ALICE ALLEGRA DOVE LIST
The information below has been compiled from a variety of sources. If the reader has access to information that can be documented and that will correct or add to this woman’s biographical information, please contact the Nevada Women’s History Project.
At A Glance:
Born: March 23, 1910, Hamilton, Kansas
Died: March 27, 1997, Gardnerville, Nevada
Maiden Name: Alice Allegra Dove
Race/Nationality/Ethnic Background: Caucasian
Married: Frank W. List, 1931-1997
Children: Robert Frank, James Alan, Bonnie Alice
Primary City and County of Residence and Work:
Carson City and Washoe County
Major Fields of Work: Education, Art
Other Role Identities: Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Gardner, Artist, Spiritual Leader, Community Leader
Alice Allegra List was born March 23, 1910, in Hamilton, KS, the second of four children born to Alonzo and Rosinna Proeger Dove. Her father graduated from Hillsdale College in Michigan and became a schoolteacher, postmaster, newspaper editor, self-educated attorney, and was elected to various local political offices. Her mother lived the life of a homemaker in the early 20th century, cooking, sewing, cleaning, gardening, reading, and raising her children.
After high school graduation at age 16, Alice began her business education at College of Emporia, KS. After two years, her family moved to California in 1928 to better their economic situation. They settled in Exeter, in the San Joaquin Valley, where she met her husband-to-be, Frank List, a local rancher. Only a year later, the Dove family moved to LaVerne, CA, where Alice graduated from Pomona Business College and worked as a bookkeeper for two years. Frank continued to court her, and on September 4, 1931, they were married in Glendale, CA. They made their home in Exeter for the next 20 years, where they began to raise their family of three children, Robert, Alan, and Bonnie.
During World War II, Alice served with the Aircraft Warning Service, spotting and reporting all aircraft which flew over her station in the hills above Exeter. When the war ended, she and Frank hosted the town celebration. After the War, when her children were young, Alice was a Den Mother for the Boy Scouts, where she taught crafts, wrote skits, played baseball, flew kites, and led and disciplined the boys.
In the late 1940s, the Lists bought a cattle ranch near Battle Mountain, NV, where the family spent several happy summers, returning to Exeter for the school years. In the summer of 1951, the Lists purchased and moved to a historic cattle ranch in Washoe Valley, formerly owned by Lord Christian Wellesley and his wife Elsie. The family list plunged headfirst into community life in Carson City and eagerly adopted Nevada as their new home. In 1974 they expanded their holdings and purchased a ranch near Lovelock, NV, which is still in the family today.
When the Carson-Tahoe Hospital Auxiliary was formed in 1952, Alice became a charter member. She was active in the Republican Women’s Club, and gave of her time and interest to the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She joined that philanthropic organization in 1965, held numerous local offices, and was chairman of their State Convention in 1971.
In 1955 Alice and several other mothers of young skiers founded the Carson City Junior Ski Program. She solicited donations from local businesses and city officials in order to make that program affordable for thousands of young skiers. She was the driving force behind the program, lining up transportation, getting all the volunteer ski instructors, and enlisting weekly chaperones. She served as director of the program for its first seven years. When the Carson City Parks and Recreation Board was formed in 1959, she was asked to serve, which she did with dedication and distinction for 20 years.
Alice was an accomplished artist, working in acrylics, oils and watercolors. Much of her inspiration came from the unique cloud formations formed over the Sierra Nevada Mountains behind the ranch. Her paintings were exhibited in homes and offices of numerous family members and friends. In 1976, six of her works were exhibited in Pahrump, NV, when she was honored at their annual Harvest Festival.
The First Presbyterian Church of Carson City was Alice’s home of worship. For many years, she was a Sunday School teacher, an ordained Deacon and Ruling Elder. Her Christian outreach went beyond her own church and its missions to the community. She served as a leader in Bible Study Fellowship for ten years, giving of her time, talent and spiritual wisdom to the women in her classes.
In 1979, Alice organized an independent Christian “charm school” for seventh and eighth grade girls in Carson City. She conducted weekly classes in the arts of fashion, beauty, etiquette, manners, relationships, and leadership skills. All the girls developed the unique characteristics that make them the women they are today.
Alice was perhaps as well known for her achievements at home as within the community. She was a creative homemaker, gardener, artist, hostess, business partner to her husband, and caring mother to her three children, and a loving friend, teacher, and counselor to all her grandchildren. In tribute to her skills as a mother and grandmother, she was nominated and recognized as one of two Merit Finalists in the 1983 Nevada Mother of the Year competition.
Her gardening skills were widely-known, not only to those who were fellow members in Carson City’s Garden Club, but to all those who were beneficiaries of her generosity and hospitality. No visitor to her garden ever went away empty-handed. Her vegetable garden was featured in an article in the Spring 1979 issue of Nevada Magazine. She cultivated a full acre of vegetables, fruits, and colorful flowers. When gardening season ended in the fall, her basement and freezer were fully stocked with produce and preserves for the winter. She was for many years the sole caretaker of 5 acres of lush lawns and gardens around the family home in Washoe Valley, a place widely known for its beauty and tranquility.
Alice raised chickens and turkeys, collected the eggs, and butchered hundreds and hundreds of birds over the years. She was a good markswoman, not afraid to use Frank’s 22 rifle to shoot the porcupines and other varmints that competed for her chickens and her vegetables. The family always had pet dogs, and in her later years, her Labrador, Sylvia, was her constant companion.
For many years, the List family and their closest friends cut Christmas trees on their private property in the Sierra Nevada Range behind their ranch; but in 1981 much of the old growth timber on their property burned along with thousands of acres surrounding their [undamaged] home. Undaunted by this disaster, Alice turned around and organized annual tree plantings in the blackened forest, ultimately contributing to the re-growth of her beloved forest.
Alice passed away in Gardnerville, NV, March 27, 1997, at the age of 87, and is interred with her husband Frank at the Genoa Cemetery. She had a legion of friends who loved her for her generosity, her good spirit, her wise counsel and her big heart. She was an ambassador for the simple life, the beauty of God’s creations.
Researched and written by Bonnie List Sutphin. April 2015. Posted to website April 2015.
Sources of Information:
- Certificate of Marriage, State of California, County of Los Angeles, September 4, 1931.
- “Society and Notes…. Carson City Social Events.” Nevada State Journal. Aug 5, 1952. (Note: Article contains information about formation of the new “Carson-Tahoe Hospital women’s auxiliary.)
- “Carson Tahoe Hospital Women’s Auxiliary Charter Members”, September 9, 1952. Author’s Private Collection.
- “Washoe Ranch Sale Completed.” Nevada State Journal. October 5, 1956. P10:3.
- “News from Communities in Nevada & California…. Ormsby Recreation Board to Expand Sports Program.” Nevada State Journal. June 4, 1960. P13:6.
- “Sierra Skiing… Carson City Junior Ski Program”. Nevada State Journal. February 7, 1965. P10:7.
- Moon, George. “How Does Your Garden Grow”. Nevada Magazine. Volume 9, No. 2. Spring 1979, pp 48 ff.
- “Nomination of Alice A. (Dove) List for Mother of the Year for the State of Nevada, 1983”, as submitted to American Mothers, Inc., New York, NY. Author’s private collection.
- “Nevada moms feted”. Las Vegas Sun. May 15, 1983.
- Obituary, Reno Gazette-Journal, March 28, 1997. “Mother of former governor List dies”.
- Obituary, Nevada Appeal, March 18, 1997. “Alice Allegra Dove List”.
- Obituary, Lovelock Review Miner, April 3, 1997. “Alice Allegra Dove List”.
- Delayed birth certificate, issued May 1977, State of Kansas.
- Death certificate, issued March 28, 1997, State of Nevada.
- Clark, Lorraine, Clark Publications, Ed. P.E.O. Stars of the Battle Born State. Lindon, Utah: Alexander’s Digital Printing. Published after 2004. Exact date unknown. P. 95. Author’s private collection.
- Personal interviews and correspondence with Alice List, Frank List, Robert List, Alan List. Multiple dates.