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Alma Lee Amende

Obituary for Alma Lee Amende

August 19, 1952 - September 23, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 67

Obituary

Alma Lee Adams Amende was born on August 19, 1952, in San Antonio, Texas with a joyful heart and spirit of adventure. She grew up in a family filled with love and enjoyed a childhood complete with family outings to parks for picnics, going to fireworks displays, helping her grandmother make buñuelos, and visiting her cousins in Eagle Pass.

She graduated from South San Antonio High School in 1970. She then attended and graduated from Texas A&I University in Kingsville in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education. She was an all-level art major which allowed her to teach in K-12 Texas public schools. She taught for one year at Southwest Middle School before meeting Hartmut Amende, who was in the German Navy and was taking a course at the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base. Alma Lee and Hartmut married in October 1976 and she started the adventure of being a Navy wife and mom in Germany. Alma Lee loved her time in Germany and quickly assimilated, learning the language and culture. It was in Kiel, Germany, where her first daughter, Heidi Roxanne, was born in 1977. A few years later they returned to San Antonio where her second daughter, Heather Marlene, was born in 1981. They divorced in 1988 and she focused on raising her daughters and her teaching career.

In 1979, she began teaching art at Kingsborough Middle School in the Harlandale Independent School District, where she received many accolades including Teacher of the Year numerous times. She was also a proud member of the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE). Sharing her love of art with her students made her truly happy and she was so proud to take their artwork out into the community for all of San Antonio to see. She also organized an art club at Kingsborough for her budding enthusiastic artists. Having taught for many years, she often saw her former students wherever she went, and it always made her smile because they remembered her fondly. In 2015, she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and she decided to continue to teach throughout her treatment. She valued the rich relationships with colleagues and made life-long friends during her years of teaching. She retired from her beloved Kingsborough in June 2019 after 40 years of dedicated service. She was honored by colleagues with a delicious retirement luncheon at Kingsborough. Her family gathered in August to celebrate Alma Lee's illustrious teaching career with a big retirement party.

Alma Lee loved nothing more than to spend time with her daughters, Heidi and Heather. They were her greatest loves in life. It didn't matter what the activity, as long as they were together. They brought her great comfort and love throughout her life and especially in her final days.

Family was everything to her and one of her greatest joys was being the grandmother to her grandson, Colby. She enjoyed spending time with him, taking him shopping and for haircuts and people watching while they enjoyed a donut at Dunkin' Donuts. She was so proud when he was recently inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. Although she was technically aunt to her nephew Callum, she stepped in to be his honorary grandmother and was affectionately nicknamed "Auntie Gamaw." She was a loving aunt to Kurt, Stephen, Haleigh-whom she affectionately called "Doll Baby," and great aunt to Brendon. She came to all school plays, sporting events, and musical performances, always offering her support and love. She was also the best big sister to Evelyn and Chrystal and would dispense her wisdom freely, always with a side of humor.

Alma Lee was also very strong in her faith and loved hearing the word of the Lord. She attended Gateway Baptist Church for over 25 years and was well-loved in her church community.

As an artist, she never stopped learning and took art classes at San Antonio College, clay sculpture courses at UTSA, glass blowing classes, and classes at the San Antonio Museum of Art. She loved Frida Kahlo and the glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly. One of her proudest possessions was a piece of Chihuly glass she received as a birthday present from her daughters. She was also proud to take part in an exhibition of Art by Educators in 2015 and sold some of her original pieces.

Alma Lee remained young at heart and she loved dancing and music. She enjoyed attending live music performances and saw Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Heart, Randy Rainbow, the Gypsy Kings, and Blue Man Group. She had tickets to see Post Malone in October. Family will attend in her honor.

During these difficult years, her daughter, Heather, selflessly put her personal life on hold to care for her mother. She quit her job and made countless trips to MD Anderson in Houston for treatment, some lasting as long as six weeks. Alma Lee understood the sacrifice and was forever grateful to her "Hestie" for all her love and care, as is the rest of the family. The family would also like to thank brother Guillermo "Willie" Alvarado and his wife Lucy for their visits, prayers, and the delicious homecooked meals that they so graciously provided for us this past week. Their prayers and kindness were a comfort. We would also like to thank Carmen Espericueta for her exceptional care of Alma Lee these last few weeks.

Alma Lee was a feisty character, and fun-loving and always up for adventure. She had the time of her life visiting her daughter, Heidi, and son-in-law, Chris, while they were stationed at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska. She enjoyed cruising up the Chena River, learning about the Inuit people, and partaking in an authentic Alaskan salmon bake. Many memorable trips were also taken to the Texas Gulf Coast with her family where we spent time eating good food, laughing till our sides hurt, hunting for treasures on the beach, and watching the stars. She was forever an optimist, who looked on the sunny side of life, and always kept us laughing with the perfect humorous anecdotes and original nicknames she gave to family members. She loved her cats and took wonderful care of Essie, Kitten-Kitten, and most recently, her orange rescue cat she named Prince Harry. She was the glue that held our family together. She fought a valiant battle. We will love and miss her forever.

Alma Lee is survived by her daughter, Heidi Amende-Mullaley, husband Chris, and grandson Colby Lee; daughter, Heather Amende, partner Carmen Espericueta; sister, Evelyn Perusquia, husband Mario; sister, Chrystal Westwood, husband Ronnie; honorary daughters, Erica Rios and Rhonda De La Rosa; nephews Kurt Riedel, Stephen McGoff, and Callum Westwood; greatnephew Brendon McGoff; niece Haleigh Westwood; numerous aunts, uncles, friends, and cousins by the dozens that loved her. The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 9:00 a.p.m., Monday, September 30, 2019, at Porter Loring Mortuary.

CELEBRATION OF LIFE
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2019
10:00 AM
PORTER LORING CHAPEL
1101 McCULLOUGH AVENUE

Rev. Eddie Perez will officiate. Interment will follow in San Fernando III.

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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