Cover photo for Alice N. Maples's Obituary
Alice N. Maples Profile Photo
1917 Alice 2019

Alice N. Maples

October 8, 1917 — December 17, 2019

Born in Malden Massachusetts to Eva and Max Novick, Alice was the youngest and last surviving of eight children—and the widow of Joseph W. Maples Jr., her husband of forty-two years, until his death in 1990.

As a young woman Alice was vivacious, adventurous and determined. The only member of her family to earn a college degree, Alice graduated from Lesley Teachers College. A few years later, with the world at war, she joined the American Red Cross and shipped out, under blackout conditions to England on the RMS Mauritania.

Stationed at a London USO club, through blackouts, rationing, and V2 Rocket attacks, Alice brought aid and comfort to US Servicemen until the end of WWII. She also sang on the BBC with the US Army Jazz Band.

At war's end, Alice was transferred to Bremen Germany to set up and run the USO club during the Allied occupation. It was there, on Christmas Eve 1945 she met Joe, a Sargent with The 14th Armored Division and her future husband. It was definitely an inauspicious first encounter—she threw him and his friends out of the club for getting a little too "enthusiastic." And yes, there was alcohol involved. The next day, however, he returned, hat in hand, to apologize. Though they could not have made a more unlikely match—she, five years his senior, from an Orthodox Jewish, Boston family, and he, the West Texas son of a jazz musician, raised by strict Baptist Aunts—nevertheless, they married on March 2, 1946.

Their whirlwind courtship lasted two months—their wedding, three days—and their marriage, forty-two years. It was speculated, though not confirmed, Alice was the first Jew married in Germany after the fall of Hitler's Third Reich.  She had some stories to tell. Later that year, Alice and Joe returned to the US on a Scandinavian freighter. They settled first in Brookline, MA then moved to Wakefield where they lived with their three children—Michael, Toni and David. Alice taught first grade and sold silverware door-to-door while Joe finished his college degree at Boston University. After graduation, he worked as a Securities Analyst at Loomis SalesIn 1959, they moved to E. Northport, NY where Joe went to work on Wall St and Alice continued to teach first grade. In 1968, Alice went back to school and at the age of fifty-two earned her masters degree in Special Education from Hofstra University.

In 1975, Alice and Joe, now empty nesters, moved to Amarillo, Texas where Joe took a job at Pioneer Natural Gas as VP of Investor Relations. Alice retired from teaching but maintained a busy, active lifestyle. Among her many activities, Alice volunteered at NorthWest Texas Baptist Hospital, played bridge two or three times a week, was a member at Temple B'nai Israel, accompanied Joe on business trips throughout Europe, and with Joe was an active member of Tascosa Country Club.  Alice made many lifelong friends during her years in Amarillo. After Joe's death in 1990, Alice stayed in Amarillo, continuing her active, independent lifestyle. In 2015, Alice's failing eyesight made living alone too difficult and so, she bid a fond farewell to her friends and home of forty years and went to live in Virginia, with her daughter, Toni, who cared for her until her passing on December 17, 2019.

Born before women's suffrage, Alice voted, at the age of 100, in the last presidential election.

To those who knew her, Alice Novick Maples was the tiny lady (5' tall in heels) with a big heart and even bigger personality. She was loved by and loved her family unconditionally. Alice passed quietly in her sleep early Tuesday morning. It was possibly the only passive thing she did in her 102 years of life.

Alice is survived by her three children: Michael Richard Maples, Toni Denard Maples and David Batchelor Maples—six grand children: Robert Maples, Annie Brunello-Maples, Wendy Maples, Max Tholenaar-Maples, Joely James Maples and Will Parker Maples—and three great-grandchildren: Alessio Brunello, Angelica Brunello and Amanda Maples.

Alice accomplished most everything in life to which she set her mind—with three notable exceptions: She never learned to speak softly, refrain from expressing an opinion, or ride a bicycle.

Thank you mom. We love you. You will be missed.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alice N. Maples, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, December 20, 2019

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