Alice Mountcastle Zollicoffer
January 4, 1946 – February 15, 2022
Berea, Kentucky – A lovable, loving, and loved one, Alice Mountcastle Zollicoffer passed away peacefully on February 15, 2022. Alice was born on January 4, 1946 in Henderson, North Carolina, the only daughter of John Hilliard and Helen Summers Zollicoffer. Some of her fondest memories from her youth are of the friends she had growing up and spending the summers at Camp Merrie-Woode in the mountains of North Carolina.
With a brilliant mind, athletic ability, and leadership skills, Alice excelled at field hockey, captained the Purple Basketball team, and won the Faculty Award for Most Outstanding Student at Salem Academy in Winston Salem, NC. She then attended Agnes Scott College, where she also played sports, was elected President of the Freshman Class and later President of the Student Union.
For her freshman year, Alice worked at Continental Bank & Trust Company in Philadelphia before moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts to work in Urban Planning and Studies. Working there in an academic atmosphere encouraged her to pursue further education.
Alice then received a master’s degree in Speech & Hearing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC; Her intellect was reflected in the title of her thesis: “The Effect of Staggered and Simultaneous Speech-in Noise Signals on Auditory Discrimination Skills of Children with Learning Disabilities”. After receiving a scholarship, she did a second master’s degree in consulting at the University of Kentucky, where she subsequently also received her doctorate in 1989.
While obtaining the above degrees, Alice worked at UNC Library, enrolled in the Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Kentucky and worked in the UK Department of Education. After graduating, Alice was a practicing psychologist for several years. She completed her professional career as a senior research associate for the HazWaste Project at the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky.
In college, Alice’s interest in social issues grew. She was involved in efforts to reach a more diverse faculty and student body at Agnes Scott, and as a senior attended the funeral of Martin Luther King. Zolly campaigned on social justice issues throughout her life.
Alice lived in Berea, Kentucky for almost 30 years where she made many friends and enjoyed the lifestyle and atmosphere. She enjoyed being a member of the Red Coats volunteer group. She felt more at home there than perhaps in any other place in her adult life. Her lifelong love of animals led her to devote many hours to animal welfare projects in the area, particularly caring for and housing sick and abandoned cats. Alice adopted the family nickname “Zolly” during her years in Kentucky.
She was very creative, especially with words. It has been said that she may have missed her calling as a writer for Hallmark Cards.
Unfortunately, Alice contracted Multiple Sclerosis later in life, forcing her to need help in 2019, which she found at Morning Pointe in Richmond, Kentucky and later at Berea Health & Rehabilitation, where she was living at the time of her death.
Alice is survived by her brothers: John H. Zollicoffer Jr. (and wife Martha W. Zollicoffer) of Henderson, NC and Jere P. Zollicoffer II of Winston-Salem, NC, and her wonderful friend, partner, and trusted confidante Nancy Ryan of Berea, Kentucky, and a niece and numerous nephews and their families, as well as numerous other friends. She was deceased by her parents and a sister-in-law, Judy H. Zollicoffer.
The Reppert funeral home in Berea takes care of the preparations for the funeral. A headstone is placed for her next to her parents in Elmwood Cemetery in Henderson, NC. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Alice’s memorial contributions can be paid to: Kitty, Inc, 421 Christmas Ridge Road, Berea, KY 40403; or to Church of the Holy Innocents (Episcopal), 210 S. Chestnut Street, Henderson, NC 27536.
Published by The News & Observer on February 20, 2022.