Lion of the decade and pillar of the community will be missed by all
Alice Villa, a person who gave from the heart, helping others, and working throughout her adult life in Alpine, will be missed by many. At the age of 89, Villa had many accomplishments under her belt, marrying David Villa of East Haddham, Connecticut, traveling the United States, raising a family, working at Ryan Aeronautical, settling in Alpine and beginning a long voluntary career with the Alpine Lion’s Club.
Villa came from a small town, Moodus Connecticut. When she was 18, during World War II, she struck out on her own. Times were tough then, and she took a position with a toy factory, and then as a school bus driver. She also tried her hand at mixing paint in a paint factory, and made luggage. Villa’s diversity and determination was evident even at a young age. When she met her husband-to-be, David Villa, they had wanted to travel, so, after they were married, they began ‘zigzagging’ across the country in a 1946 Pontiac. They made it to the West Coast arriving in Buena Park, but they settled in San Diego in 1949. In 1952, their daughter Joann was born and ended their wanderlust.
Villa continued working to make ends meet, taking a position at Ryan Aeronautical for a few years, but then began working at Frazee Paint Stores in Chula Vista and La Mesa.
However, the Villas’ love of wide-open spaces prompted the family to move again, ending up in Alpine in 1964. It was a small horse community then, and she enjoyed long trail rides all over Alpine with her daughter. She worked at Florence’s Market when Alpine Boulevard was still Old Hwy. 80, and many may remember her from the Alpine Rexall Pharmacy, where she worked for the next 35 years.
Alice Villa took great joy in helping the community and in her diligence, she created friendships that lasted a lifetime. She and her daughter Joann served in the Alpine Lions Club for 21 years. Irene Griffin of Comfort Keepers said, “A lot of people know her, she’s a quiet person who was always active in the community and gave a lot to it.”
She was the Alpine Lions Club President in 2002, and was named ‘Lion of the Year’, several times. In 2002 she was named Lion of the Decade. Mary Ryerson said, “She was a Pillar of the Club, a wonderful person who was always willing to help.”
She worked on community fund-raisers in addition to being very active in the Alpine Chamber of Commerce as well as the Santee Chamber of Commerce. She was also an Alpine Honorary Mayor in 2005, helping to fundraise for our Alpine schools.
Villa’s easy temperament, and constant smiles allowed her to be easily accessible to her friends. “She loved everyone, and cherished and respected all of them.” Says her daughter Joann. “She especially loved the Viejas Reservation, its land, people and traditions.”
Alice died on Christmas day, 2012 at Lakeview Hospice in La Mesa, CA. She will be greatly missed by her loved ones, and her many friends. There will be a memorial celebration at the Crown Hills Club House on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., January 20. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the San Diego Center for the Blind, 5922 El Cajon, Blvd., San Diego, CA.