Alice married young, and not wisely. In 1967, at age 39, she divorced her abusive husband of 21 years and needed to make a living. She attended classes at DeVry and became the first female had been her teacher at DeVry.
Even though they both had children from a previous marriage, Gabe and Alice wanted a child of their own, so baby Angela came along the next year. Not long afterward, they were approached to take in a foster child, and Alice found a new occupation as a foster parent advocate.
The years went by and the family grew – by the late ’70s, Alice and Gabe bought a five-bedroom home to accommodate their brood, which now included a teenager and her son, four siblings from an abandoned home, and a sister and brother who had been neglected and abused. They also adopted three children, including Daniel, a special needs child.
And Alice, a high-school dropout, got her GED in 1978.
The family thrived in their suburban metro lifestyle until the mid-’80s, when Gabe accepted a new position in Joplin, Mo. The move included nine children who made the trip and adjusted well to rural community life. When Alice turned 60, several of the children were attending college, so she decided to join them, eventually earning her bachelor’s degree.