Ilabelle Maude Alderson

May 2, 1922March 8, 2018
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Ilabelle Maude (Crutcher) Alderson Spokane Valley, Washington

Ilabelle was born 5/2/1922 in Rosalia, Washington to Maude and George Crutcher. She grew up with two sisters (Gladys and Hazel) and five brothers (Howard, Norman, Max, Glen, and Leonard) during the Great Depression years!

She went to school in Pine City, Washington, playing basketball and graduating in 1940. While attending classes to become a nurse, she met Marcus (Curly) Alderson. He was a cadet in the US Air Force, and they met just four months before Pearl Harbor. They were married at the Coeur d’ Alene Hitching Post on August 16, 1941 and were together for 56 years!

While Curly was serving in the US Air Force during WWII, Ilabelle worked as a bank teller. During his service career they lived in several different countries including England and Spain. While stationed in England they decided to adopt a baby. She traveled to Germany to pick-up their son, Michael James Alderson. He came home to the United States with them and became a U.S. citizen at four years old.

When Curly retired from the Air Force after 26 years of service, they returned to Spokane, Washington and bought a home in the valley.

One day she was held up while working as a bank teller. She was able to discreetly press a silent alarm buzzer, but not before handing him $500-$1,000. The suspect was arrested later that day, and she became a headline in the Spokesman Review.

She later went on to become the Spokane & Eastern Branch of Seattle-First National Bank’s (now Bank of America) Assistant Manager to the tellers. She later retired in 1982 with 22 years of service. Curly later became ill, and she cared for him at home. In 1983 her grandchildren Sally and Michael Mark moved in with her and Curly. They adopted them in 1989. Curly passed in 1997 at 78 years old. Seven years later Ilabelle sold their home of 37 years and moved to the Holman Gardens Retirement Community with their beloved Maltese dog named “Dusty.”   While at Holman Gardens, she became well known by many of the residents as she was a lively and very active resident. She participated in many activities that included “Ladies in May” fashion shows, Halloween costume dress up, dressing up as “Elvis” for retirement parties, “Octoberfest” bake sales, etc. She even became somewhat famous for her desire to have all of the residents of Holman Gardens proudly flying the American Flag from their balconies. The Spokesman Review once again wrote an article in their paper about her, this time calling her “The Flag Lady.” She was also given an “Honorary Award of Heroism” by the American Legion, Post 214, for her efforts.

She was a very healthy, active, happy, independent woman. She lived a very long and fulfilling life. She left us Thursday, March 8, 2018 at the age of 95 years old. She will be greatly missed by her friends and most of all her family that includes the following… Son: Michael James Alderson Daughter-In-Law: Kathy Alderson Granddaughter: Sally (Alderson) Reynolds Son-In-Law: Gordy Reynolds Grandson: Michael Mark Alderson Great Grandchildren: Samantha, Josh, Kaitlynn, and Hailey Reynolds Matthew and Mason Alderson Niece: Sue Rhoades Nephew: Richard (Dick) Crutcher


  • Visitation Saturday, March 17, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Saturday, March 17, 2018
  • Reception Saturday, March 17, 2018
  • Graveside Service Saturday, March 17, 2018

Ilabelle Maude Alderson

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Janet Newton

March 18, 2018

I knew Ilabelle for most of my life. She called herself our dad's "shirttail cousin" because she was related to my dad's step-sister Alice, but she was a true cousin in our hearts and a much-loved member of our extended family. My favorite memories of Ilabella, however, are from the more recent years when she lived at Holman Gardens, along with my mom and dad. I know everyone remembers how she organized parties - watermelon feeds, pajama parties for watching the Zags, etc. And everyone remembers her commitment to making sure everyone flew an American flag from their patio or balcony. But my favorite memories took place during the annual Ladies in May tea party. Most of the residents and guests sat back, ate a fabulous meal, and enjoyed the entertainment, but Ilabelle wasn't content to do that - she was always a part of the entertainment! I wish I had pictures to share, but I've lost them. I remember every year Ilabelle would dress up and be a part of the fashion show, whether it was modeling old-time wedding gowns or flashy modern styles. She would dance around the tables, showing off her outfits, with her cheeky grin showing us how much fun she was having. I also remember her dancing with Dale at events. I will miss that grin, that smile, her honest love for friends and family. A spark of fun has gone from our world, but think what fun they are having in Heaven!

Louise Ager Belsby

March 17, 2018

Ilabelle was a wonderful lady. She was a 67 year member of Eastern Star and was a member of Malden Chapter. She was a great supporter of the community events put on by the Grange , Historical Society or the Eastern Star Chapter. She would attend functions in Pine City and Malden with her brother Leonard and we would have good times talking about the "early days" and my parents and grandparents.. She continued to come to our local events after Leonard passed away. We always enjoyed visiting with her. Ilabelle was a ray of sunshine! She will be greatly missed.
My sympathy and that of our Eastern Star Chapter goes to the family.