Alice Burch-Beck passed away on March 17, 2019 in St. George, Utah
This is my story:
I was born on June 21, 1929 in Lowell, Massachusetts. I became the adopted daughter of Grace and Clarence K. Whittier.
I grew up in Gloucester, Massachusetts and had a very pleasant childhood, although I felt I missed something by being an only child. I graduated with honors from Gloucester High School and was fortunate to have had parents who directed me to college at Boston University. Being from a financially modest family, I decided that I could not ask my parents to do more, so I graduated with an Associates Degree. It was many years later that I went on to attend Maryland University and John Hopkins to achieve both a bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree.
I learned very early on that earning money and learning to save it was an essential habit to develop. This philosophy has made for a comfortably modest retirement lifestyle. My early jobs were, of course, baby sitting and doing housework for neighbors. From BU, I was “drafted” by CIA and went off to Washington for my first real job. It was not long before I met my first husband, John D. Burch from Belt, Montana, and we were married on September 10, 1950. He was assigned to Embassy duty in Stockholm, Sweden, and it was there that we spent the first three years of married life. I was also assigned a job with the American Embassy. We found Sweden and all the Scandinavian countries to be beautiful and well worth visiting.
Upon returning to the U.S., we rented a duplex in Arlington, VA near some good friends. I soon found work in Washington, D.C. with a law firm whose legal field was working closely with the FCC, and I discovered that being a legal secretary was not my cup of tea. I read an article in PARADE magazine about a shortage of teachers in the United States. I applied for a teaching position with the Anne Arundel County Board of Education. I was hired as a teacher in Glen Burnie and retired after a total of 20 years. There was a break in my teaching career in 1962 when my husband was assigned to Okinawa with the Dept. of Defense. During this tour of duty, I was hired by the English-language newspaper (The Morning Star) as their advertising assistant. The pay was minimum, but then I spent a lot of time on the golf course and this was my first work experience of having a fair amount of free time.
Upon our return to the U.S. in 1965, I felt a strange sense of tension in the country. There was a change (not for the better) in the country after the assassination of President Kennedy. I decided to venture into a career in real estate and became licensed with H.A. Gill Realtors in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. When we decided to buy a townhouse in Crofton, Maryland, I transferred my real estate license to Chas. H. Steffey Realtors in Baltimore/Crofton/Annapolis area. I decided to return to teaching and kept active in real estate on a part-time basis.
In the late 70’s I ventured into a partnership with another highly successful agent in the Crofton market area. Owning our own company convinced me to join Long and Foster Real Estate in 1980. I retired from teaching in 1981 to become the manager of Long and Foster’s new Annapolis Office. When Wes Foster decided to hire me, I felt like I had been handed a job of my dreams. I worked hard to make this office not only profitable but an office of extremely professional and ethical agents. In 1986, I was appointed by Wes Foster (President) and Jack Queen (General Manager for the Maryland Division) to be Regional Manager of the Baltimore/S. Pennsylvania Region. I retired in 2009 and left my Region in the very capable hands of Cindy Ariosa, who has remained a valuable and loving friend.
I was a member of St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Chester, Maryland and had the privilege of serving both as a Lector and a Eucharistic Minister for many years. I have been blessed to have been given the time to enjoy retirement life with a wonderful husband Bill and our dogs. I believe dogs were given to us by God as a special gift for humans to love and be loved in return.
I write my story hopefully long before I leave this planet to relieve my loved ones from one burden later on.
I am thankful for my adopted parents, my teachers and professors and the many special friends who have brightened y life and my relatives and the great bosses I have had along the way and the kind and caring husbands.
Bill, especially, came into my life at a later time and has introduced me to new music, new horizons and given me much to be thankful for including his great sense of humor and a paradise retirement home know as St. George, Utah. We sold our home on the Eastern Shore in 2010 and bought a farm in Belfast, Maine. We have been driving back and forth across country dividing time between Belfast and St. George.
I love you, Bill, and do take care of yourself.
I would appreciate it if any donations be made in my memory that you give to an animal shelter in your community.
Depending on how long I live, there may be more adventures to add later. ~ Alice
Alice is survived by her loving husband James William(Bill) Beck who loves and misses her very much.
A Celebration of Life will be held on her 90th birthday, June 21, 2019 in Maryland. Time and place to be determined.