Obituary

James R. Alexander
April 22, 1928 - May 17, 2012

James R. Alexander
Apr 22, 1928 - May 17, 2012

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James (Jim) Alexander, age 84, of Hampton, passed away May 17th at his home with his loving wife, Joan, at his side. Jim was born April 22, 1928 to James M. and Mildred (Kleinmeyer) Alexander.  He was united in marriage to Joan Roose on August 20, 1950.  

Jim graduated from UNI and the University of Iowa.  He was superintendent of schools for 38 years - two at Fairbank, eight at Wapsie Valley, and 28 at Hampton.  Jim was President of the Iowa Association of School Administrators, Iowa Girls Athletic Union, Hampton Rotary, Hampton Country Club, and St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Jim is survived by his wife, Joan; children Ellen (Jim) Cooper, Wanda Alexander, Lori (Tim) Diebel, Sherry (Paul) Mott, and Steve (Deb) Alexander; grandchildren Jessica, Allison, and Joe Cooper; Alexander and Ryan Mott;  and Kimberly Alexander; stepchildren Christopher (Dawn) Cooper, Christopher and Merryl Diebel, and Brittany Hanson; great-grandchild, Nathan Cooper; and two sisters, Mrs. Sarah Ruth (Raymond) Poppe and Mary Brassard.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, an infant son, Brian James Alexander, and two brothers in law, Rev. LaVern Brassard and John Roose.

Burial will be in the Hampton Cemetery.

Rita Gerdes - Class of 1977 on May 22, 2012

James R. Alexander, a stately name for a stately man. Mr. Alexander knew no strangers and remembered those he came into contact with. He always made you feel special and never put his title above the relationships he made. He will be greatly missed not only by family and friends but by his community. Love to you all as you keep his legacy alive.

Jerry Gehrke on May 22, 2012

Last summer we celebrated our 50th class reunion (Wapsie Valley Class of '61). Even after all these years, the comments made that evening showed tremendous respect whenever Mr. Alexander's name was involved. Our class, and those that followed us, had respect and admiration for Mr. Alexander.

Please accept my (our) condolences on his passing.

Jerry Gehrke
Cedar Falls, IA

Marv and Sue Hrubes on May 22, 2012

I am sorry to hear the sad news. Jim was always such a kindly person. During my days with the Iowa Dept of Ed, Jim was always at the top of his game in being prepared, providing great district and state leadership and making the good choices as superintendent. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Claudia Henning on May 21, 2012

Your friends with the West Des Moines Youth Justice Initiative send our condolences. May you be blessed with loving memories and understanding of all those whose lives were enriched through Jim's legacy of service.

Joe and Marlene Sloter on May 21, 2012

We want to express our deepest sympathy to Joan and all the Alexander family at Jim's passing. Jim hired me as a teacher/coach in 1957, and my wife, Marlene, as an elementary teacher, when he was superintendent of the Wapsie Valley school system. We had just graduated from Wartburg College. He was a bigger-than-life figure to us back then, and remained that way throughout his life. In all our years, we never had a better boss. He was so positive and such a great leader -- truly a man to be admired. He had a profound affect on us and on our lives. After we left teaching and moved to Atlanta, we tried to keep in touch, and welcomed those times when we had a chance to re-connect with Jim and Joan. He was very special to us and we will miss him, and will remember him with great fondness.

Joe and Marlene Sloter

Charlane Pralle-Janssen on May 20, 2012

I was shocked to learn of Mr. Alexander's passing as I opened the DM Register late tonight. He gave me my first teaching job which I will always be grateful. It led me to marriage, family, wonderful students and parents, and a lifetime of friends. Hampton has lost a man of integrity and wisdom. My sympathies to the entire family.

Derk Schwieger on May 20, 2012

Thank you Mr. Alexander! I never said it enough, and I'm glad I got to say it when you came to my Dad's visitation a few weeks ago.
I remember when my parents brought me to your office so I could come to Hampton for school. My Mom was so lucky to receive her first teaching job from you, and I grew up hearing of stories about her experience as your Junior High Band Teacher, and how well you were respected and followed. My Dad greatly appreciated your mentoring when he was school board president at Dows. When I first met you I thought your big office clock made everything in town, or at least the schools, run on time.
You put together a great school district with everyone involved; teachers, secretaries, janitors, cooks, bus drivers. I was one of the luckiest kids to have the education and personal experience you helped create with the people you led. The last time we talked you wouldn't take credit for my experiences after graduating from Hampton-Dumont. You and what everyone involved with the school district put together made it possible for Hampton-Dumont graduates to compete and achieve in many corners of this country, as well as the world. We were given a solid academic foundation to build upon, and we had a good time growing up.
I always respected your advice during and after my time at Hampton. I still can hear your voice, see the spark in your eye, and feel the radiation your confidence imparted to those your life touched. We are without a pillar of our community today, and I only hope that whether we are near or far from our hometown, everyone honors your legacy by living well and living up to their potential.
Thank you so much Mr. Alexander! We miss you a lot.
Your loyal student and alumni Derk Schwieger and his Mom and your Junior High Band Teacher Pam Schwieger.

Pam Schwieger on May 20, 2012

May 2nd I got my last hug from Mr. Alexander at Carlyn's visitation - what I would give to have both of them here.
Mr. Alexander was a mentor, my friend, and Carlyn's especially when he needed advice for school board business. Later he became Derk's special friend.
I always felt protected with him at the control. What a leap of faith to have him hire one of the first female band directors in northern Iowa. He charted new territory.
What an honor to know Mr. Alexander, Joan, and his children and be able to call all of you friends.
Pam Schwieger

Gene Heineman on May 20, 2012

May20, 2012
To the Alexander family-My deepest sympathies. Graduate of the 1964 Class of Wapsie Valley High School.

Eldo Moeller Jr. on May 20, 2012

May 20,2012
My sincere sympathy to the Alexander family. Mr. Alexander was superintendent of a Wapsie Valley when I was a student there. Mr. Alexander was highly respected by students and adults alike. My dad, Eldo Moeller, and Mr. Alexander really thought alike. I know my dad thought a lot of him. So now Joan maybe the two of them can meet and talk again.
With sympathy,
Eldo Moeller Jr.

Roger Maxwell on May 20, 2012

To: Lori Diebel - Lori, something went out of me when I read of your Dad's passing in the Sunday Register. I cannot tell you what Jim Alexander's friendship meant to me as I entered UNI as a black freshman from Marshalltown in 1950. Neither the university nor the cities of Cedar Falls and Waterloo really welcomed persons of color at that time. Jim Alexander was one of those special persons who, merely by his friendship, shepherded me through some very difficult times. Our friendship continued when he was Superintendent at Fairbanks and I taught music at Hazleton, nine miles from Fairbank. Anyway, I will talk to you in greater detail one day when you return to the area as to what his support meant to me. Now, you can rejoice as he walks, maybe he is even running in Heaven!! Wow!!! My best to Tim.

Roger Maxwell

Avis Handorf on May 20, 2012

My sincere sympathies to all of you. I liked and respected Mr. Alexander so much.

Dianne Johnson Davis on May 19, 2012

My sincere sympathy. My parents Bud and Otella Johnson thought so much of Jim. He and Joan brought a lot of joy into their lives. Thank you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Visitation

May
20
Sunday
4:00 PM -
7:00 PM
Sietsema Vogel Funeral Home
306 Central Ave East
Hampton, Iowa 50441

Service

May
21
Monday
2:00 PM
St. Paul Lutheran Church
17 2nd St. N.E.
Hampton, Iowa 50441

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