Alma Lee Loy, known by all who knew her or knew of her as the First Lady of Vero Beach, passed away Friday at age 90. She was a Vero Beach native and her impact on our community stretches from her early days as owner of Alma Lee Loy’s Children’s Clothing from 1955-1998 to her many years of community service to the community. Her accomplishments were many, not the least of which was being the first woman elected to the Indian River County Commission and first woman president of the Vero Beach-Indian River County Chamber of Commerce. She has served on the boards of many important community organizations, and in recent years became a leading spokesperson defending the hometown she loved from those who would develop it into another Ft. Lauderdale. Last October, Alma Lee was Grand Marshall of the Centennial Parade in downtown and earlier this year she served on the Three Corners Steering Committee.
If you are relatively new to Vero, her name is visible to all, from the Alma Lee Loy IRC Chamber of Commerce building in downtown, to the Alma Lee Loy Bridge on 17th Street.
To those of you who have lived all or most of your lives in Vero, you have known her first from her clothing store and then as the friendly, soft spoken woman who befriended everyone she met. For those of us in the “Golden Grads” set (attended VB High School at least 50 years ago), she was on our organizing committee for the annual picnic representing her 1947 graduating class. News of her passing was greeted by female committee members with memories of buying dresses as children at her store.
Personally, I would call her whenever I needed historical anecdotes for stories I wrote about “old time” Vero and she would call me whenever she wanted to share her feelings about key community issues that I needed to write about.
In the future, when hopefully life gets back to normal, how normal can it be without our Alma Lee? I can’t imagine attending events or important meetings in Vero Beach without her physical presence. I know her spiritual presence will always be here though to constantly remind us of what is so special about this community we live in.