William Walter Alexander
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William Walter Alexander of Marysville passed away Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the age of 89.
He was born July 18, 1924 to William and Leila Alexander in Port Huron. He married Dorothy E. Geick on May 19, 1956.
He was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Huron where he regularly served as an usher and held many leadership roles over the years including two terms as president of the congregation.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Dorothy; a son, Douglas and daughter in law, Jamie of Fort Gratiot; a daughter, Lynn Tomaselli and son in law, Robert of Peoria, Arizona; five grandchildren, Haley and Kelsey Alexander, Kristen Muniz, Ryan Peeling and Christopher Tomaselli; great grandchildren, Jessa and Javin Tomaselli; and sister, Louise (Donald) Schroeder of Englewood, Florida.
He was a proud veteran of World War II having served in United States Army 6th Tactical Air Communications Squadron. His unit entered the European Theatre at Omaha Beach on D Day Plus 5 and was awarded four battle stars for participation in the invasion of Normandy, Northern France, Central Europe and Rhineland. His unit fought in the Battle of the Bulge and at the end of that conflict was awarded the Fourragere medal from King Leopold of Belgium.
Upon his safe return from military service he entered a printing apprenticeship at the Port Huron Times Herald, joining his father Roy and cousin Charles in that trade at the newspaper. After several years as a printer he was promoted to Composing Room Foreman and later on to Production Manager and eventually Operations Director of the newspaper. When the new Times Herald building was built in the 1970s he acted as Project Manager and after the facility was in operation, he was promoted to Gannett's Corporate Production Staff in Washington, D.C. While there he oversaw the construction and startup of several USA Today production facilities around the country. When Gannett chose Phoenix as the site of its new printing facility for USA Today and commercial printing for the western United States, he was transferred there as Project Manager during construction and then appointed Director of Operations at the facility until his retirement. He was proud of the role he played in the startup and initial operations of USA Today as the country's first national newspaper.
During his career in the printing business he also served as the president of the Great Lakes Production Conference in 1975, presiding over a gathering of 1200 industry representatives at their annual convention in Chicago.
After nearly 40 years in the newspaper industry he retired July 31, 1985. Dorothy and Bill then spent the next 25 summers in Michigan and their winters in Phoenix. In the spring of 2010 they moved permanently back to Michigan.
Visitation will be 5-8 Wednesday in the Pollock Randall Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be 11 AM Thursday, July 17, 2014 in Trinity Lutheran Church with visiting one hour prior to service. The Reverend Mark Madson will officiate.
Burial will follow in Riverlawn Cemetery, Marysville.
Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church.
To send condolences, please visit pollockrandall.com.
The family thanks the caring staff at Medi-Lodge Fort Gratiot nursing facility.
Published in The Times Herald from July 15 to July 16, 2014