Cover photo for Alice Marie Maclin's Obituary
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1928 Alice 2020

Alice Marie Maclin

May 18, 1928 — June 23, 2020

Alice Marie Nystrom Maclin (May 18, 1928 - June 23, 2020) was born in Cadillac, Michigan to a Swedish father, George Nystrom and English mother, Minnie Harwood. She was just twelve years old when her parents died in an automobile accident. She went to live with an aunt in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she quickly realized she had to live her life “unafraid”. Here she continued to achieve distinction in both musical instruments and academics.

She met the love of her life, H.T. Maclin Jr. and they married August 30, 1947. At Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, they received both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees; she while caring for two daughters born just a year apart. Her academic excellence was rewarded with membership into Phi Beta Kappa. After H.T. completed his studies at Perkins School of Theology they felt called to become missionaries of the Methodist Church in Africa where they lived and worked in both the Belgian Congo (now Zaire) and Kenya for 20 years.

Alice had a natural ability with languages and studied Greek, Otetela (the language of Central Zaire), French, and Swahili. She described most of her language learning as informal as it was not in a university setting and therefore “I have no transcripts to prove I learned anything.” However, everyone knows just how much she learned as she taught and wrote in all three of those languages and distinguished herself teaching Swahili, publishing “Useful Swahili: Swahili for Home and Garden” in 1971; and English as a Second Language. In 1993, her “Reference Guide to English: A Handbook of English as a Second Language” was republished by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to be distributed to more than 100 countries.

In 1976 Alice established the English as a Second Language department at DeKalb Community College, now part of Georgia State University. There are hundreds of her former students in the Atlanta area and it always delighted her to enter a business and be greeted by one of them.

She enjoyed gardening to the extent that her condo patio had a container garden of more than 80 potted plants. She was an avid reader and especially enjoyed African and other international authors. Word games were her specialty with Upwords a favorite. She kept track of her word games and had played 66 games in 2020.

Alice is survived by three of her children: Susie Maclin, Cathie Boyles (Don), and Greg Maclin (Marilyn) and son-in-law Frank Golley (Melanie); six grandchildren: Jason Box (Stacy), Kevin Box (Jennifer), Amanda Maclin, Rebecca Maclin (Sam), Stuart Golley (Stephanie), and Peter Golley (Genevieve); and two great-grandchildren: Brittany Marquis (Tyrel), and Chandler Box. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Ruth Golley, and H.T.

The family expresses its deepest gratitude to Pastor Sara of Grace for her personal ministry to Alice and the family; to Visiting Angels for providing outstanding caregivers; especially for Rita Appiah and Kisha Neely; and to Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care for its caring and wise expertise at the end of Alice’s adventurous, wonderfully long and unafraid life.

A member of Grace United Methodist Church since 1975, she taught Sunday School there until she was 90 years old. The celebration of her life will be held at Grace on Tuesday, June 30th at 11:00 am. Due to the Covid-19 guidelines attendance is limited to family and presenters. The live-streamed service can be accessed through the Grace website at on its rotating header.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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