Alice Bright, 93, homesteader and farming wife, passed away, Wednesday, July 22, at the Powell Valley Care Center.
Alice was born in her family’s home in 1927 near Basalt, Colorado, and was one of four children of Albert and Laura. Her early life was spent working on the family farm. When her oldest brother was called to WWII, Alice took over all of his responsibilities, including field work, hitching and driving the team of work horses and driving truckloads of cattle up and down the nearby treacherous mountain road.
Alice graduated valedictorian from her country high school, which she walked to daily. She graduated from business school in Aspen, and was married Nov. 4, 1950, in Glenwood Springs, to Harley. They were married 65 years.
Alice and Harley braved and conquered the Heart Mountain Homesteading Project as truly equal partners. She was an accomplished tractor operator and truck driver, driving for their own farm, as well as driving sugar beet truck for Tak and Emmy Ogawa.
She was always thinking how to improve farming techniques and came up with great crop rotation and green fertilization ideas. She was also a natural farm mechanic and was innovative coming up with “engineering fixes” on equipment and around the farm to get the job done. Before tractors had cabs, she designed and sewed a comfort cover.
Alice was blessed with a true “pioneering spirit” in how she approached her roles in life, with no limits to what she could do or accomplish, or hesitation to work hard and get the job done, no matter the challenges.
She was an excellent gardener, selling gladiolas to local flower shops. She loved her homesteading friends and enjoyed community involvement at the community clubhouse. She ran and organized a “HAPI” self improvement group for years, and was a big believer in continuing education, taking a welding class to better her farming skills and a computer class to learn programming at age 57.
In her later years, she and Harley spent time traveling to visit their three kids.
She was preceded in death by Harley, son Duane, and brothers Sam and Marvin.
She is survived by brother Gene of Hotchkiss, Colorado; daughter Donna Bright of Great Falls; son Gary Bright (Sharon) of Powell, grandchildren Cassy of Ontario, Oregon, Racheal of Powell, Laura Schaefer (Brady) of Pinedale, and David (Cody); and great-grandchild Harley Jo, Cassy’s daughter.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 28, at 2 p.m., at St. Barbara’s Catholic Church in Powell. Graveside services will be streamed on the Thompson Funeral Home’s Facebook page about an hour after the funeral services.