Alyce Henrietta Lopez Montoya was born on January 24, 1919 in Tempe, Arizona, one of ten children born to Henry and Concepcion Lopez. The family moved to Downey, California in 1932 and Alyce attended Downey High School and graduated in 1936. She later received her degree in cosmetology from the Polytechnic School of Beauty in Los Angeles. In 1938 her father moved the family to Bakersfield to establish his dairy ranch. That same year she met the love of her life and the man who would share her adventures.
She married Ernest E. Montoya on December 23, 1939 and together they had 6 children, JoAnn Inman, Patt Galland, Jeanie Eshelman (Bill), Ernie Montoya (Patty), Rick Montoya (Janice), and Beth Carter. She is “Grandmother” to sixteen grandchildren, thirty-one great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her parents, 8 siblings and her husband, Ernie. In addition to her children she is survived by her sister Theresa Carrol, of Maryland, and sister-in-law Arlene Lopez, wife of brother Alex, of Bakersfield.
Alyce was active for many years in Saint Francis and St. Philips Church and served as a Eucharistic minister for both. She was an active member until she was 97 years old. She was also an active member of the Altar Guild of St. Francis. St. Francis was an important part of her life and all of her children were baptized and married there. She joined Young Ladies Institute (St. Margaret Mary’s) in 1952 and in 1956 became a charter member of Deo Gratias #218. She was also a member of the Woman’s Club of Bakersfield since 1982, and was active with the Cotton Patch Quilters. After church and family, her passion was making quilts for every family member, quilts for premature babies in local hospitals, and returning veterans in our community. She made over 150 quilts which are treasured by all.
In 1942, Alyce and Ernie opened State Roofing and Insulation with Ernie’s brothers. In 1971, Alyce and Ernie branched out and opened Bakersfield Shingles Wholesale, now BSW Roofing, Solar, and Air. Alyce was an active partner in the business, designed the logo still used today, and worked in the accounting department until she was 97.
Alyce had many loves and anyone who knew Alyce loved her. She always had a kind word for everyone and everything. She loved life and always had a beautiful smile on her face. She had the gift of making everyone who knew her feel special. Alyce was known for her love and knowledge of roses, she could identify almost any flower. Her home was always adorned with plants and flowers of every kind.
Alyce enjoyed traveling and among her many travels she visited Jamaica, Monte Carlo, the Holy Lands, and Mexico City. But her favorite place was at home with her family.
On her last Earthly day, February 26, 2020, at the age of 101, Alyce delighted in enjoying lunch with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She laughed as she pointed out a squirrel to her great-grandsons. Later, she said the rosary with her daughter Beth and grandson Matthew. Afterwards, she took a nap and called out in her sleep all of the people she loved, her mother, her husband, her children, and most of all her God. Then she rested and entered the gates of heaven. A sad day for the many who loved her, but a glorious day for Alyce. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her but we live with the assurance that today she is dancing in heaven with Ernie.
The family would like to thank her daughter Beth, grandson Matthew, Hoffman Hospice, and Alyce’s nurses, Karen, Geneva, and Belinda, for their kindness and love to Alyce. Also, thank you to Dr. David Dougherty for his wonderful care through many years.
A viewing will be held on March 9th at Doughty Calhoun O’Meara Funeral Home, 1100 Truxtun Ave., from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with the rosary being recited at 6 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 900 H St., on March 10th, at 10 a.m. Graveside services will follow immediately after the mass at Greenlawn Northeast Cemetery on River Blvd.
DOUGHTY-CALHOUN-O'MEARA FUNERAL HOME