CHARLESTON, IL – Richard H. Alexander, age 91 of Charleston, passed away on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home in Mattoon. His earthly body will be cremated and Richard’s request that there be no visitation or services will be honored by his family. Arrangements have been entrusted to Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston.
Richard was born in Charleston, Illinois on December 5, 1921, the son of the late Walton G. and Olive L. (Boulware) Alexander and the grandson of John W. and Josephine Alexander. He married Elizabeth Waters in 1969 and was blessed with 38 years of a wonderful marriage and friendship before her death in December of 2007 in Arizona. Following her death, Richard moved to Tuscola, Illinois where their son, Anthony “Tony” Alexander and wife Dianne and their family live. Richard has three daughters from a previous marriage who still survive, Josephine Walters, Glee Helms and Candice Schnorff. He is also survived by grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Richard graduated from Charleston High School – Class of 1939, and from the University of Illinois in 1942. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 following the attack on Pearl Harbor and served his country for six years during World War II with one year in the South Pacific. Upon his return to Charleston, Richard organized an Army Reserve Unit in Charleston and served 20 years, retiring as an Infantry Captain. He later spent seven years as an Instructor of Marketing at Eastern Illinois University.
Richard’s family owned and operated a number of retail stores in Charleston and Mattoon including Alexander’s Department Store, Alexander’s 5¢ - $1 Store, Alexander Brokerage, Alexander Interiors and the Smart Alex Shoppe. He and sister Myra L. Ingram owned and operated the stores for a number of years before closing them upon their retirements.
Richard experienced many accomplishments in his life-time but he always affirmed that the 38 years he enjoyed with Betsy at his side remained the best years of his life.