Alice Genevieve Favor, a woman with a deep faith in Christ and a joyful spirit, died June 21, 2020, weeks short of her 93rd birthday. She was born July 18, 1927, in Pasadena, Calif., the only child of Lyman Theal and Genevieve (Jidy) Rogers Theal, nee Willard.
Alice majored in business at the University of Southern California, where she met her husband Earle Wallin Favor. Instead of completing her final semester of college, she got married on Jan. 25, 1949.
While Earle completed his law degree at USC, Alice sold housewares at Bullock’s Department Store in Pasadena, earning top commissions and becoming an expert in European china. She left this successful career when she became pregnant with the first of their four children. As she raised her family, she got involved in the local community and taught her children the value of service.
In return, they volunteered her to head projects at school, lead a Girl Scouts troop or help with other activities for children. She accepted these unexpected assignments with grace despite occasional misgivings.
When she married a scratch golfer, Alice decided to take up the game, and she played regularly with Earle, especially in their later years. She ruefully said her swing never fully recovered from playing late into four pregnancies.
In 1964, the family moved to Santa Barbara, a city they loved. While Alice missed her wide circle of friends in Pasadena and Altadena, she soon became involved with El Montecito Presbyterian Church and the Montecito Y, where she led afterschool groups for children and volunteered in other ways.
A naturally gregarious person who loved people, Alice suffered a severe hearing loss in her late 20s that grew worse over time and left her increasingly dependent on hearing aids and lip-reading to communicate. She rarely complained about this and worked hard to hear and connect with others. She learned to smile and nod, and some people never suspected how little she heard.
As her children grew up, they began to realize they won the lottery for mothers. Always supportive and involved in their lives, Alice taught them how to overcome challenges and persevere. They felt safe sharing both their successes and their failures with her. Alice also became a mother to some of her children’s friends who received the love and understanding from her lacking in their own homes.
She accepted people as she found them and liked them for who they were. Her grandchildren eagerly looked forward to visiting her. She devoted time to each individual, playing games with them, walking on the beach, going for surrey rides, and visiting the zoo and museums. She also adored her great-grandchildren, although her age limited her activities with them.
Alice joined the missions committee at El Montecito and served for many years, raising money for Christmas gifts to missionaries overseas and faithfully purchasing and mailing the requested items months in advance. Many of the missionaries became dear friends.
She volunteered as a teacher’s aide at Montecito Union School and later became a paid aide but had to quit when her hearing deteriorated further. She loved her students and had a gift for relating to children. She then worked with Earle in his law practice as his secretary until they retired together.
Her dazzling smile always delighted people, even from her wheelchair. Her kindness and joyfulness endeared her to many. Her keen intellect and discernment about people added depth and substance to her friendliness.
Earle died in 2015, a month shy of their 67th wedding anniversary. Alice is survived by her children Nancy Phinney (Bob), Brad (Nina), Kathleen Weyant (John) and Lynn Hertzfeld (Bruce); nine grandchildren Sam Phinney, Jon Wentzel, James Wentzel, Alex Favor, Michael Favor, Charlie Favor, Christopher Weyant, Melissa Weyant and Sarah Hertzfeld; and seven great-grandchildren, including Alice Rose Wentzel, who was named for her.