Catherine Clarice (Mehling) Alter went to be with our Lord on June 1, 2013. Clarice ("Kay") was born in Welsh, Louisiana on June 27, 1932 to Josephine Mehling. She and her brother, Anthony Mehling-Lejune (deceased), shared many fond memories growing up. Clarice was raised from birth by her grandmother, Catherine Mehling, and her grandfather who was bedridden, Joseph Mehling.
When Clarice was in the first grade her family moved to Vinton, Louisiana where she graduated from high school in 1949. She remembered being a Future Business Leader of America, but laughed when asked if she was an Honor Student during her school years.
It was in high school where she met the love of her life, Hilton "Sonny" Alter. They were married in November, 1950 and began life as a Navy family. Sonny and Kay traveled extensively over the next fifteen years with stops in places such as Boston (daughter, Sherry, and son, Jack, were born), France, Morocco (daughter Charmaine was born), Florida (daughter, Toni, was born), California, Washington, Virginia, and Louisiana.
In 1965, Kay and Sonny settled into their lifetime home in the country outside of Vinton, in Toomey. Throughout her life Kay worked outside of the home. For many years, she was the Head Cashier at George Theriot's Store in Lake Charles and Sulphur, La.
Once she retired from Theriot's, Kay got a commercial driver's license (in her sixties!) so she could be the relief driver on the many long haul trips she did with Sonny, who had become a trucker. They continued their travels throughout America from an eighteen wheeler, complete with a sleeper and their small dogs.
When they retired, Kay and Sonny raised miniature horses. They enjoyed their country living tremendously; keeping up with their friends, playing poker, ch-chinging (the sound of mom playing slot machines), feeding a variety of yard animals including watching the many hummingbirds and getting joy from their pets.
After Sonny died in October, 2010, Kay continued to live independently in the country. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and established a comfortable routine. Her children have to smile as we remember her many trips driving to Houston over the years to spend time with us. Each and every time we had to give her the same directions again, as negotiating the freeways of Houston was not her strong point! She was such a trooper.
Life took an unexpected turn when Kay, at the age of 78, suffered a debilitating stroke in March, 2011. After rehabilitation, Kay tried to live at home with live-in help. However, in the summer of 2011 Kay moved to Houston where she could be closer to three of her children. Kay entered an intensive rehabilitation facility where she hoped to regain her ability to walk. Although she did gain many strides, Kay was never able to walk again. Because of the level of care she needed, Kay moved into a long term care facility. Some of the benefits Kay enjoyed were having Sherry and Charmaine split the days of the week so Mom would have loving visits every day. Her dogs moved to Houston, too, and continued to visit her.
Our Mom, our Grandma, our Great Grandma, and our friend will be forever in our hearts and prayers. Kay will be missed by her children Sherry (Roger, deceased), Jack (Stormy), Charmaine (Al), and Toni (Christian); her grandchildren Dene, Amanda, Jackee, Danielle, Elijah and Zoe; her great grandchildren Makayla, Barbara, and Ashlyn; as well as her lifelong friends. She will be reunited with her grandson, Jason, and many other loved ones who have gone before her.
We know she is now free to walk and dance with God, and this gives us great comfort. Mom was such a gentle spirit. Thank you to all whose lives were woven into hers, you helped to make her life a beautiful tapestry.
"Now we look forward with confidence to our heavenly bodies, realizing that every moment we spend in these earthly bodies is time spent away from our eternal home in heaven with Jesus. We know these things are true by believing, not be seeing. And we are not afraid, but are quite content to die, for then we will be at home with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
Funeral services were held on June 5, 2013, with interment at Big Woods Cemetery in Edgerly.