Saturday, April 2, 2016

Alyce Hall Lived To At Least 105 Years Old

We have all come across a human interest story about someone who has lived over a 100 years.  Apparently one of my 3rd cousins once removed, Alyce Hall (nee Alice May Roberts) (b 1906), lived to at least 105!

According to the one of the articles further down, no one knew much about her early life.  I can at least supply some of that information:

Alice is a great great granddaughter of George W Hartley and Rebecca Paul, through her mother's mother's line.

My grandfather George Hartley Jr is a great grandson of the same George W Hartley and Rebecca Paul, through his father's father's line.

Based on my genealogy research, Alice was born to Stephen Henley and Laura M Hartley on January 28, 1906, likely in Porterville, Tulare, California.  Her older brother was Edward Ray Roberts (1903-1988), who married Ruth Goodwin and had at least 3 daughters.  Edward lived most of his life and died in Brea, Orange, California, so it is possible he and Alyce were in regular contact.

When Alice was 7 her mother Ada died, and by the 1920 Census 14 year old Alice was living with her mother's sister, Mabel "May" George (Henley) Hoover in Porterville.

On July 20, 1925, 19-year-old Alyce Mae Roberts married Paul E Hall in Santa Ana, Orange, California:

Orange County, California, “California, County Marriages, 1850-1952),” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2 Apr 2016), entry for Marriage Licence no. 2471, Alyce Mae Roberts and Paul Hall, 20 Jul 1925.

He was a salesman, she a stenographer.  Detail closeup of the marriage licence.
They are in the city directories from then on in Santa Ana up until 1954.  There was no indication that they ever had children.  Paul was variously described as a garage manager, auto mechanic/repair, automobile representative, and ultimately as a manager.

I find mention of Alyce Hall in Santa Ana in the database beginning April 27, 1974 edition of The Santa Ana Register where it is evident that she had taken up golfing at the Santa Ana Country Club. In brother Edward's obituary in 1988 it listed her as living in Santa Ana.

Paul E Hall died September 10, 1981, possibly in Newport Beach, Orange, California.

The last record I could find on Ancestry for Alyce was a 1993 Public Records Index entry for Newport Beach, California.

So I was a little surprised and pleased to find a number of online articles on the Daily Pilot ("a daily newspaper published by the Los Angeles Times to serve the communities of Newport Beach and Cost Mesa in Orange County" according to Wikipedia) that mentioned Alyce:

In an article about the Santa Ana Country Club pioneers celebration dated September 18, 2001:
Alyce Hall, 95, has been one of the club's oldest members, but she moved to Vermont last month to be closer to family and reportedly will not be in attendance Saturday.
 This did not prove to be a lasting move, as she got a mention in the Daily Pilot 5 years later on January 23, 2006, in celebration of her 100th birthday:
Celebrating 100 years of health
January 23, 2006|By By Lindsay Sandham

Newport Beach resident Alyce Hall reaches landmark age surrounded by her many friends.Alyce Hall has never taken vitamins. She rarely visits the doctor. And she adds what most would call excessive amounts of salt to just about everything she eats.

Nonetheless, the Newport Beach resident is turning 100 on Jan. 28.

Her friends -- who joined her in celebrating early at a party on Sunday -- attribute her longevity to her phenomenal attitude toward life.

"Her attitude is, 'Everything is great. Everything is fabulous.' I have never heard her say anything wasn't perfect," said Newport Beach resident Joan Short, a longtime friend. "She just has a marvelous attitude."

Short and Beverley Trask, another close friend, organized the celebration for Hall. They chose to host the party at the Santa Ana Country Club because Hall was a member for 69 years, joining in 1931.

"We just wanted all her friends to come and wish her a happy 100th," Short said. Hall will be celebrating her birthday again next weekend -- one party with all of her bridge-playing friends and another with her relatives.

"She's a pretty special lady," Trask said. "She's done an awful lot in her lifetime."

Hall has had many fabulous birthday celebrations. She spent her 97th on a boat cruising the Antarctic.

"She was there with all the penguins for 14 days," Short said, adding that the ship's captain thought it was magnificent -- a 97-year-old woman suiting up three times a day for 14 days to crawl into a Zodiac and cruise around the glaciers.

"He just said it was one of the highlights of his whole life."

Hall said every birthday has been wonderful, but she was especially pleased with Sunday's turnout.

"Nobody can beat this," she said, looking around the room full of all her closest friends. "With all these wonderful friends -- I know all of them."
4 years later she was again featured in the January 28, 2010 Daily Pilot article:
‘She’s always the lady’
Woman is loved by the residents and employees in her retirement home. She loves to ride in cars, one employee said.
January 28, 2010|By Tom Ragan

She’s going strong despite the pair of hip replacements; and, oh yeah, despite the fact that she turned 104 Thursday.

Alyce Hall has become somewhat of a legend around the halls of Newport Beach Plaza, a retirement home on Superior Avenue in Newport Beach.

Everybody wants to be her friend. Everybody is her friend. And they all sang “Happy Birthday” as the cake was rolled out.

She was born Jan. 28, 1906. To put that in perspective, she was 23 years old when the Great Depression hit, and, by today’s standards, she was virtually middle-aged during World War II.

Technically speaking, however, “middle age” really didn’t arrive for Hall until she was 52 years old, in 1958, when people still feared the Soviets and were cranking up Elvis Presley.

“She’s not one to sit down and not want to go anywhere,” said Karen Ashley, a nurse at the 110-member retirement home. “She loves car rides.”

Hall was born in Northern California, married a man named Paul and worked as a bookkeeper most of her life, according to Marge Ecker, a close friend. But Hall’s husband has long since died and, unfortunately, not much else is known about the history of her life, as there are no surviving family members, Ecker said.

Hall never had any children. That’s where the retirement home folks and employees step in and oblige.

“We all love her,” said Jennifer Gifford, program supervisor for the home. “She’s so full of life, and she’s always the lady. She always jokes about how she wants to wear my boss’ high-heeled shoes.

As for the trick to living a long life, she has long attributed her longevity to having played a lot of golf in her day. In fact, she still wears the gold medallion around her neck — the one that shows she once made a hole in one at the Santa Ana Country Club.”

When she turned 100, she went on a cruise in Iceland, Ecker said, adding “We’ll see what next year brings.”
The last mention I have found for her was the next year, in the January 28, 2011 article "105 Candles":
105 candles
January 28, 2011

Alyce Hall, a resident of the Newport Beach Plaza Retirement Community, turned 105 on Friday. She was born in Northern California on Jan. 28, 1906. Friends and other well-wishers celebrated Hall's latest milestone two days early, on Wednesday, by singing "Happy Birthday" for her and sharing a birthday cake in her honor at the retirement home at 1455 Superior Ave. The birthday gal, left, is pictured here with longtime friend Margie Ecker.

I don't find anything after that.

It was great to learn so much more about her than what I had found in the records.  I guess I should take up golf and get a better attitude if I want to live that long.  But alas I think she got her longevity from her father's side (he died at 95), and her father's father died at 87.

© 2016 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.


  1. I also was married in Santa Ana! And lived in Newport Beach during many of the years she was there. She was born the same year as my mother. I wish I had met her.