Leila Elizabeth Alden
July 26, 1918 ~ May 7, 2012
Pacific Grove ~ Leila Elizabeth Alden died peacefully at her Canterbury Woods home at the age of 93. Born in Detroit, Michigan to Carroll and Leila (Degler) Alden, she attended Wellesley College, Lawrence University (BA), Mills College (MA) and Ohio Northern University (PhD).
Elizabeth truly was "A woman for all seasons!" She specialized in early childhood education and eventually became the Director of the University of Iowa Preschool Lab (now the Institute of Child Behavior and Development) in Iowa City, Iowa for many years. She spent over a year living in Afghanistan in the early 1970s, when the Afghani government was interested in improving their educational system for children. Elizabeth was one of a group of educators from the United States who were invited to advise them in these efforts. She especially enjoyed living among the Afghani people and had many interesting stories to tell about life there. She also traveled throughout the Orient & Europe.
Elizabeth owned Spindrift Farm outside Iowa City, where she raised a variety of animals (including dogs, cats, cows, sheep, goats, Buff Orpington chickens and a Sicilian ass), rode a thoroughbred horse and bred Hackney ponies which she drove in competitions. It should be noted that her Hackney pony, Spindrift Fascination, won many awards from Junior Hackney Pony World Champion (1987), Reserve World Champion Hackney Pony Mare (1990) and, eventually, the Grand Championship at the Midwest Charity Show (1991). She maintained the farm driving a tractor, baling hay, feeding animals, etc.
Elizabeth was interested in sewing, weaving, quilting, knitting, rug making, needlepoint, gardening and reading. Over the years, she was active in a large number of organizations. She loved Top Ramen noodles and all things cheese! Always interested in learning new things, she enjoyed her PC, iPod and Kindle and kept up with the news. When she could no longer see well enough to read, she enjoyed listening to audio books. Elizabeth was especially appreciative of the personal assistance she received from Moonset Yu of the Blind and Visually Impaired Center of Monterey County and Georgette Emenhiser and Tracy Lundy of Canterbury Woods' medical staff.
Elizabeth had a kind, gentle, generous and loving spirit--and also a great sense of humor. She was an encourager, who relished the accomplishments of others, while she rarely spoke of her own. She had many friends over the years from around the country and she will most certainly be missed! There will be a private burial in Washington State where she enjoyed many happy summers.
Donations may be made in her memory to the Blind and Visually Impaired Center of Monterey, 225 Laurel Ave., Pacific Grove, CA, 93950.