Loy Ed Johnson Alanis succumbed Oct. 21, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. Born Dec. 29, 1939 to Edward Asa Johnson and Loy Ellen Davenport Johnson, Loy Ed spent her entire life a vibrant part of the Lakehills community.
People always knew she was coming, whether by the red ‘67 Camaro of her younger days, or the red Cadillac with her name on the license plate in more recent years!
She lived her early childhood in what is now known as the historic Spettle House, the grounds of which are the modern day Thousand Trails. Her father was founder of the storied Goat Hill Ranch in Lakehills, and with the exception of her college years and a short stint away from the area in her 20s, Loy Ed spent her entire life on that property along the shores of Medina Lake. Epitomizing every virtue of the true ranch women of her era, she was quietly respected in private circles as a sharpshooter with her .22 caliber pistol!
As a teenager, she was a founding member of Lakehills United Methodist Church. Salutatorian of Bandera High School’s Class of '58, Loy Ed went on to earn her Bachelor of Science, Master’s and Certified Reading Specialist Designation from The University of the Incarnate Word, humbly known as Incarnate Word College in her day.
She met the love of her life, Daniel C. Alanis, III (“Danny”) while they were both in junior high. Recently celebrating 61 years of marriage, the two were staples of the Lakehills community, raising a family and immersing themselves in community service. Loy Ed’s 32 years in the classrooms of San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District touched countless lives. Her expertise was helping those with reading disabilities, giving them the necessary skills and confidence to go forward into the world and be productive citizens. In addition to her 32 years with Northside, Loy Ed had a short stint teaching in Detroit, Michigan during the tumultuous early 70’s and the advent of school busing to achieve desegregation. There she found herself embroiled in a teachers’ strike and courageously crossed picket lines to meet her students in the classroom. It’s rumored she did so in Go-Go boots!
In retirement, Loy Ed was not one to be content sitting at home. Furthering her passion for public access to books, she joined a tight corps of volunteers and began raising funds to bring a public library to Lakehills. Community book drives and spaghetti dinners yielded the first library opening, a small trailer on donated land. Continued fundraising and dogged pursuit of public and private grants, to include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, brought what today is arguably the crown jewel of the Lakehills community. The Bandera County Commissioner’s Court often did a collective “eye roll” when they saw her coming… After much perseverance, The Lakehills Area Library gained county approval and official designation at the December, 1998 Commissioner’s Court, coincidentally the last meeting of her husband’s sixteen year term in office. Outside her professional life, Loy Ed was known for her prowess on the dance floor and cunning skills at a card table.
She is survived by her husband of over 61 years, Dan C. Alanis, III, her two children, Edward Alanis and Dana Alanis Chamberlain, son-in-law Richard Chamberlain and grandson Brandon Chamberlain. The community will be invited to a celebration of her life at a later date. Memorials may be made to The Lakehills Area Library, www.LakehillsLibrary.org/about