Lewis B. Alexander, 87,
passed away Tuesday, July 24, 2007, at his home in Ellensburg, surrounded by
his loving family and the tender care of Hospice.
Lewis was born Dec. 12, 1919, in Sunnyside to Flavious C. and Cora Pearl
(Black) Alexander. At the age of 12, he contracted a severe case of Polio and
was not expected to live. His mother’s determination and her constant
manipulation of the muscles of his arms and legs were rewarded by his survival
with the full ability to walk without braces. Lewis went on to climb Mt. Rainer
and Mt. Adams, crewed on a sailboat to Alaska. He graduated from Sunnyside High
School in 1939.
He married Arlene Ferson Hans on Aug. 30, 1942.
During WWII, Lewis was a Yeoman on the U.S.S. Gridley, a destroyer in
the Pacific fleet under Admiral Halsey. He participated in battles at Leyte
Gulf, Midway Island, Guadalcanal and Marshall Islands. He watched soldiers
raise the American flag on Iwo Jima through the captain’s long glass from the
bridge of the Gridley. After the war, Lewis raised asparagus and grapes on the
Alexander farm on the corner of Washout and Van Belle roads in Sunnyside. In
1954, he began employment with the Marathon Corporation (later purchased by
American Can Company) and worked his way from shift foreman to plant manager
over the next 31 years. He retired in 1982, and began traveling back and forth
across the North American continent in his motorhome with his wife.
Lewis was a past Master of Masonic Lodge No. 138 of Sunnyside, past
Worthy Patron of Eastern Star Chapter 134, a charter member of the Fraternal
Order for the Protection of the Elk No. 2112, sat on the Council of Fort Simcoe
for Boys Scouts of America, was a daddy advisor for the Order of Rainbow for
girls, served as a trustee of Valley Memorial Hospital in Sunnyside, and was a
member of the Kittitas County Genealogy Society.
Over the years, he enjoyed hunting deer and elk, fishing, flying his own
single-engine airplane, square dancing, golf and billiards.
Lewis was a true gentleman, who served his country and his community. It
was an honor to have known him. He will be greatly misses by family and
He is survived by his wife, Arlene; a daughter, Judy (Bill) Clayton of
Ellensburg; a son, Jerry L. Alexander of Elmer City; his grandchildren, Chad
(Tammy) Hull of Yakima and Jacqueline (Ray) Martin of Ellensburg;
great-grandchildren, Gwendolyn Hull, Alexander Hull, Kaitlyn Martin and Tyler
Martin; his brother, Vernon’s children, Judith Alexander and Keith Alexander, both
Alexander; stepchildren, Brenda Clayton, Ruth (Roger) Oliver, Tammy Dresen, and
Jason (Amanda) Clayton; numerous great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Flavious and Cora (Black)
Alexander of Sunnyside; and his brother, Vernon D. Alexander during the Korean
A memorial service at his grave site will be held Saturday, July 28,
2007, at 2 p.m. at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside. The VFW Post 683
from Ellensburg will perform military honors and Masonic Lodge No. 138 of
Sunnyside will provide a short service. The family suggests donations in his
memory be made to Hospice Friends of Kittitas of Kittitas County, VFW Post 683,
or Masonic Lodge No. 138. Steward and Williams Tribute Center is in charge of