Alice S. Gruber, born Alice Shirley Moskovitz in Akron, Ohio and longtime resident of Toledo and Salem, Oregon, died peacefully at her home in Salem.
Born at home to Hungarian immigrant parents, Blanche and Harry Moskovitz, she fondly remembered her extended family and friends from her early years in Akron.
Alice married her high school sweetheart, Matthew “Papp” Gruber in 1944. Together they raised seven children with Alice clearly in charge of the household. She instilled strong values, ethics, and confidence in her children and many other kids who spent time in the Gruber home. She mothered by example, taught her children how to actively belong to and engage in a community, and allowed her children to explore their passions, believing they would come to their senses in the end. She was a firm believer that a positive attitude can be the difference between having a good day or a bad day.
Alice loved libraries and the power of words. From her first job as a library assistant in the Akron Public Library, through her work at Salem Library in the 1940’s and her long history with Toledo Public Library, on through her last job as a proof reader for the Oregon Legislative Counsel, she worked with words, language, and people she admired that she formed lasting friendships. Alice was involved in a wide variety of community organizations in Akron, Toledo and Salem. Her 27 years in Toledo were made all the better by her long commitment to Toledo Civic Club and its operation and support of the Toledo Public Library, advocating for and volunteering in Toledo schools, Toledo Swim Club, 4-H, chairing the Lincoln County Bicentennial Committee, and with her husband Matthew, developing and operating Olalla Valley Golf Course bringing golf to Toledo “out of the wind and fog”.
The depression of the 1930’s, WWII and the politics of the day deeply influenced her life, making Alice a passionate supporter of peace and universal human rights. She opposed the war in Vietnam, embraced the civil rights movement and federal action to enforce racial and religious civil rights. She knew her own mind and supported passage of the ERA and most recently, at the age of 94, proudly “marched” in the 2017 Women’s March in Salem. Her guiding principle was simply the Golden Rule: Do not treat others as you would not have them treat you.
In addition to her family and the friends she gathered wherever she went, Mom loved listening to music, reading most anything, watching the news, marking her ballot and dropping it into the ballot box on Election Day. She was delighted by the Oregon coast, road trips, comfortable shoes (especially red ones), warm hats, colorful clothing, art of any kind, good food, peanut butter chocolate ice cream, milk shakes, gin and tonic, “just a little bit of” red wine, and a good laugh. She lived her life well, laughed a lot and smiled more, loved much and much loved.
Alice was preceded in death by her three siblings, Sid, Frances and Ruth, and by her beloved husband Matthew and son, Robert. She is survived by six children and their spouses, Frank (Pat), David (Hilde), Merrick Kriz (Mike), Cindy Gruber-Condon (Dick), Sandy, Nancy (Mark Stockdale), and (Michele Novak); 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
A memorial celebration will be held at Temple Beth Sholom in Salem on February 24, at 2:00 p.m. The family would appreciate personal recollections of Alice and how she touched different lives. The family suggests planting something to remind you of her or a memorial donation to Oregon Public Broadcasting, your local library, Friends of the Greater Toledo Pool, your local food bank, or other charitable organization making the world a better place.
Alice S. Gruber August 2, 1922 – January 23, 2019