Alta was born on November 15, 1923 to Ira Lee McGowen and Della Ann (Sponsler) McGowen in Mountain Grove, Missouri.
As her first job after her schooling and away from the farm, Alta taught in a one-room schoolhouse on Bado Road in Cabool, Missouri.
Alta married Emmett Paul Altis, and after their wedding they resided in San Diego, California, for a short time while Emmett served in the Coast Guard during World War II. At the end of the war, she and Emmett returned to Kansas City, and she began working as a bookkeeper at a local bank.
Alta was happiest when surrounded by her family. She loved to have everyone around and could often be heard telling us regarding her great-grandchildren, “Oh, just leave them alone, they are at Mamma’s house” and “I love the children, their noise doesn’t bother me a bit.” Her heart was in her family, always. Cooking large meals and keeping everyone together and happy was her joy and gift. Alta also enjoyed teaching children’s Sunday school and participating and serving in other areas at First Baptist Church, Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Emmett Paul Altis.
Alta is survived by her daughter, Paula Ann Altis-Hawley of Kansas City; three granddaughters, Rachel Upp and Robbie, of Lee’s Summit, Julie Vandervoort and Jason of Lee’s Summit, and Nita Wagoner and Ryan of Silverdale, Washington; along with seven great-grandchildren, Paul, Daniel, Mei Ling “Maggie,” Andrew, Alex, Hannah and Anthony.
Visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 6, 2017, with services following at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral chapel. Interment will be in Hillcrest Cemetery under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool. Online condolences may be made at www.egcfuneralhome.com.