Alice was born on September 17, 1937 in Nashville, Tennessee, the only child of the late Vernon Stewart and Eddie Mae Clack-Stewart. In 1969, Alice married Miles Lowe Williams. To this union, on their third wedding anniversary, one daughter was born, Shantelle Enee’. She was named by her older sister, Franchelle Renee’, who wanted them to have names that would always and forever be connected. In January 1976, Miles Lowe (M.L.) preceded Alice in death; he left Alice to raise the “Girls” with her mother, Eddie Mae. Alice made her transition to be with the Lord on February 23, 2021.
Alice accepted Christ at an early age and joined Kayne Avenue Baptist Church, where she served faithfully until she moved away from Tennessee. She was raised and educated in the public-school system of Nashville. It was clear from a young age that she had a flair for teaching others, a passion for science, and that music was one of her greatest gifts from the Lord. During her high school years at Pearl High School, she sang with the Estralita Chorus, led by Dr. John W. Work director of the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers. It was through Dr. Work that Alice was positioned as a soloist for the Christian Science Church and hired in the community as a singer. It was through this work that Alice was able to raise money for college. In 1957, Alice was initiated into Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated at A & I Tennessee State University (Tennessee State University/TSU). In 1959 she received her Bachelor of Science Degree. In 1961 she started her graduate studies, while teaching in Nashville. She later went on to teach in Murfreesboro, TN and Louisville, KY before relocating to Chicago, Illinois in 1965.
She joined Antioch Missionary Baptist Church upon her arrival to Chicago. She served the church with all of her heart and soul for over forty years. She was a member of the Senior Choir and proudly gave her voice to make the annual “Messiah”, “Seven Last Words”, and many other church productions a success.
From 1965-1967, Alice was the Outdoor Camping Program Coordinator with the Chicago Youth Centers. She then joined the Chicago Board of Education as a fourth-grade teacher at Mayo School and School Science Coordinator. Alice resumed her graduate studies at Chicago State University, Chicago Teacher’s College, and the University of Illinois. It was at this time that she joined a philanthropy organization called The Friends of Lower North. These women worked tirelessly to raise money to support local students living in the Cabrini Green area. The Friends put on an annual Fashion Show sponsored by Ebony Fashion Fair and other corporate sponsors that believed in their vision.
In 1983, Alice held the role of District Science Coordinator. As an educator and leader, she worked well with and was well respected by the students and other teachers. She enjoyed teaching science. Watching the students’ interest and science knowledge grow brought her great joy. It was no surprise that during the 1983-84 and 1990-91 academic school years, Alice received the Chicago Teacher of the Year Awards. Again in 1996, she received a Chicago Teacher of the Year Award and was presented a letter of distinction from Richard Daley, Mayor of Chicago. Alice also received a Midwest Regional Award from Senator Carol Moseley-Braun after being noted as a distinguished educator in Who’s Who Among American Teachers. During this time, she was at Foster Park School.
While teaching is a service to the community; outside of work Alice was generous with her time in organizations committed to social justice, stewardship, and youth education. She was a proud member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliation. She served as Past Worthy Matron, Past Grand Esther, and Past Grand Adah. She directed her energy and influence in the Order to help many people overcome educational barriers by providing scholarships and career opportunities.
Later in 1996, she retired from the Chicago Public Schools and moved “down home” to Pulaski, Tennessee. In Pulaski, she enjoyed landscaping her property and spending time with family & friends. She returned to her home church, Kayne Avenue Baptist Church, in Nashville where she sang in the choir. After a number of years, she joined Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Pulaski. There she, of course, joined the choir. She was also a member of the Victory in Praise Community Choir. In 1997, Alice was presented with the 25 years of Dedicated Service Award for Region 6- Chicago Public Schools. A year later, she shifted her life to the United Kingdom to provide moral, spiritual, and culinary support to her youngest daughter (an independent consultant at the University of Oxford). During this time, she traveled throughout Europe and also performed as a member of the prestigious Summertown Choral Society (under the leadership of Duncan Saunderson), and was a member of the Oxford Bridge Club. In 2007, Alice moved to New York (Rockland County) to live with her youngest daughter, Shantelle. Before settling in, her first priority was to find a church home. This search resulted in accepting an invitation to attend church as guests of Lawanda Lane. Lawanda arranged to have a greeter, Chanda Bullock-Ogburn, at the door to welcome Alice and Shantelle. They both fell in love with the church on the first visit. Shortly thereafter, they integrated their Baptist roots into becoming members of St. Charles A.M.E. Zion Church family. Alice became a member of the Samuel L. Shufford Mass Choir and the Lay Council, where she served faithfully until her health and limited mobility prevented her service.
In 2011, Alice joined the Tau Gamma Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in Rockland County New York. She received her Zeta Dove recognition in 2014 and was pinned by Sheryl Underwood at the International Conference of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in Washington, DC.
During this time, she joined several community service organizations: Member, Rockland Pan-Hellenic Council; Life Member, NAACP; Life Member, Retired Teachers of Chicago Association; and Member, American Association of University Women (AAUW). Alice continued her world travels and enjoying her retirement.
She leaves to mourn her “Two Girls”: Franchelle Renee’ (Kenneth) Stewart Baker, Bolingbrook, Illinois; and Shantelle Enee’ Williams, Suffern, New York. Because of her indomitable spirit and capacity to love, a host of family & friends all over the world will miss her and forever mourn her passing.
Graveside service and burial will be held next week on Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 2:00 PM at Good Springs Cemetery on Fall River Road in Giles County, Good Spring, Tennessee. Pastor Fitzgerald Gilbert will officiate the graveside service with support from Jordan Funeral Home in Pulaski.