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Alice Ann Lynch

Obituary for Alice Ann Lynch

February 14, 1941 - January 31, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 78

Alice's devotion to friendship may represent her greatest legacy

Obituary

Alice Ann Lynch, a beloved resident of San Antonio for 56 years, passed away peacefully from leukemia early Friday morning at home in the company of her devoted husband of 20 years, Samuel "Woody" Norwood, of Atlanta. A Valentine's Day baby, Alice was just 14 days shy of reaching her 79th birthday.

Alice's Texas twang was sharp as barbed wire, so it came as a surprise to many to learn she was born and lived the first three years of her life in Long Beach, California. Her father, John Francis Lynch, an engaging Irish Catholic oilfield roughneck, moved to California with his new bride, Josephine Short, to build and run a refinery for the Fletcher Oil Company. Josephine, a Texas panhandle home economics teacher, was also the proud daughter of a pioneer cowboy who rode the Chisolm Trail. John and Josephine Lynch couldn't bear to be away from Texas. Seizing an opportunity with the La Gloria Oil Company, they moved with Alice, and her new sister Mary, to Falfurrias, Texas. The next move brought the family to Corpus Christi, where Alice, blonde-haired, freckled-face, curious and good-natured spent her childhood. It is here where Alice's gift for friendship emerged.

Alice's devotion to friendship may represent her greatest legacy. She made lifelong friends everywhere… on ski chairlifts… standing in line for a show… wherever she happened to be. She never let friendships flag no matter how far-flung and widely diverged the trajectories of her friends' lives. The first layer of these legendary friendships originated in Corpus. She made more with six summers spent at Camp Waldemar near Hunt, Texas. She added to them during her boarding school years at St. Stephen's in Austin. Her family moved from Corpus Christi to Houston in 1959 just as Alice enrolled at the University of Texas; bigger stages meant bigger platforms for Alice. Alice's academic focus was history, but her true major was friendship and her Theta sorority sisters became pillars in her life. She made her debut in Houston and was an out-of-town Duchess in San Antonio's Fiesta. She married fellow UT student William "Bill" Wyatt of San Antonio in 1962.

Alice and Bill were stationed at arguably the cushiest and most beautiful spot in the U.S. Army, the Presidio at San Francisco. They moved to San Antonio in 1964 where they were blessed with two sons, John and Richey. Alice embraced her life in San Antonio whole heartedly and worked tirelessly as a civic booster. Alice's core values prioritized education, art and cultural events. She was a member of one of the pioneering classes of Leadership San Antonio. She served in leadership roles of community and charitable organizations that included among others, the START Gallery at the San Antonio Museum of Art, Learning About Learning, Texas Biomed Forum, Mission Heritage Partners (Los Compadres) and the San Antonio Library Foundation. She served on the University of Texas Press Advisory Board in Austin. She championed the Texas Book Festival and the San Antonio Book Festival, as well as the San Antonio Symphony, Youth Orchestra of San Antonio (YOSA), and the music program at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

Alice thirsted for adventure in a way that set her apart. Her zest for life, and her relentless pace, made her travel companions cry out for mercy. Her love of the outdoors began with skiing. She branched into tennis because of San Antonio's regrettable lack of snow. She became a dedicated jogger before it was a national craze. She did it all with inimitable style, she dressed elegantly but liked to punch it up with more than a little Texas flair. Alice became a devoted mountain girl and an expert skier around the time when the term "ski bunny" came into parlance; she always had the latest ski outfit and après-ski boots. She went helicopter skiing multiple times in the famed Bugaboo Mountains of British Columbia. She climbed Kilimanjaro. She trekked in Tibet. She completed several Outward Bound programs, most memorably an adventure to Annapurna. She bungee jumped in New Zealand. She pioneered adventure travel before it had a name. As recently as last year Alice journeyed to Antarctica and became enraptured with penguins between chemo treatments.

Alice knew her share of hardship. Alice and Bill's marriage ended in divorce in 1987. A difficult period of loneliness and self-searching ensued. Alice's mother had died of cancer when Alice was 33. Her sister, Mary, became estranged, a source of great pain to Alice. Mary died of cancer young at the age of 56. Alice bore the difficult task of caring for her beloved father who was ill with chronic alcoholism; she cared for him largely singlehandedly until his death in 1996.

The clouds lifted, where they always did for Alice, in the mountains. Starting on her 40th birthday Alice organized a ski group of eight woman who, notwithstanding setbacks ranging from divorce to cancer, skied the same January week every year in Aspen for close to 40 years. For the single men of a certain age, this group of attractive women, became well known. Thus, it was that the regular Aspen skier from Georgia, Sam "Woody" Norwood came into Alice's life through a mutual friend. They married in January of 2000, appropriately enough at the top of Aspen Mountain. Woody was the love of Alice's life and she his. Finding a like-minded soul mate in each other was a gift beyond measure. Alice and Woody's marriage brought great happiness to both of their extended families.

Alice's life was enriched by her five grandchildren! She doted on them, never missed a birthday, and traveled endlessly to visit them. As before with her sons, Alice demonstrated her love by reading to them, taking them to the theater and museums, sharing meals and taking trips, though she was never observed changing a diaper!

Alice was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, which she beat. She was diagnosed with advanced peritoneal cancer in 2016. Her last three years were enormously challenging from a physical standpoint, however, she never complained and in many respects they were her finest in the sense of the example she set. She lived life with the same humor and zest as ever before, but with an evident and profound sense of gratitude, joy and acceptance that were an inspiration to behold.

Alice was sustained by a deep faith. She was a lifelong Episcopalian and longstanding member of St. Mark's.

Alice is survived by her husband, "Woody" Norwood, who provided her loving and dedicated care during her illness; her sons and daughters-in-law, whom she loved as her own; John Wyatt and Susan Ludwigson, of Glen Ridge, NJ; and Richey and Joan Wyatt of San Antonio; her five grandchildren, Henry and Taylor Wyatt; and Ben, Eloise and Karin Wyatt; and by her former husband, Bill Wyatt.

Alice Lynch lives beloved in memory. She touched and inspired lives. She set a powerful standard of a life well-lived. She will be sorely missed and gives those of us who mourn her passing the gift of making her life one to celebrate.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The San Antonio River Foundation, The San Antonio Book Festival, or the Blood and Tissue Center Foundation.

MEMORIAL SERVICE
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2020
4:00 PM
ST. MARK'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
315 PECAN

Followed by a reception at the San Antonio Country Club.

Recommended Local Florist

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • The San Antonio River Foundation

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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