Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Alice Bessie (Crawford) Sterner 1904-2009

Alice Bessie Sterner, age 105, daughter of Thomas and Annie Crawford was born on May 12, 1904 at the family farm nine miles west of Houston in the Union Community. She passed away to her heavenly home on July 20, 2009 while visiting with members of her family in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Alice was preceded in death by her parents; four sisters, Almeda Crawford, Minnie Crawford, May Crawford, and Bertha Baker; six brothers, Jimmie, Adrian, Elbert, Charlie, Bryan and Sidney; her husband of almost 72 years Roland William Sterner and one son, Wade Roland Sterner. She is survived by one daughter, Anna Faye Shilling and husband John of Fairbanks, Alaska and one son, Tommie Samuel Sterner and wife Shirley (Farris) of Fairbanks, Alaska; eight grandchildren, John Roland Sterner of Moody Mo., Homer Lee Sterner and wife Joyce of Monroe, Mich., Lonnie Lynn Sterner and wife Cora of West Plains, Mo., Danny Lee Shilling and wife Betsy of Anchorage, Alaska, Rodney Dean Shilling and wife Dianne of Fairbanks, Alaska, Benny Jon Shilling and wife Cindy of Fairbanks, Alaska, Wesley William Sterner and wife Naomi of Ft. Lewis, Wash. and Jennifer Kate Gul and husband Nils of Fairbanks, Alaska; fourteen great grandchildren and ten great-great grandchildren.

Alice grew up in the Union Community and attended school at Union. She married Roland William Sterner on July 10, 1921 and they raised their children in the Union Community with occasional moves to Waterloo, Iowa, Elk Creek, Mo., and Fairbanks, Alaska. From 1960 to 1968 they lived in Fairbanks where Roland worked at the University of Alaska Experiment Farm and Alice was the beloved grandmother and baby sitter for the three Shilling boys. Upon retirement they returned to Houston, Licking, and then back to Houston where Alice enjoyed gardening and piecing quilts. Her many talents included cooking, canning and preserving, sewing, crocheting, tatting, and knitting. She gave loving care to Roland until his death in 1992. During the last twelve years of her life, Alice traveled each summer to Alaska to spend time with family members there and returned to Houston for the winter months with occasional winter travel to Texas, Arizona, and other places of interest.

Alice gave her heart to Jesus during a revival at the Union Baptist Church and was baptized in Little Piney River many years ago. Her name is one of the few remaining members listed as belonging to the historic Union Church west of Houston on Highway Z.

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