William Lona Alexander, Jr., 87, died peacefully on June 19, 2013 in Chapel Hill, NC.
He was born in Buie, NC and raised in Raeford, NC but has been a “Chapel Hillian” since 1946.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Mary of Chapel Hill, NC; three children, (Joe of Chapel Hill, Marc of Kinston, NC, and Kim of Richmond, VA); a sister, (Lois Austin of Raeford); and three brothers, (Tom of Edmonds, WA, Jim of Wallace, NC, and Bob of Dublin, GA).
He was predeceased by his daughter (Ann); by his sisters (Ann, Edna, and Sally); and his parents (William Sr. and Bessie).
Mr. Alexander was known locally as William, Bill, Mr. “A”, “Chief,” and affectionately by his family as Dad, Daddy, Pops, and “Paw-Paw”.
A veteran of WW-II, he served as a flagman on the destroyer USS Southerland (DDR-743) in the Pacific, where his ship was the first to drop anchor in Tokyo Bay after the Japanese surrender. Following the War, he settled in Chapel Hill to attend UNC. He managed A&P stores in Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, Raeford, and Roxboro. In this work, he was most satisfied with his role as a mentor to many young people. Later in his career he worked at Belk in University Mall in Chapel Hill. For many years, he proudly held the role of Santa for the Chapel Hill Christmas Parade. An avid Tar Heel fan, he rarely missed any games broadcast on the radio and kept score of games on his own score card.
He and his family were charter members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill where his services will be held on Saturday morning, June 22. Visitation will start at the church at 10:00 and the service will follow at 11:00. A family grave-side service will be held at the Raeford City Cemetery on Saturday afternoon at 4:00. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in his honor to enrich Children and Youth Ministries at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 632 Laurel Hill Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 or a charity of choice. Appreciation is extended to the staff at the Chapel Hill Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center who lovingly cared for Mr. Alexander for nearly two years. Funeral arrangements are by Walker’s Funeral Home in Chapel Hill.