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Vera Alyce Porter

Posted: Friday, Jan 29th, 2010

Vera Alyce Porter, lovingly called Alyce, was born Vera Alyce Williams in March 1925 in Moody, Mo. She moved to the San Joaquin area near Bakersfield during the 1930s and later moved to Templeton in 1937, where she attended school.

Vera met Ernest Porter at a school event and fell in love with him, eloped to Reno, Nev. and married Ernest on June 26, 1941, lived in Atascadero then moved to Lompoc at the start of World War II, moved to Napa and returned to Atascadero and bought their property at Atascadero Lake in 1943.

Her husband was drafted in World War II and Alyce raised the children alone while Ernest was in the Army. The couple owned and ran Atascadero Garbage Company. Times got hard in Atascadero area so they moved to Los Angeles looking for work in the early 1950s, where Alyce became a waitress at the Fish Shanty in Pacific Palisades.

Things got better and they moved back to Atascadero where Alyce lived out the rest of her life. In the 1940s Alyce became a member of the Atascadero Art Club and became an accomplished artist. She painted and sold many paintings throughout the rest of her life. Alyce painted several fish paintings for Morro Bay Aquarium, where they are still displayed today. Her favorite, a painting of Chief Joseph, is still hanging in their living room.

Alyce continued to work as a waitress working at Rose’s Landing in Morro Bay, Paso Robles Inn in Paso Robles and Virgil's Drive-in in Atascadero, later taking a job delivering the U.S. mail in the 1960s. Alyce did that for a few years. After that she became a stay-at-home housewife. Alyce was a very talented women. She was also a lapidary artist making jewelry form stones she cut and polished – mostly the Jade that she and Ernest found at Jade Cove. She was a scubadiver and won awards doing that, named “Queen of Jade,” a “Legendary Jade Driver” and “friend of Jade Cove.”

She had also served as a lifeguard assisting in many life saving rescues, working at Avila Beach, Rest Haven Park in Paso Robles and Atascadero Lake during the early 1950s through the 1960s. Alyce wrote numerous stories and articles about their adventures to various publications throughout her life.

Alyce loved sewing, knitting and crafting. She was an avid gardener, raising many types of plants, well known for her prize-winning bonsai trees and for her Iris, which were planted along Marchant Way by the edge of Atascadero Lake for everyone who passed by to enjoy. She named and photographed each Iris that she developed and kept them in and album.

Alyce loved to do so many things – she could play the guitar, Harp and the organ; she loved music. It seemed she was good at everything she put her hand to, and most of all she was a loving wife and mother.

Alyce is survived by her husband Ernest; son Carson Porter of Atascadero; daughters Carolyn Cluff of Atascadero, Lilly Susan Smid of Atascadero and Eve Bundy of Creston; sisters Marie Cooper of San Pedro, Calif. and Sally Baxter of Atascadero; nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Alyce passed away after a lengthy illness at Danish Care Center in Atascadero. She entered into God’s rest on Jan. 18, 2010. Alyce will be greatly missed by her family and many friends.

Her family suggests donations be made for Parkinson Disease Research, or visit with the residents at a local convalescent facility.

No services will be held. A gathering of her family and friends to celebrate her life will be held at the AARP Building at 7848 Pismo St. and Lake Park at Atascadero Lake on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

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