Alberta Aileen (Stone) Lewis passed peacefully on October 28, 2022, in Paso Robles. Alberta was born to Al and Aileen Stone on July 21, 1928, in Salinas while her father was competing in bronc riding at the Salinas Rodeo. Alberta’s parents were ranching in east San Ardo when she was born, and they moved to the Carrisa Plains shortly after. Alberta attended Carrisa Plains Elementary School, Santa Maria High School, and Santa Barbara Business College. When not at school, Alberta worked alongside her family on the ranch. She often shared that she and her mule would follow the light on the end of her Dad’s cigar to guide them back to the barn in the dark after a day of working cattle.
Alberta married Robert (Bob) in 1949 and returned to the Carrisa Plains, where they enjoyed their hard-working life together on the Navajo Ranch for 55 years. Alberta stayed busy on the Navajo raising four children, working cattle, driving the hay truck, and “raising a lot of beef,” as she put it. She was also the ranch parts runner, car cleaner, accountant, and secretary. Alberta was a gifted cook and took pride in feeding crews, neighbors, friends, and even mattress salesmen if they were lucky enough to be around during meal or break time. “A La Lewis” was what she called some of those favorite delicious meal offerings, meaning she made it up with what she had on hand. Family and friends have wonderful memories of spending time at brandings, team ropings, and rodeos over the years.
Alberta and Bob made a successful life as business partners. Bob would come up with the idea, and Alberta would figure out how to make it profitable. Upon Bob’s passing in 2005, Alberta was the matriarch of the Navajo Ranch for the next 17 years. She served on the County Grand Jury, was very active in the San Luis Obispo County Cattle Women, and was a founding member of the Cowbelle’s Trail Ride. Alberta enjoyed watching the Cowbelle’s Trail Ride grow over the years and looked forward to many annual festivities with family and friends. Alberta was honored to be named Paso Robles Pioneer Day Queen (with Bob as the Grand Marshall) in 2005 and CattleWomen of the Year in 2008.
Alberta will be remembered as a loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, a skilled and successful rancher and business partner, a good friend, and an honored and respected member of the community. She is survived by her children Georga (Jim) Prossick, Susan (Bill) Cochrane, Robert Lewis, daughter-in-law Judy Lewis and many loving grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Alberta was preceded in death by her husband Robert (Bob) Lewis, parents Al and Aileen Stone, sister Pat Nimmo and husband Bob Nimmo, son Albert Lewis and granddaughter Savanna Lewis.
A memorial service will be held at 12 pm on Friday, November 18, 2022, at Saint William’s Parish in Atascadero, followed by a Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, donations in Alberta’s memory may be made to the El Paso de Robles Area Historical Society (Paso Robles History Museum) P.O. Box 2875, Paso Robles, CA 93447.