Alice was a gifted school counselor and teacher who helped shape the lives of hundreds of Asheville City School students over the years. She knew her students and their families well; many often dropped by years later to see her. Among her accomplishments were small group counseling sessions for children facing a common issue such as divorce, death, or bullying. She also created a science and values based health and sex education curriculum for fourth and fifth graders. She was the only school counselor on the county’s Child Protective Services team. Her work also attracted state and national attention. She was published in the Elementary School Counselor’s journal and was nominated for the state’s Terry Sanford Award.
Alice opened her heart and home to everyone. She always had empathy for others and encouraged her children and grandchildren to do likewise. She was active in her church and read her Bible daily. Despite intense grief over the loss of her husband and two sons, she always sought to find a deeper spiritual connection and understanding. 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 was never without a book, and 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 as well as singing, she accompanied our father and other family members when they sang in public. Her children remember her doing housework on Saturdays and tuning every radio in the house to the Metropolitan Opera live broadcasts so she could hear it in any room she was in. We children were immersed in our parents’ love for all the arts and became artists ourselves, either professionally or as hobbies.
Her home, which she and our father built together over fifty years ago, was the hub for every celebration of note. Their dinner parties, countless backyard picnics, all the birthdays, wedding and baby showers, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were always spent here.
She will be missed beyond what it feels our hearts can bear, but the essence of who she is lives with us forever.
There will be so service held at this time. Penland Family Funeral Home is honored to be caring for the Sluder Family and assisting them with arrangements.
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