The first time Alice Lucke of Richfield, Minnesota attended a Lutherhostel retreat at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, she said, “I found it to be a wonderfully peaceful place and it made me feel at peace; I was warmly welcomed, and I felt I belonged there.”
Since that first time, she has attended many retreats. She is particularly fond of the Islands of Silence Meditation Path on the property. The path is about a fifth of a mile long, and it has seven islands that are stopping places for meditation and contemplation. Alice was pleased to provide funds for one of the islands.
Alice grew up in Canada and began her teaching career in a county school house, teaching all elementary grades. She was recruited to teach in a Lutheran primary school in Ft. Wayne, and Michigan City, Indiana. After eleven years, she moved to Northfield, Minnesota where she taught third grade for sixteen years.
She made productive use of a Sabbatical leave to study reading as a specialty at Arizona State University for six months. The second half of the Sabbatical was spent in England where she spent two months attending classes and open lectures at Oxford University. This time was followed by three months of visiting British primary schools, learning the techniques of what was called “new math,” and focusing on developing successful readers. Alice wound up her career as a reading specialist at a private school in Minneapolis.
During her retirement, Alice has continued to participate in Spirit in the Desert retreats and she has made arrangements in her will to financially support the center. She said, “The campus, the personable staff, and the programming have so much potential for healing those who are hurting. This is a place set apart for spiritual growth and for guidance on our faith journey.”