Alice Eugenia Kirstein Pyers
March 19, 1926 – August 7, 2022
Sacramento, California – Alice Eugenia Pyers, age 96, passed away peacefully on August 7th, 2022 with her three children at her side.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa to William and Achsah Kirstein, she was the youngest of five siblings. She grew up ice skating, swimming, and performing with the Double Dutch jump rope club at her high school. In 1939, Alice joined the Eastern Star Rainbow Girls and was crowned Worthy Advisor. She amassed a large collection of salt and pepper shakers, but was most remembered in her high school years for having a lighthearted spirit.
Alice set her sights on a classmate in high school, James Richard (Dick) Pyers. They married in 1945 at the Midland, Texas Air Force Base where Dick was stationed. It was the beginning of a powerful partnership, ending only when Dick passed away in 2011. They had three children: Joyce Ann Kirstein, James Phillip Pyers and Joan Pyers Renne.
Alice was a driving force at the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Sacramento, where the family moved in 1957. For 65 years, she lived a life of service led by joy. Her indispensable organizing skills allowed Alice to help the church grow and connect to the community.
Dedication to her work at the YMCA resulted in the creation of the Heritage Bus Tour, introducing teenagers to the United States with the 1964 New York World’s Fair as the highlight. Alice and Dick also hosted foreign exchange students, ushered at Music Circus, and were lecturers at the Sacramento History Center, the Discovery Museum, and the Towe Ford Museum. She led the Rhumania Garden Club for 30 years and participated in The Arden Park Garden Club.
In retirement, they explored the world, whether it was taking tea on the QEII or backpacking in Kauai. Along with her church friends, Alice helped create many social groups, notably the Quilters and LOTA, or The Ladies of the Afternoon; a sisterhood who still meets every Wednesday.
She loved to throw a good party, bringing together a family of 30 who would never dream of missing out. Alice held court as our Queen for many events: Easter celebrations with nonsense-filled egg hunts, “Turkey Friday” dinners for 30, and epic Christmas Eve celebrations, with the most raucous game of BINGO ever played and off-key carol singing. No occasion was complete without a silly hat.
She frequently enlisted her grandchildren as co-conspirators for hijinks; sending them home with a new pet turtle or eating too much chocolate before dinner. Trent Landon, Christine Martin, Scott Marti, Jana Buccola, Matthew Pyers and Jill Kuhl have her spirit living on in them and with their children, Alice’s great grandchildren: Natalie and Nicholas Buccola, Alice and June Martin, Emelia Landon, Elise and Everett Kuhl and Aidan Marti.
A Celebration of Life will take place September 9th at 2:00 pm at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3235 Pope Avenue, Sacramento. We request any donations to honor Alice’s memory be directed to the Northminster Organ Fund.
Published by The Sacramento Bee on Sep. 4, 2022.
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