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Alice Soucek: Oakdale matriarch 'loved her country and loved her family'

Alice Soucek, right, goes for a ride with

Alice Soucek, right, goes for a ride with her son Lee Soucek, who said, 'I think she was about 75 in this photo.' Credit: Courtesy Soucek Family

Alice Soucek enjoyed knitting, motorcycles, the American flag and her family — though not necessarily in that order.

The matriarch of a Suffolk County family that includes five children, nine grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren, Soucek lived in the same house in Oakdale for 57 years.

“There is nothing she loved more than seeing her kids and grandkids,” said her daughter, Colleen Gruener, of Port Jefferson Station. “She loved to have everyone get together. A lot of us would have all gone to see her this week for her birthday.”

Soucek died at Long Island Community Hospital on April 1 from complications of COVID-19, her family said. She was 78, just eight days short of her 79th birthday.

Soucek, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, spent five days at Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue in early March, her son, Lee, said. She was not tested at that time. She returned home but several days later she was taken by ambulance back to the hospital, where she tested positive.

“The ambulance came and that was the last time we saw her," said Lee, who lives across the street from his mother’s Oakdale house. “They wouldn’t let anyone go with her.”

Soucek was born Alice DeKruyff on April 9, 1941, in Queens. She grew up in Breezy Point and attended parochial schools. She moved to the house in Oakdale when she was 23. For more than three decades she worked as a physical therapist’s assistant.

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Soucek, a widow, enjoyed knitting and doing the Newsday crossword puzzle, which she would often cut out of the paper and keep to do later in the day. 

When Soucek was younger she owned a Ducati motorcycle and loved to go for long rides. It’s a passion she never could quite let go, even as she grew older.

“I think she was about 75 in this photo I have where she’s on the back of a Harley with me,” Lee said. “It wasn’t just a short ride we took. I think we went all the way out to Shirley.”

Gruener said her mother very patriotic and had a large collection of American Flag T-shirts that she wore every day unless she was going to a wedding or dress-up event.

“She loved her country and she loved her family,” Gruener said. “It’s just so hard to lose her this way.”

Soucek is survived by children Doreen Soucek of Oakdale, Colleen Gruener of Port Jefferson Station, Scott Soucek of Oakdale, Lee Soucek of Oakdale and Jimmy Soucek of Commack. She is also survived by a sister, Cathy Murfitt of Breezy Point, nine grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

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