On the first day of Spring, and just two weeks shy of her 104th birthday, Alice Johnson Blair passed away on March 20.
She was born in St. Johnsbury on April 4, 1919, one of four children to Lucia (Day) and Frederick Johnson. Alice graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy with the Class of 1937 and then studied at the University of Maine in Farmington, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics in 1942. In 1945, Alice returned home to Vermont and taught Home Economics in the communities of Danville, Peacham, Concord, and St. Johnsbury.
In 1947, Alice married Kenneth Blair, a jack of all trades and a one of a kind character. They made Danville their home for nearly forty years. In the 1950s, Alice became the Federal Government Extension Service Agent for Caledonia County, a position she held for nearly twenty-five years, and one that took her to the homes of many residents, where she taught canning, cooking, sewing, and everything in between. While an Extension Agent, she was on the airways with her “homemaking notes.” When she retired in 1979, Alice reminisced, “I’ve probaby learned as much on the job as I’ve taught.”
Following Kenneth’s death in 1986, Alice moved to Newark Pond where her family had owned a camp. She enjoyed her log home for several years before returning to Danville in the mid-1990s. She remained a vibrant member of the community, becoming an expert rug hooker and rarely missing a service at Danville Congregational Church. For the last several years, Alice also reigned as Danville’s oldest resident! Remarkably, she maintained her ability to drive until her mid-90s, and thanks to the generosity of family, friends, and neighbors, Alice enjoyed the luxury of living in her own home until just before Christmas of 2022.
The family holds many fond memories of visits with Aunt Alice over the years, including an annual birthday party that she hosted for her late nephew John Pearl on December 23 (she vowed he would never suffer for having his birthday so near Christmas). Summer time lobster dinners were a riot, for even at 100 years, Alice could pick a lobster apart better than anyone we ever knew! You never went hungry when you were with her! We also enjoyed a memorable celebration of her 100th birthday in April of 2019.
Alice was predecesed by her parents, Lucia and Frederick, her three siblings, Gilbert and Paul Johnson and Lucia Pearl, and her husband Kenneth. She was also predeceased by nephews Tom and John Pearl and most recently, Bruce Johnson.
She is survived by her nieces and nephews, Peggy Pearl, Elizabeth Sargent, Jane Carnabuci, and Peter, Craig, and Mark Johnson. She is also survived by numerous great nephews and nieces, as well as by several great great nephews and nieces.
Alice’s request was for a graveside service at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery later this spring.
Should you wish to make a contribution in her memory, direct them to the Danville Congregational Church, P.O. Box 161, Danville, Vt. 05828.
Memories and condolences may be shared with family at saylesfh.com.