Alyce Marie French, 98 of Mount Pleasant, SC, passed away on Sunday, September 10, 2023.
Born on October 12, 1924 in Maryville, MO, she was a daughter of the late Nettie Anderson Brown and Walter Brown.
Alyce French is from Maryville, Missouri. She graduated from Maryville High School as valedictorian and was sponsored by the Maryville Twentieth Century Club to attend St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing (affiliated with the Mayo Clinic) in Rochester, MN. Alyce married her high school sweetheart Major Eugene French on March 17, 1945 to honor their Irish Heritage. She was blessed with three children, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and spent 62 years happily married to Eugene before his passing in 2007. In 1946, Alyce graduated as a Registered Nurse in the top 10% of her class receiving numerous awards and achievements along the way.
Alyce, with impressive experience, began her career as an OR nurse in 1946 and in October 1965, she landed a position at Rotary Rehabilitation Hospital in Mobile, AL as Chief of Developmental Disabilities Dept. Specializing in outpatient health, she worked primarily with children who had cerebral palsy and children who had neuro specific learning disabilities. In 1984, Alyce co-founded The Old Dauphin Way School for students with learning differences. Decorated with many awards, the most impressive award Alyce received was the Pioneer Award. This is the highest award given by the Alabama Council for Leadership Development. Though she “retired” in 1990, she continued to serve her community. Alyce served on the board of directors for the Association for Deaf and Hearing Impaired, Child Study Center, The Old Dauphin Way School, and the Center for Aging in Huntsville, AL. where Dr. Zaheer Khan of Huntsville, AL invited her personally to serve on his board after being inspired by her continued drive and commitment, though her accomplishments and experience helped drive his decision to bring her on board.
Alyce and Eugene were among the first ten residents to move into Redstone Village, Senior Living Facility in Huntsville, AL in November 2004. Here she continued her career as she was the Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President and President of the Resident Council for many years and served as Chairwoman of the Welcoming Committee up until she truly retired. She was a huge advocate for Redstone Village residents and employees and helped many new residents feel at home upon arrival.
Alyce’s hobbies included gardening, golfing and an occasional game of hand and foot with her fellow residents. She sang professionally and if asked would sing at special events for fun. She sang in the Northwest Missouri Music Guild as a contralto soloist and while attending St. Mary’s School of Nursing, she organized and directed glee club, which consisted of 100 vocalists.
Alyce had a wonderful sense of humor and was a delight to be around. Her smile was often said to be “contagious” because if you saw it, you couldn’t help but smile. She used to say, “I’ve always been a believer that everything happens for a reason.” Her faith kept her strong in tough times as she’d want you to remain strong now and chuckle to yourself every time someone says to you “everything happens for a reason” no matter how strange that reason may seem.
Besides her parents, Alyce is preceded in death by: Eugene French (deceased 7/18/2007) and Genie F. Drown (deceased 2/24/2016).
Alyce is survived by her children, Jane French and John French; sister-in-law, Joyce French; granddaughter, Lizzie French; future grandson-in-law, Raul Romero; son-in-law, Doug Drown; granddaughter, Kim D. Winne; grandson-in-law, Jamie Winne; great-grandsons, Ben Winne and Jake Winne; grandsons: Jeff Drown and John David French; granddaughter, Lisa French; and great-granddaughter, Ashlyn French.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity that is important to you, the reader.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at mcalister-smith.com.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 1520 Rifle Range Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464, (843) 884-3833.