POLSON — Alice Mae (Micheli) DeLay was born on Feb. 14, 1925, in Durango, Colorado, and went to be with her Lord and Savior on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at St. Luke Extended Care. She was the last born of six children. Her parents were Italian immigrants from northern Italy who did not speak English.
When Alice started school, she struggled because she spoke Italian, some Navajo and Spanish; she knew very little English.
Alice grew up mostly in Durango, but lived part of her life in the mining town of Silverton. As the story goes, her father won a saloon with a hotel upstairs in a poker game. The saloon is still running today, but is no longer owned by family. Alice lost her father when she was 10 years old and her mother when she 19 years old.
After graduating from high school in Durango, Alice worked as a cashier at a grocery store which is the only job she had outside of the home. She was married to her first husband for seven years before he died of leukemia; she did not have any children from that marriage.
One of her brothers introduced her to her second husband, Orson DeLay, who lived in California. Alice and Orson were married on Aug. 24, 1952, and were together until his death on Nov. 20, 1999. They had four children while living in Lincoln, California: Dennis, Theresa, Steven and Ron.
In May 1965, Alice, Orson and the children moved to Roosevelt, Utah, where they owned a 440-acre ranch and raised cattle, sheep, a variety of crops and a huge garden.
Alice was a wonderful cook and made many items from scratch: yogurt, ice cream, butter, bread, soap, cottage cheese, cinnamon rolls, cakes, cookies, pickles and canned all sorts of fruits and vegetables.
In May 1972, the family moved to Polson where they had purchased a 160-acre ranch in Valley View. It was at this time that Alice and her family joined the First Baptist Church in Polson. It was with great joy that Alice taught young children’s Sunday school for 29 years and became affectionately known to all as "Teacher."
She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, one sister, three brothers and two grandchildren: Robin Lee DeLay and Roman Don Bell.
Alice is survived by her brother Ben Micheli; children Dennis (Sheila) DeLay, Theresa Jones, Steven DeLay, Ron (Dawn) DeLay; grandchildren Tracy (Aaron) Tenenholz, Michael (Rachel) DeLay, Rachel DeLay, Karisa DeLay, Melisa (Mitch) Babcock, Megan DeLay, Eric DeLay, Trevor DeLay; and eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the First Baptist Church in Polson on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Alice’s memory may be given to the First Baptist Church Missionary Program. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at thelakefuneralhomeandcrematory.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.