Born on November 1, 1950 in Rockville Centre, NY, Alice Prendergast died on May 11, 2020 at the age of 69. She was pre-deceased by her father Edmund, her sister Elizabeth (Betty) and brother Robert. She is survived by her mother Jane, brother Paul and many nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.
Alice embraced education as a lifelong experience. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in French from the State University of New York at Cortland, she went on to a very full career teaching English to children and adolescents who were newcomers to the United States. She worked in a variety of Pinellas County schools including East Lake High and Northeast High, but it was Countryside High School where she spent the greater part of her career. She was instrumental in the early years of the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Program in the County. Alice earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Florida as well as the Reading Endorsement from the State of Florida. She had a love of languages and an appreciation for different cultures. She understood the personal and educational value of traveling. Although she lived in Switzerland and returned there many times, Alice spent her life traveling all over the world with friends, family, and students. In addition to traveling, Alice filled her retirement with museums, book clubs, games, crafting and outings with friends.
The light she carried within her was a gift to everyone she knew. Her friends and family felt its warmth when she laughed and made them laugh. For her students, Alice was so much more than a teacher: she was their defender, interpreter, consoler, social worker, and counselor. For her friends and family, Alice was a confidant, protector and travel partner. She always opened her home, nicknamed “Spa Alice” to friends and family, whether they needed to stay for a few days or a few years. Alice, along with her stories, laugh and warm, generous spirit, will be missed by many.
A celebration of life will be planned at a later date. In the meantime, please share your stories, thoughts and photos of Alice here. Donations in Alice’s name can be made to WUSF Public Broadcasting.
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