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Alice Tyler died in her sleep at her home Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.
Alice Palmer Pfahler was born July 24, 1922, in St Louis, the daughter of Fred and Ida Pfahler. Alice accompanied her mother on the train to Montana in 1933, where they toured Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks in the old red and yellow buses.
Her infatuation with Montana became permanent during the late 1930's, when she spent several summer vacations riding horses at the Bones Brothers dude ranch on the Tongue River.
She met Dudley Tyler in 1943 on a blind date; they were married in 1944. Their first home was a room in a boarding house near Fort Lewis where Dudley was stationed. After World War II ended they moved to Chicago, where Dudley worked at Sears and Roebuck.
Alice and Dudley continued to search for alternatives to the Chicago suburbs for their four children; farmland in Illinois was prohibitively expensive, so in 1957 they bought a ranch in Montana. Alice's only negotiated settlement on the new home she'd never seen was that Dudley move the stairs indoors so the children didn't have to go outside before breakfast. They raised their children along the Boulder River, together with dozens of nephews, nieces, and scores of urban teenagers, many of whom still count their days of hard labor at the Tyler Ranch among their greatest years.
Alice was inspired by Julia Child, and her gourmet meals were famous among ranch hands, friends and relations. Three generations of children, cousins, friends and travelers counted Alice's house as home.
Alice was a member of St Marks Episcopal Church in Big Timber. She served on every board that asked, saw every Herders game she could attend, and heard the fifth grade band play Jingle Bells more than fifty times, never tiring of the performances.
Alice is survived by her three children: Kathy, Kim (Ann), and Dude (Sara Jane); her granddaughters Morgan (Dirk), Cary (Mark), Madeline and Brannin; her great grandson Max; her nephew Tim Pfahler (Jean Ann); Uncle Tim and the Denver Tylers. She was preceded in death by son Paul, sister Betty, brother Sam, and husband Dudley.
The Tyler Family is grateful for the "Wine Night Ladies" – Cookie, Paula, Mimi, ¬¬¬¬¬Ruth - who never missed a Wednesday at Alice's house in the seven years after Dudley died; for Joyce Fotland her companion; for her neighbors the Waltons and the Labries, who watched out for Alice, especially when the driveway drifted in; for David Gunderson who brought her Communion two days before she died; for the community of Big Timber, who adopted the "eastern dudes from Chicago".
Big Timber was Home; Alice never left.
Cremation has taken place and memorial services will be held 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, at St Marks Episcopal Church in Big Timber, with a reception following at The Grand. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to one of Alice's favorites, including the Big Timber Carnegie Library and her local PEO Chapter.
Arrangements by Stenberg Funeral Home.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 26, 2014