the restored classic Mustang convertible in which she was riding as all eyes were on Alice. She was selfless and had a heart for helping others. Being a master at crocheting water bottle holders made from recycled plastic bags, Alice donated to the Kiwanis Club all moneys made from the sale of these bottle holders.
Alice’s humor abounded, once stating she “could have seen a lot more of the Dallas Arboretum if her younger escorts had walked just a little faster.” Loving gardening and flowers, she “farmed” her many plots at the community garden. She was often found at the garden boxes during the heat of the day tending to her bountiful crop of fruits and vegetables. Even with age Alice’s memory never failed her, remembering everyone’s name even after the first introductions. Her mischievous side was displayed while attending a Halloween party dressed as a “jungle girl” wearing a butterfly mask but was a bit disappointed when all the other partiers recognized her. She joined the International Club (though she kept it a secret she was born in the USA) just so she could sample the many culinary delicacies from around the world. And when it came to sports, Alice was the champion of Wii bowling in the community’s Senior Olympics.
When Robson Ranch created its slogan “Active Adult Community” offering a lifestyle as big as Texas, it must have gotten a glimpse of Alice Uyeda’s life. Alice possessed an overwhelming gift of love and kindness. Her zest for life measured off the charts. Joe E. Lewis quoted, “You only live once, but if you work it right once is enough.” And Alice did it RIGHT!