Alice Anne Wilde Sluder, age 88, of Asheville, NC, passed away on Sunday, November 15, 2020. She was born on July 27, 1932 to the late S.O. Wilde and Winifred Price Wilde. Her parents, her husband, the Hon. Judge Gary A. Sluder, her brother, Dr. Sim Wilde, Jr., and her two sons, Jonathan Sluder and Matthew Sluder, preceded her in death. She earned a bachelor's degree from Appalachian State Teachers College, (now Appalachian State), and her masters and six year degrees from Western Carolina University. Alice was a gifted teacher and elementary school counselor at William Randolph, Aycock, Hall Fletcher, Newton and Rankin elementary schools. Possessed with a keen intellect and strong curiosity, she went back to graduate school when her children were young and earned first a master’s and then a six-year degree at Western Carolina. She helped shape the lives of hundreds of Asheville City School students over the years. She knew her kids and their families well; many often dropped by her office to see her years after leaving school. Among her professional accomplishments were small group counseling sessions for children facing a common issue such as divorce, death, or bullying; the creation of a science and values based health and sex education curriculum for fourth and fifth graders; and serving as the only school counselor on the county’s Child Protective Services team. She was published in both state and national journals including North Carolina Education and the Elementary School Counselor. She was nominated for the North Carolina Terry Sanford Award.
Alice opened her heart and home to everyone. She exemplified empathy and compassion for others and encouraged her children to do likewise. She read her Bible each day and was active in both the Methodist Church of her childhood and, later, the Episcopal Church where she found her spiritual home. She was extremely well read and was never without a book. Her knowledge on a vast array of topics made her a formidable Trivial Pursuit player. Alice always won friendly arguments about literature, history, politics, or the arts. We all became Jeopardy fanatics because of her!
Music filled our home year round. She played the piano from childhood and taught her children to love music as well. Besides singing alto, she accompanied our father and other family members when they sang in public. Whether it was Tchaikovsky or Peter, Paul and Mary, there were always records on the Hi-Fi set in the corner of the living room. Her children remember her doing housework on Saturdays and tuning every radio in the house to the Metropolitan Opera live broadcasts so she could listen to it no matter which room she was in. She taught us to appreciate the arts and we all became artists ourselves, either pursuing our crafts professionally or as passionate hobbies.
Her home, which she and our father built together over fifty years ago, was the hub for every celebration of note. Our memories include their dinner parties with friends and coworkers, countless backyard picnics, every family birthday, wedding and baby shower, all the major holidays and many a casual get together with those who dropped by.
She gave us the gift of herself in all those experiences. Though we mourn, we know we have not truly lost her. As Helen Keller once said, “What was once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose. For all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
Alice is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Sluder Wilde of Asheville, NC; her son, Karl Sluder (Elizabeth Hutt Sluder) of Montross, VA; her daughter-in-laws, Angela Lindsley of Knoxville, TN; Lisa Silver of Candler, NC; her sister, Kathy Fayssoux (Peter) of Asheville, NC; her grandsons, Chris Sluder (Lindsay West) of Pisgah Forest, NC; Daniel Savage of Hendersonville, NC; Hudson Hutt of Montross, VA; her granddaughter, Morgan Hutt of Brandywine, MD; her great granddaughter, Emma Seay of Pisgah Forest, NC; nephews, Kent Ponder and Robb Sluder (Stephanie), both of Asheville, NC; and her nieces, Kristin Sampson (Gregory) of Canton, NC; Dina Wilde-Ramsing (Mark), Kim Morgan, and Jackie Nichols (Spruce), all of Wilmington, NC; and Dixie Wyant (Steve) of Garner, NC. Alice has many great nieces and nephews as well.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorials be made to: St. Luke's Episcopal Church at 219 Chunn's Cove, Asheville, NC 28805. Special thanks to Cedric Dunbar and Amanda Cox for their assistance to both Alice and Elizabeth in caring for her these past few months.
Due to COVID-19, a private family interment of the ashes will be done. A celebration of Alice's life will be held in the spring.
Penland Family Funeral Home is honored to be caring for the Sluder Family and assisting them with arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alice Anne (Wilde) Sluder, please visit our floral store.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
219 Chunn's Cove, Asheville NC 28805