Alice Anne (Balch) Shoemaker passed on to paradise Monday May 1, 2023 just 2 weeks shy of her 91st birthday.
Born May 16, 1932 in Battle Mountain, NV she spent her childhood growing up in Copper Canyon and attending Battle Mountain elementary and high schools. She was adventurous and loved exploring the old mines, chasing lizards and even raised a guard rooster to protect herself from the mean kids. As a student, she was at the top of her class with many friends.
It was there she met the love of her life, Leonard K. Shoemaker Sr., a POW and hero of WW2. The couple wed September 6, 1947 and she set upon her life’s greatest work of being a dedicated wife and mother.
She and Leonard began their family in Lark, UT then later moved to Ogden, UT where Alice became an active member of the LDS church. Over the years she served in many capacities from leading Sunday school, giving talks, visiting many temples including Salt Lake City and Hawaii to diving deep into genealogy, where she discovered a fascinating family history.
Her work life outside the home began in Utah, as well. There she worked at the Utah Army Depot until moving to Libby, MT in 1967.
Life in Libby was a great fit for this outdoorsy woman. Alice loved camping, hunting, fishing, boating and exploring the road less travelled. She began working at the Forest Service then found her calling as a CNA for St. John’s Lutheran Hospital, where she worked for 25 years. It was there that she met and cared for many members of the community, who remember her compassion, smile, warmth and humor with great fondness.
Alice had a charm about her that radiated from her genuine and tender heart. She could light up a room with her smile and never missed an opportunity for a good laugh. Mother of seven, grandmother to 19, great-grandmother to 19 and great-great-grandmother to 6, she always made occasions and holidays the best. Her family gatherings were jovial events filled with love, laughter and good food…especially her famous biscuits and gravy.
Alice maintained a child-like curiosity throughout life and loved learning new things. She tried her hand at everything from gardening, canning, painting, horseback riding, raising turkeys, sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidering, girl scout troop leading, running for the school board, getting her realtor’s license, becoming a landlord…she even competed in the Powder Puff Car Races once in the early 70’s! In her later years, she loved meeting her friends at the Venture Inn for water aerobics, going to church and visiting family as often as possible.
She was met on the other side by her husband of 52 years, Leonard Kyle Shoemaker, Sr., son Thomas Todd Shoemaker, mother and father Emil and Luella Balch, brother Emil “Buster” Balch, sister Betty (Balch) Evanson and granddaughter McKenzie Rae Barnett.
She is survived by her children Marrilynn Parkinson of Post Falls, ID; Leonard K. Shoemaker, Jr. (Karen) of Eureka, MT; Douglas R. Shoemaker (Teri) of Spokane, WA; Betty Aleagha of Bozeman, MT; Debbie Shoemaker of Kalispell, MT; Jessica Shoemaker of Bozeman, MT; her grandchildren Cindy and Kris Barnett; Jerel Smith; Lori Christensen; Leon Shoemaker; Andrew and Alex Lowe; Justin Shoemaker; Floyd Lund; Ben Shoemaker; Carla Ciccone; Nasim and Jaffar Aleagha; Derek, Kyle and Michael Holloway; Layla Dropps; Lyn and Skyler Bowers; her greats and great-greats; her niece Luella Evanson of Manteca, CA; and cousins Pat Hafer and Neal Morrison of Twin Falls, ID.
Services will be held at the LDS church in Libby, MT at 11:00 a.m. May 15, followed by a graveside service at Libby Cemetery. Arrangements are under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby, MT.
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