Alice Nordgren

Obituary of Alice Lucille Nordgren

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Alice Lucille Nordgren was born during a prayer meeting on a Wednesday night in April 1928—just two days after Shirley Temple and the same year as the first Oscars — in Westerville, Ohio, where she spent the first nine years of her life. Her father, J. Stuart Innerst, was a minister in the United Brethren Church. Westerville was a college town, the home of Otterbein College, which was a United Brethren Church School, so her life and her family’s, was closely tied to both church and school. Her mother was Marion E (Reachard) Innerst. Her older sister Almena and older brother, Ivan were both born in China where her minister father had been a missionary. Her younger brother Dick came along almost nine years after Lucille was born. Early summers were spent in Dallastown, Pennsylvania, where the family would visit Grandma Reachard (her mother’s mother). Lucille attended Vine Street School — a two-story brick building — in 1934, from 1st to 5th grade. She graduated from Lansdowne High School, Pennsylvania, in 1946 and that same year the family moved to California, following her maternal grandparents and much of the rest of her extended family there. Once in California, Lucille attended Santa Ana Junior College for two years where she was the editor of the college yearbook, “Del Ano.” She then attended Whittier College for two years. This was a Quaker college, endowed by the Society of Friends. After her father left the ministry in the United Brethren denomination, both parents became active as Friends. After graduating from Whittier Lucille taught for two years and worked as a substitute teacher for several years. She met her future husband, Ardean Nordgren, in 1951, while attending a YWCA summer training school in Illinois—Ardean was stationed close by in the Air Force. (Ardean’s sister, Estelle, was at the YWCA school also and introduced them.) Ardean and Lucille were married the following December, just before he went to Japan for an eighteen-month assignment. After he came back, they spent a year and a half in Spokane, Washington and after his discharge they lived in Whittier, California where Ardean attended college. In 1962, wanting to escape smoggy Los Angeles, they moved to Aptos, California, where Lucille wrote “the sky is blue and trees and grass are green” and they resided there for the rest of their lives. After this move, Lucille paused her teaching career to care for her growing family, returning to teaching when her last child was a little over a year old. She worked in the Live Oak School District first as a reading specialist and then teaching children with learning disabilities through special education. She then went on to get her master’s and an administrative credential and worked for several years as a mentor and a curriculum specialist. She finished her career as a fourth-grade teacher. In 1988 she set up a computer lab where she taught teachers to use this burgeoning technology until 1993. Lucille and Ardean were also active in the Democratic Party, locally and statewide. They were early members of the Unitarian Fellowship, which met at the LaSelva Beach Clubhouse, before moving to their new home on Freedom Blvd. Ardean and Lucille travelled extensively throughout their married life. In 1972 she began a tax business, Personalized Tax Service, which still thrives today under the direction of her son, Dave and daughter, Julie (Fant) and with help from her granddaughter, Sally “Ginger” Nordgren. In the beginning, Lucille worked out of her home office and met her clients at their homes to prepare their taxes. In 2011 she and her son Dave, purchased Aptos Tax and the new name is Aptos Personalized Tax Service. Lucille was loved and appreciated by her clients—many have remained with her for these fifty-one years. Lucille was an amazing teacher, political activist, author, genealogist, quilter and she enjoyed collecting stamps and dolls. She was also a faithful San Francisco Giants fan. Lucille passed peacefully at her Aptos home on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings and her husband of 63 years in 2014. She is survived by their five children—David Nordgren, Jon Nordgren, Julie Fant, Scott Nordgren and Ken Nordgren and daughter-in-law Jirapha Nordgren, currently living in Santa Cruz County; seven grandchildren—Cassie Nordgren, Sally “Ginger” Nordgren, Alyssa Jacobs, Nicolas Nordgren, Natalie Matson, Elizabeth Fant and Linnea Nordgren; and six great-grandchildren—Ryker, Mason and Alexander Kile, Kylin Jacobs, Theo and Kyra Nordgren, with number seven on the way. A celebration of life will be held at the Unitarian Fellowship on Freedom Boulevard in Aptos at a future date. If interested in attending, please call Julie Fant at Aptos Personalized Tax Service.
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Alice Nordgren

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Alice Nordgren

1928 - 2023

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