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Alice Signalness

Posted 8/31/11 (Wed)

Alice Signalness of Watford City, N.D., died Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, at the McKenzie County Hospital in Watford City. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011, at Epiphany Catholic Church in Watford City. Father John Pfeifer will officiate, and interment will be held at Schafer Cemetery.
Alice M. Signalness was born Oct. 31, 1912, near Berg, N.D., to Richard and Marion (Maxwell) Signalness. She was the second child of four children. Alice was a longtime resident of Watford City, who provided for herself until March 2011, when she moved into the Horizon and Good Shepherd Home.
Alice’s education began at Lookout and Dodge country schools, and she graduated from Watford City High School in 1931. She continued her education at the Teacher’s Colleges in Dickinson and Minot. She began her teaching career at Croff, Berg, and Sandstone country schools, later in Arnegard, and then in Watford City in 1945.
Later, she moved to Reno, Nev., where her sister, Florence, lived, continuing her education at the University of Nevada with a B.A. Degree in education in 1960. She was certified as a special education teacher for the speech and hearing impaired students in five of the city schools.
A challenging but triumphant time was teaching a group of missionary nuns from Cuba when Fidel Castro came into power. They were picked up and flown directly to Reno in the middle of the night. Because of the language barrier, she taught them English with the Sears, Roebuck catalog. Years later she visited their families in lower Mexico. She continued her education with graduate work at the University of Utah and Stanford University in California. Later, Alice returned to the Watford City area to teach school and care for her ill mother. In 1980, Alice retired from teaching.
Though education was a large part of her life, Alice enjoyed the ranching life of cattle and horses. Watching rodeos was a favorite pastime. In 1994 she helped her brother, Manfred, with the 50 Years In The Saddle Vol. IV book. Throughout her life, Alice travelled to many states and countries, including Canada, Mexico, Europe, Norway, Ireland and more. Traveling with her sisters was a joy for her. She was a family caregiver for her mother, sisters, and brother in their times of need.
Alice is survived by her niece, Madine (Don) Preskey of Bowbells, N.D.; nephews, Lee (Carol) Signalness of Sun River, Mont., and Larry (Lois) Signalness of Watford City, ND; and numerous great and great great-nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Florence and Audree; brother, Manfred; and nieces, Ruth Signalness and Jane Signalness Gustafson.
Friends may call at the church an hour prior to services on Wednesday.