Obituary of Alice G. La Sala
Alice Gantt La Sala April 6, 1922 – March 18, 2020 Long time Larchmont resident Alice G. La Sala, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, business-woman and friend to many, passed away peacefully at home 18 days shy of her 98th birthday. She would not take it amiss to be referred to as one of Larchmont’s memorable and colorful personalities. Alice was born in Jefferson, a small town in the Sand Hills region of South Carolina, to Dr. William Gantt, the only doctor in the county; and his wife, Alice Rowena Gantt. Her father was a graduate of Clemson, and her mother of Winthrop College, where Alice eventually graduated as well in 1942. She was recruited to work in the Washington DC area in the then secret WWII effort of de-coding enemy communications: she was one of the Code-Breakers. In this work, she eventually met her future husband, Donald F. La Sala, a 1st Army Captain in the Signal Corp who was involved the same work. (She never talked about her work, despite being declassified, until well into the new millennium). Alice and Donald married in 1947, moved back to New York, Mamaroneck, and finally to Larchmont where Donald’s late father had built a home in the 1940s. They joined Orienta Beach Club in 1950 where she was a member for 70 years. In Larchmont, Alice and Donald raised 4 children, attended St. Augustine Church, and, in the early 1970s, Donald moved his offices to the building he and his company built: the Larchmont Terrace Apartments, 2 Washington Square, where Alice started her work in the office in Realty Management. Widowed in 1985, she, with her son, Donald Jr. continued owner/management of Larchmont Terrace, where Alice became very well known in the community for her affable, friendly presence and her cheery southern accent, which she never lost. She was beloved by most everyone who knew her, always encouraging, kind, generous and supportive. Many people said she represented ‘old Larchmont’, the small village closeness between residents, small business, older residents and children alike. She will be sorely missed by family: daughter Pamela Cooke of Ojai, CA; son Donald and daughter-in-law Susan (who worked together with her for 22 years) of Mamaroneck, NY; niece and nephew Joan and John De Francisco of Long Beach, CA and Rio Rancho, NM; and Linda Capron of Tuscon, AZ; Grandchildren Justin, Whitney and Hillary Cooke of Baltimore, San Francisco, and Ojai respectively; and Ian Bunk of St. Petersburg FL; three great grandchildren, Grace and Marshall and Ana of Ojai, CA. She is predeceased by eldest daughter, Alice; and youngest son, Edward.; and granddaughter Heather Cooke; and dear friend and companion of 20 years, Andy Von Husen of Yonkers; and later, in both their 9th decades of life, friend Lee Bloom of Larchmont: both men WWII veterans. Grateful appreciation to her compassionate caregiver and companion Sonia; as well as her kind friend Lola. Because of current circumstances, there will not be a funeral or a wake; we hope to hold a Memorial service at a later date. Donations in her memory may be given to At-Home-On-the-Sound, a local group who help elderly stay living in their homes: Alice for years drove and looked after other elderly she knew needing help.