Visiting our mother’s home meant you were likely greeted first by the sound of music emanating from the stereo. “Listen to this,” she’d say, “doesn’t that just get you right here?” Lightly touching her chest, eyes closed, head moving in synchronization to the rhythm of whatever she had picked as the day’s soundtrack. An eclectic music lover, she was also extremely knowledgeable – truly expert – at the fine details of her favorite genre, jazz.
Our beloved mother, Alice Roberta Moore Edwards, passed away peacefully in the wee, wee hours of the morning on May 18, 2023, with her family at her bedside. She had lived 93 amazing years, passing just days before her 94th birthday. Mom, Momma, Grandma, Nana, she was born in Cincinnati, Ohio just four months before the start of the Great Depression – a Depression-era baby who credited her frugal habits to growing up in a time of hardship. The first few years of her life – though not idyllic – were centered around her parents: her mother Lavinia Bester Moore and her father Robert Mode Moore. Soon Alice was joined by two siblings, James “Butch” and Ruby Anita, but unfortunately, she would tragically lose her baby sister to a fire and lives would never be the same. Although an extended family of grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and more would try to fill the void, the chasm remained. But Alice and Butch were inseparable. Like so many children of the Depression, they found a way forwards and strength with and through each other.
It was during her teen-aged years that Mom discovered her talent for sewing, needlework, crocheting and an eye for fashion that led to her trademark style: she’d pour over pages of fashion magazines figure out how to re-design her clothes to emulate the latest looks. That attention to detail continued throughout her life. No matter where she went or what the activity was, she was always dressed to the nines.
Alice spent substantial part of her life as a military spouse, which meant she (and we) lived all over the USA as well as the Far East (Okinawa, Japan) and Europe (Germany). As we grew older, Mom pursued her interests in fashion merchandising by working at a national department store in – of all places – the western wear department where her love of and knack for styling had her fitting Stetson hats for her customers who made certain Alice was working whenever they needed a new hat or that certain denim wear that fit them just so.
Along with her music, our mother loved books and collected a sizeable library which focused on African and African American history, biographies, sociology and current events. Need to know something about, say African folklore? Nana has the book.
Mom’s love of learning introduced her to a new faith which fulfilled her love of different cultures and peoples. As a Baha’I, she was very active in her community and interfaith events until her health began to slow her down. Nevertheless, her faith sustained her always.
Mom was blessed with a large family – from her five children: Robert Columbus (from her first marriage to John Columbus, Jr.) to Jacqueline, Kevin, Eunice, and Madeline (from her second marriage to Jack D. Edwards), to her grandchildren Paul (Linnea) Williams, Jack (Kate) and Marc (Sammar) Columbus, Allison, and Josiah Young, and Laurel Ann Kangethe, to her great-grandchildren Helena (Barrett) Stewart, Beatrice and Ella Williams, John-Jamal, Jonathan and Alex Columbus, Marvin and Kayden Columbus, half-siblings Carol Spellman, Kenneth, and Kevin Moore. Our mother was also blessed with a host of dear friends here locally and around the world.
It is truly an understatement to say that she will be dearly and forever missed. She was the light of our lives, our compass star, our measure, our treasure. Momma, your ship came in.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Daniels Family Funeral Services – Sara Road Chapel, 4310 Sara Road, Rio Rancho, NM 87124.