Obituary of Alice M. Crowder Foster Trumblee
Alice Trumblee was born June 16, 1925, in American Falls, Idaho. She was the oldest of six children born to Charles David Crowder and Elizabeth Ellen Dille. During the first six years of her life, the family moved three times, and due to the Great Depression, moved back to the American Falls area to live with her beloved grandfather Heber Dille. His influence in her young life cannot be overstated, as he guided her to be a lifelong learner, an industrious worker, an ever-creative person, and a woman with a heart of generosity. These four qualities were further encouraged and nurtured by two of Heber’s children, Alice’s Uncle Tom and her mom, Elizabeth.
Alice excelled in her studies, even becoming salutatorian of her high school, while working in a café 70 hours a week to save for college. The art class she took from her Uncle Tom, and the drawings requested by her mother for use in children’s ministries, developed both her art skills and her generosity in serving others.
Though her intent was to go to art school in California, at the last minute, God miraculously redirected her to Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, with a job offer to work as an artist at the Gospel Publishing House. It was there she completed her bachelor’s degree and produced art for Sunday school materials that would bless countless children around the world for generations.
She met and married Bob Foster in August of 1946, and after having their first three children, they moved to Idaho for his career. For several years, she continued doing freelance artwork for the Gospel Publishing House while raising her children (now four), running their small family farm, and discovering a newfound passion for teaching.
The family moved to Idaho Falls where she developed lifelong friends in her local church, Central Assembly of God, and in the Idaho Falls Art Guild. She attended national art conventions around the country and took numerous painting trips with her friend and colleague, Helen Auperlie. After substituting in public schools for a short time, she was offered a position for full-time teaching, which launched her teaching career: first as a fifth-grade teacher, then as a junior high art teacher, and for the remainder of her 35-year teaching career, as a high school art teacher at Bonneville High School, Idaho Falls High School, and Skyline High School.
After her last two children were born, the family moved to a beautiful house on 12th Street in Idaho Falls. While Alice continued teaching, she took many trips around eastern Idaho; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and to a family vacation cabin at Palisades Reservoir to paint landscapes of mountains, rivers, lakes, abandoned mines, and other beautiful scenery. She is renowned for her paintings of the Tetons and was honored with others in the book The Artists of the Rockies.
During her summers, Alice took numerous trips with her children; her brother evangelist Linfield Crowder; and her best friend, Barbara Dugone, and her family, who ministered in churches around the country in art, sermon, and song. She paid her way by doing hundreds, if not thousands, of soft pastel portraits. She also painted large murals in sanctuaries and baptisteries in numerous churches in California and Oregon. Alice took many art classes from renowned artists from around the United States and Mexico, learning and developing expertise in numerous art media. She also wrote and illustrated several children’s books and illustrated many missionary stories.
After 34 years, her marriage to Bob Foster ended in 1980. She rented several rooms of her 12th Street house to navy men who worked at the nuclear site west of Idaho Falls. In 1984 she married Mike Trumblee, and they bought and remodeled an old farmhouse west of Idaho Falls.
Alice loved to travel and was fortunate to go to Europe eight times, to Mexico twice, to Israel, and on a memorable trip to China with her daughter Cathy. She remained an active Art Guild member for nearly 60 years, serving at times as an officer or board member, and was very influential in the fundraising and building of the Eagle Rock Museum in Idaho Falls.
In 2012, her 27-year marriage to Mike ended, and she spent the next four years living in her Broadway house and visiting her children and grandchildren. She lived her last seven years receiving wonderful care in assisted living facilities in Idaho Falls, Boise, and Middleton, Idaho, near her children.
Throughout her years, Alice was a faithful member of Assemblies of God churches in Springfield, Missouri; American Falls, Idaho; and Idaho Falls, Idaho. In these churches, she served faithfully as a Sunday school teacher, a children’s church leader, a board member, and a designer and builder of stage sets for many Christmas and Easter programs, as well as a seamstress for hundreds of costumes. She was faithful in bringing her six children to church regularly and being an example of a dedicated believer in Christ, which influenced them all to follow Him as well.
Alice was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bob, her brothers Kelly Crowder and Linfield Crowder, her sisters Ruth Mary McGregory and Margo Plum, and her daughter Elizabeth Walton (Marvin). She is survived by her sister Gracie LaBombard (Frenchy), her five children and their spouses, Robert Foster (Mary Lu), Cathy Kratz (Larry), Charles Foster (Kim), Frances Eltiste (Hal), and David Foster (June), and 16 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews and other extended family members.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alice Crowder Foster Trumblee, please visit Tribute Store