Mary Alice : The Early Years
Mary Alice Howell was born in Pasadena, TX on 24 November 1947 to Lloyd and Agnes Howell. She lived in Texas for several years before moving to Tennessee as a young girl. Mary Alice never lost her love of all things Texas and at one time owned land on the Medina River in Texas.
Mary Alice grew up in Chattanooga and attended Sunnyside Elementary School, Brainerd Junior High School and Chattanooga Central High School where she graduated in May 1965. She was involved in many school activities and made lifelong friends there. For more about the Class of 1965 click on this link. While in high school Mary Alice was May Queen of Central High School and was Miss Junior Achievement among other accolades during her time in high school.
Additionally in high school, Mary Alice was voted one of the Ten Prettiest Girls, Calendar Girl, was on the May Queen Court, Military Sponsor, Miller Brothers Teen Fashion Board and was active on the gym and Digest staff. During high school Mary Alice was also a finalist in the Chattanooga Times "Prettiest Smiles" contest. Mary Alice was also voted "Wittiest" in her senior year. She was very active in Physical Education and Gym Class and considered majoring in PE so she could teach the subject she loved most.
She enrolled at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and transferred to the University of Chattanooga in fall of 1966. She graduated in June 1969 with a BS in Social Work. During her time at the University Mary Alice was Sweetheart of Sigma Chi, a revered title which connected her to the Sigma Chi Brothers during her entire time in college and beyond.
Upon graduation from the University of Chattanooga Mary Alice went to work for the Welfare Department in Chattanooga so she could utilize the knowledge she gained while earning her degree. This would prove to be a major step in Mary Alice's lifelong commitment to helping others.