ONEONTA – Alice Lou Differt Siegfried, 88, of Oneonta, a potter, avid gardener and social justice advocate, died from a probable heart attack on Saturday, July 18, 2020, while at Fox Nursing Home recovering from hip surgery.
Alice was born on Sept. 24, 1931, in Twinsburg, Ohio, to Charles and Elizabeth Differt.
She attended Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and met Richard Siegfried, who she wedded on June 13, 1953. Alice also earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University in speech.
Alice and Richard raised their four children in Oneonta, where Alice became a ceramic potter, a craft she practiced for more than 40 years, making plates, cups and casserole bowls used in kitchens throughout Oneonta and the wider region. She was also a passionate supporter of the arts, buying works from local artists and artisans to fill the walls and spaces of her home and garden.
Alice had an abundant garden at the corner of Church and Center streets in Oneonta, which was filled with all kinds of plants and sculptures. Her passion for gardening yielded vegetables and fruit that she used in home-cooked meals enjoyed during the frequent visits by family and friends. She loved picking blueberries, baking delicious pies, cookies and other treats; spending time outdoors, traveling with friends and family, her winter respite with family in Florida and reading.
In addition to her life at home, Alice was an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Society for more than 60 years and the Greater Oneonta Historical Society. Alice was involved in social justice and Civil Rights organizations, including the NAACP. She displayed “Black Lives Matter” and “Families Belong Together” signs in her front windows in recent years. Alice was also an excellent communicator who always stayed in touch with family and friends. Her selfless and caring personality touched many people’s lives.
Alice was amazing.
She was predeceased by her parents; stepmother, Joan Differt; brother, Robert Differt; husband, Richard Siegfried; and daughter, Barbara Jean Siegfried.
She is survived by her daughter, Heidi of Brooklyn; her youngest son, Thor and his wife, Fran of Dunnellon, Florida; her oldest son, Will and his wife, Susan Powers of Potsdam; and three granddaughters, Ellie, Tera and Meagan Siegfried.
Memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta or the Greater Oneonta Historical Society. Or, honor her passion by purchasing art from a living artist in her memory.
A memorial service is being planned with arrangements under the direction of Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home in Oneonta.