Alice Ann, as her mother called her, was born on September 25, 1935 in Gorman, Texas to Newell Estelle Grubb Buchanan and E. R. Buchanan, “Buck.” Her father worked for oil companies throughout Texas and Oklahoma, purchasing oil leases from farmers on behalf of oil companies. Though she moved from Fort Worth to Tulsa at age three, she remained a lifelong Texan.
Just before her fifth birthday she was preparing for kindergarten. (She was slightly underage, but her mother petitioned for her to go anyway, and permission was granted.) As the family would be out of town on the first day of school, the principal of Hawthorn Elementary took her and her mother on a tour of the excellent kindergarten facility a few days before. Alice Ann appreciated the tour, but was amused that the principal (whose name she remembered almost eighty years later) called the small ivory piano white.
She loved living in Tulsa, where she took the bus alone to the YWCA for dance lessons, but in the middle of the fourth grade her dad's job required moving to Oklahoma City. There she met Barbara Gray. They became best friends, and remained so all their lives, each assisting in the other's wedding.
Alice graduated from Classen High school in Oklahoma City, and attended Oklahoma City University (OCU), a Methodist university in Oklahoma City, where she met Jerry Wesner the first day of their freshman year. They became best friends and, over time, realized that they wanted to stay together for life. While at OCU she became a member of Delta Zeta sorority.
Alice and Jerry married at the end of their third year of college, June 29, 1956, and transferred to Central Oklahoma State College, where they received their B.A. degrees. They then moved to Roswell, NM where they were both began their careers as elementary teachers. After teaching for one year, Alice withdrew from teaching and gave birth to their first child.
In 1959 they moved to Albuquerque, where they added three more children to the family. For several years the family lived on the Menaul School campus, where Mr. Wesner was employed.
While the children were small, Alice stayed home to care for the children until all were in school. She was known for her letter-writing, maintaining lifelong friends by mail before turning to email and Facebook. She was also a seamstress, making most of her children’s and her own clothes. In the 1970’s, after achieving a M.S. degree she took a teaching job at Barcelona Elementary. She had a special education resource room until her retirement. She loved all her kids, both family and school, and was so happy to be able to reconnect with many from Barcelona on Facebook over the years.
Alice and Jerry lived in Albuquerque until her death, taking many trips to visit both historic sites and friends and family members in the eastern U.S. and England. She died peacefully in the home she loved, on the sixty-third anniversary of their marriage.
Alice is survived by her husband, Jerry; and their four children, Caryn (Karen) S. Wesner-Early and her husband, Mark T. Early, Garry D. Wesner and his wife, Nyla, Diane K. Wesner and her husband, Joseph Stroud, and David M. Wesner; seven grandchildren, Charles DiLorenzo, Caitlyn Terrell, Bethany Wesner, Brian Chernenkoff, Cyrus Chernenkoff, Willow Wesner, Logan Wesner; and two great-grandchildren, Kynlee and Kaleb Terrell.
A Memorial Gathering will be held Saturday, July 27, 2019, 2:00 p.m., at FRENCH – Wyoming.
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