Alice Chalip

Date of Birth

June 30th, 1930

Date of Death

October 15th, 2020

Memorial Meeting

Berkeley Monthly Meeting

Minute

Alice Grace Chalip, born June 30, 1930, to Morris Getz Grace, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Mary Margaret Cornell from Montgomery, Alabama. Alice passed away October 15, 2020 in Alameda, California at the age of 90. 

She was active in Berkeley Friends Meeting since the 1950’s, a former Clerk of meeting, and became a member on March 19, 1961. Her spiritual life was central to her throughout her life. She valued the Meeting, and participated until her late 70s, when age and widowhood made it impossible for her to commute from Alameda. Yet she still sought always to live in the light. She dropped her membership on January 11, 2009.

As a child she participated in the hometown industry of greater Los Angeles at that time; entertainment. She danced, sang and performed in theatre, modeled a bit, and was an extra in many films. Although those experiences helped shape her early life, she found more meaning to her life in service. She felt strongly that she served God best when she served people.

She went to college to major in sociology, even though her mother preferred that she concentrate on becoming an actress. In 1949 she met Bernard Chalip, her voice teacher, and was delighted to discover that he disliked Hollywood as much as she did, so the two of them eloped in 1951 and left the commercial entertainment industry forever. 

After her son, Laurence, was born, the family moved to Berkeley so she could finish her degree in education. She became a 4th grade teacher. Still in her 20s, she was chagrined when her students would see pictures from her modeling days, and then tell her, "Mrs. Chalip, you used to be pretty!"  By this time, her son was now at Jefferson Elementary School in Berkeley, where the PTA needed to raise money. Alice's theatrical training kicked in. She persuaded the PTA to create an amateur theatre group, which they called "The Jefferson Players."  The troupe successfully produced several plays and musicals.  For two of the musicals, Alice wrote the scripts. 

Alice wanted more children. When she didn't become pregnant, she and Bernard decided to become long-term foster parents. Alice had to quit teaching in order to obtain the license. She and Bernard fostered three girls and one boy. Their foster son Michael Powers grew up in Berkeley Friends Meeting and attended First Day School. He remained close to Alice until she died.  She later wrote about her experiences as a foster parent in her book, "To Love and Let Go".

While she was foster parenting, she remained active in the community. She had become a stringer for an East Bay newspaper syndicate, mostly writing reviews and interviews which she did for almost 63 years. She was recruited to write and direct The Freedom Festival, which became the largest theatrical undertaking of her life. She was active in the civil rights and antiwar movements. When the Civil Rights Act was passed, she became a housing tester.

Though she never liked sports, Alice attended her son's swim meets, during which she knitted garments for herself and the family. She tolerated her husband’s fascination with baseball, and even became a batgirl for one of his senior softball teams. She said that made it an activity they shared. 

When her husband retired, the two created a singing act, which they called "From Showtunes to Broadway."  They performed around the Bay for several years, mostly at retirement homes.  They never took money for their performances, insisting instead that payment should go to programs for the homeless. She and Bernie organized Friendly Follies for Berkeley Meeting and often performed together there. Bernie died on April 1, 2008.

Throughout her life, Alice sought ways to serve people and contribute to her community. She felt her life was most meaningful when she did.  

Survivors include her son, Laurence, her foster son Michael Powers and her brother Morris, and Morris’ family.