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Alice Hanson Diercks Pendleton

1913 - 2010

Alice Hanson Diercks Pendleton passed away Feb. 16, 2010 in Payson following a period of illness. She was born Dec. 25, 1913 in San Bernardino, Calif.
Mrs. Pendleton had a long and productive life and will be missed by her family and many friends in Southern California and Payson.
Mrs. Pendleton grew up in Southern California. She operated a residential school for retarded boys from 1934 to 1955. In 1965 she and her husband Rex Pendleton retired to Vista in North San Diego County, Calif. It did not take the parents and board of directors of the North County Association for Retarded Citizens (NCARC) long to find her and ask her to become the executive director of the organization. When Mrs. Pendleton arrived, the program consisted only of a children’s day care center. She implemented programs for a structured pre-school, infant stimulation program, adult programs ranging from survival skills and work training to independent living and group homes for developmentally disabled children and adults and led the NCARC through its first accreditation survey in 1977.
Her work with NCARC led her to take leadership roles in local, state and county agencies and organizations. She was appointed a member of the areawide Mental Retardation Program Board by Gov. Ronald Reagan from 1971 to 1977; served on the San Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled Advisory Board and was a member of the advisory board for the North County Salvation Army’s community living project. In order to coordinate services offered by agencies serving the same population, she was instrumental in organizing the North County Mental Retardation Task Force. She also served as a facilitator in training programs and services for those involved and working with infant, pre-school and adult programs for developmentally disabled.
Mrs. Pendleton was an important figure in the Vista and North San Diego County area. She was a member of Soroptimist International from 1971, held the office of president for two years and was awarded Life Membership on March 23, 1989. She was selected Vista Woman of the Year for 1977 by the Vista Chamber of Commerce, Beta Sigma Phi Woman of the Year in 1970 and received the Dove Award recognizing her as one of eight outstanding women of North San Diego County in 1985. On June 16, 1979 she received the Honorary Associates in Humane Arts degree from Palomar College for Excellence in Service. She was also a member of Country Friends, a major fund-raising organization centered in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
After retiring in 1979, she became heavily involved with the Vista Girls Club Board and Auxiliary serving as president of the board of trustees and in many capacities for the auxiliary. She volunteered with the Vista Parks and Recreation Department, from 1979 to 1980, served as treasurer for the North County Community Theater Group of Vista and later was a member of the auxiliary for the Moonlight Theater of Vista.
In 1989 Alice became a member of the Community Church of Vista and worked tirelessly in many areas of service. Upon moving to Payson she transferred her membership to the Payson Community Presbyterian Church where she also volunteered her services.
Mrs. Pendleton is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Allen Donald and Charlotte Diercks of Payson; granddaughter, Kathy Kelly; grandson, Christopher Diercks; and two great-grandchildren all in Southern California.