Alice A. Espe

Alice A. Espe


Alice A. Espe, 94, of Clarion, passed away on Sunday, June 26, 2022 at the Clarion Wellness and Rehabilitation Center in Clarion.

Funeral services for Alice Espe will be held on Friday, July 8, 2022 at 1:00 PM at the United Church of Christ Congregational, 121 Third Avenue North West in Clarion, with Pastor Bill Kem officiating.

CLICK HERE to view Alice’s memorial service

Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 7, 2022 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at Ewing Funeral Home, 1801 Central Avenue East in Clarion

Alice Amelia Mayes was born on January 3, 1928 to Lloyd and Hazel (Delano) Mayes in Waverly, Illinois. She was raised in Illinois and Wright County, graduating from high school in Jacksonville, Illinois with the Class of 1946. Alice attended Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri, where she studied English. She graduated in 1948.

The love of dancing brought Alice together with a young man from Clarion, Pete Rodriguez. Alice asked Pete, “why me?”, he replied, “because you were the best dancer.” They were married in 1950 and made their home in Clarion. They were blessed with children Jim, John, and Judie. Pete passed away in 1972. Alice found love once again with Lawrence Espe after having been set up on a blind date to golf. They married in 1977. She wholeheartedly embraced her new blended family, accepting Lawrence’s sons Roger, Steve, and Mitch as her own. Lawrence passed away in 2004. She continued to be a devoted mother, grandmother, and friend.

Alice worked as the secretary for the Superintendent of Clarion schools from 1948 to 1957. She then accepted a position at what was to become Brenton Bank in Clarion. It would not have been surprising to hear that she was one of their favorite employees given her kind disposition, friendly personality, and dedication to hard work. She retired from the bank in 1977, having successfully ascended to the position of Vice President.

Alice was an active volunteer in her community, sharing her time and talents at the hospital, with hospice, and at the care center. She was also a longtime member of the United Church of Christ Congregational in Clarion, where she volunteered in several capacities and was a member of the choir. She and Pete shared their talent for singing at many weddings. She volunteered at the school until she was 92, where the 2nd Grade students joyfully read to “Grandma Alice”. She would have continued this commitment had it not been for the pandemic. Alice was an active member in the Democratic Party, the VFW Auxiliary, P.E.O., and Toastmasters.

Alice was an avid reader and enjoyed needlework. She also loved playing golf and bridge. Exercise was important to her as she remained committed to going to the Clarion Fitness Center every morning even well into her 90s. She was a dedicated prayer warrior and she faithfully read her daily devotionals. She demonstrated her charitable nature by sending words of encouragement via greeting cards and letters to people around the community. She was a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and loved attending Clarion sports events. Alice will be remembered for her infectious smile and positive, upbeat attitude. No one will forget that when asked how she was doing she simply responded, “Grateful!”

Alice is survived by her children Jim (Jill) Rodriguez, John (Lorene) Rodriguez, Judie (Joel) Rodriguez Thompson, and Roger (Nancy) Espe; daughters-in-law Gail Espe and Christine Espe; grandchildren Eric, Michael, Elizabeth, Joel, Paul, Ellen, Cole, Amelia, Scott, Brad, Erika, Shawn, Tony, Ryan, Katie, Maddy, Maegan, and Maya; thirteen great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; numerous other relatives and friends. She will be deeply missed as the memories shared with her family and friends live on.

Alice is preceded in death by her parents; husbands Pete Rodriguez and Lawrence Espe; daughter Jane Alice Rodriguez, born silently; sons Steve and Mitch Espe; brothers Kenneth, Merle, Robert, and Gerald Mayes.

Memorial contributions may be made to United Church of Christ Congregational in Clarion, Gateway Home Health and Hospice in Clarion, or a charity of your choice.


Date: Thursday, July 7, 2022
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Where: Ewing Funeral Home – Clarion
1801 Central Avenue East, Clarion, Iowa 50525
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Date: Friday, July 8, 2022
Time: 1:00 pm
Where: United Church of Christ Congregational – Clarion
121 Third Avenue North West, Clarion, Iowa 50525
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