Alliene Crittenden Guinn Vale
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Alliene Crittenden Guinn Vale Alliene Crittenden Guinn Vale passed away peacefully in her Austin home on Sunday, November 21, 2010 at the age of 92. She was born in Rusk, Texas on September 25, 1918, to Florence Ratcliff Guinn and Guy Crittenden Guinn. Alliene grew up surrounded by lawyers; her great-grandfather established a law firm in Rusk in 1849 which remained in operation by the family for more than 125 years, and her grandfathers were judges in adjacent counties. When Alliene was two years old, her father moved the family to Houston to pursue his legal career, and she spent most of the next 80 years in that city. She attended Sam Houston High School and at age 15 enrolled in The Rice Institute (now Rice University). Alliene graduated from Rice in 1939, and on June 29th of that year married her beau of seven years, Wylie Walker Vale, who had just received his architecture degree from Rice and who was to remain her beloved husband for the next 71 years. In 1941 their first son, Wylie Walker Vale, Jr., was born and Wylie designed and built their first home on Bunker Hill Road in Houston. Alliene and Wylie were pioneers in the Memorial area; over a sixty year period, they lived in three homes Wylie designed in that neighborhood, and helped organize the City of Piney Point Village. During World War II, while Wylie served in the Pacific in the Navy, Alliene worked in a tank transmission factory to contribute to the war effort, then landed a job on the city desk of the Houston Post. She moved to Southern California to be closer to the ports where Wylie's ships docked, and worked for the Santa Monica newspaper. They returned to Houston after the war and both established remarkable and complementary careers, Alliene as an interior designer and Wylie as an architect. In 1947, they were joined by Helen McFarland, who managed their household for the next 54 years and made a profound contribution to their success and to the atmosphere of love in their home. In 1950, at a time when few women in Texas pursued careers in business, Alliene founded Alliene Vale Interiors, which became one of the most respected interior design firms in the state. Alliene developed an eclectic style that emphasized warm colors, fine Asian art and rugs, and antiques from around the world. In 1955, they welcomed their second son, Shannon T. Vale, into the warm, rambling ranch-style home Wylie designed at 11302 Memorial Drive, which is now considered a classic of mid-century Texas residential architecture. With two boys who loved the outdoors, Alliene was remarkably patient with the countless dogs, cats, snakes, lizards, turtles, rabbits, monkeys, squirrels, goats, birds and other critters that were a constant presence in their home. Alliene and Wylie's lives changed dramatically when they committed their lives to Jesus Christ in 1960. Alliene plunged into her new faith with the same energy, study and passion that was so characteristic of her. While maintaining her active interior design business, Alliene embarked upon a new adventure as a nationally-renown Bible teacher and counselor. To everyone's surprise, a song she wrote, The Joy of the Lord, became an international sensation in the emerging folk gospel movement, and has since been recorded by scores of artists all over the world. In 1979, a major Christian record label produced The Joy of the Lord and Other Songs of Alliene Vale, a collection of her songs sung by leading gospel singers of the day. For many years, Alliene and Wylie hosted Bible studies in their home, and embarked upon mission trips to India, Haiti, Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago. Alliene gave freely of her time to people of all ages who were struggling through life's challenges, and she will truly be missed by the many people whose lives she touched. In 2001, Alliene and Wylie moved to Austin to be closer to Shannon and his family. They lived in their beautiful home in Rollingwood for eight years, then moved into an assisted living residence in The Querencia in 2009. Alliene is survived by her husband Wylie; her son Wylie, Jr. and daughter-in-law Betty of La Jolla, California; her son Shannon and daughter-in-law Jane of Austin; grandchildren Elizabeth Gandhi and husband Prashant, Susannah Howieson and husband Devlin, and Joshua and Matthew Vale; and one great-grandchild, Celeste Gandhi. She is preceded in death by her mother and father and by a sister who died at birth. A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 27th at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin, with a reception following at the church. Interment will occur in a private ceremony for the family. The family would like to offer our deepest thanks to Maria Pulido, who with her husband Arnold and their children made such a contribution to Alliene and Wylie's comfort and happiness. We would also like to thank the members of the staff at The Querencia and at Lighthouse Hospice, and the many friends who assisted her in her final months. Obituary and guestbook online at

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Published in Austin American-Statesman from Nov. 25 to Nov. 26, 2010.
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
December 13, 2010
Mrs. Vale encouraged the Sit family to take me into their home and become a family to me. I was alone, 19 and a new Christian. Amy Sit wanted her to see me first and confirm the message Amy was receiving from the Lord. Mrs. Vale walked into the room and talked with me briefly and turned to Amy and said, "She has dove's eyes." I was so grateful for her sweet cheerful spirit. She was so kind to me. She even came one day and brought some of her clothes for me to wear. They were nice and I was glad to get them as I had so little things of my own. She had me over for an evening meal later where a cook prepared a special curry over rice. I can still remember how good it was and wished I could have had the recipe. I stopped by her house once and she invited me in as though I was someone special and seemed glad to see me. She served me ice cream with the best pecan sauce. She was wise and interesting when she talked. I enjoyed listening to her. I have always remembered her with gratitude and a sense that she KNEW God. She helped me when I was so desperate. Thank You, Sister Vale. Ande Carroll (Juliaetta, Idaho)
Ande Carroll
November 28, 2010
Dear Mr. Vale,
Thank you for sharing Allienne’s biography. Though we have never met, you have had a profound impact on our daily lives -- we fell in love with a Vale-designed home more than 20 years ago and live there still. We suspect Allienne may have had a hand in designing the interior for the original owners in 1959. We are deeply sorry for the loss of your extraordinary wife.
Respectfully yours,
Jim Davis and wife Jan
Rice University class of 1977
Jim Davis
November 26, 2010
Allien was a pattern for me to show Christian love and leadership to others. If you get to live in Heaven according to your life on earth, I know the Vail mansion will be in the prime real estate section. I hope Bill picked out a section where we will be neighbors.
Celeste Brunner
November 26, 2010
Dear Wily and family, I am Celeste Brunner, recent widow of Bill Brunner. My heart goes out to you during this time. I know what a great comfort and joy she was to everyone that knew her. I received the baptism in 1965 and we spent many years with Bible study in the Vale home. She was a gracious and genuine Christian hostess. I have many wonderful memories we shared together. Wily, I know this is hard for you to bear. Bill and I were married for nearly sixty three years and I miss him terribly. However, I know he is happy to be in heaven. He has talked to me in the spirit several times. He is praising the Lord and heaven. He is watching over me and I envy Alliene for being with him. I am completing a book about my Christian testimony. I would like to come to the funeral but I can't, but my prayers are with you. Celeste Brunner
Celeste Brunner
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