Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Arlene Ferson (Hans) Alexander, 88, of Ellensburg passed away on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009, at Ellensburg, following a four-month battle with Pancreatic cancer.
She was born March 10, 1921 in Sunnyside, to John William "Billy" Hans and Lois Isabel Ferson.
She graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1939 and attended Yakima Valley Business College before becoming employed by the Old National Bank in Sunnyside.
She married Lewis B. Alexander on Aug. 30, 1942.
During WWII, Lewis served in the South Pacific on the U.S.S. Gridley, a destroyer in the fleet of Admiral "Bull" Halsey. Arlene had a military security clearance and worked for the U. S. Army Engineers in the office of Land Acquisitions in Prosser and Wenatchee as a secretary. This office was purchasing land for the Hanford Nuclear Project and was under the command of General Lesley Groves, who was also overseeing the atomic bomb testing in Los Alamos, N.M.
Lewis and Arlene were in New York city for both V-J Day and V-E Day experiencing all of the confetti, parades, and horns blowing from cars and the ships in the harbor.
Back in Sunnyside, Lewis farmed on the comer of Van Belle and Washout Roads until 1954, when they sold the farm, moved into town and Lewis went to work for the Marathon Corporation (later purchased by American Can Company).
Arlene worked as an accountant at Boyd, Olafson, & Company, then at UniGas and as a secretary at the United Methodist Church in Sunnyside from 1968 to1982.
She belonged to Eastern Star, PEO, a square dance club, bridge club, golf club, and the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Sunnyside.
Arlene and Lewis retired in 1982 and became "fulltime" RV travelers in their motor home. They visited 49 of the 50 states and participated in golf, tennis, billiards, line dancing, square dancing and various arts and crafts. They also became genealogists tracing their ancestors across the country.
In 1997 they settled in Ellensburg to be close to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
They became members of the Kittitas County Genealogical Society, where Arlene was a volunteer librarian.
Lewis passed away July 24, 2007, after a short illness
Arlene is survived by her son, Jerry Alexander of Elmer City; a daughter, Judy (Bill) Clayton of Ellensburg; a grandson, Chad (Tammy) Hull of Yakima; a granddaughter, Jackie (Ray) Martin of Ellensburg; and stepgrandchildren, Ruth (Roger) Oliver of Ellensburg, Tammy Dresen of Olympia and Jason (Amanda) Clayton of Lawton, Okla.; and 20 great-grandchildren including Gwen and Alexander Hull, Kaitlyn and Tyler Martin.
A short graveside service will be held on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009, at 1 p.m. at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens on Van Belle Road in Sunnyside.
The family suggests donations be made to the Cemetery Tombstone Repair Fund, c/o Judy Alexander Clayton in Ellensburg or to the Kittitas County Genealogical Society in Ellensburg.
Steward and Williams Tribute Center of Ellensburg are in charge of arrangements.