John R. "Bob" Alexander, age 85, of Wainwright died early Friday, Oct. 22, 2010, in Union Hospital at Dover following a brief illness.
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A son of the late John B. and Mary Tonelotti Alexander, Bob was born at New Philadelphia on July 15, 1925.
Bob attended Sacred Heart Elementary School at New Philadelphia and was a 1943 graduate of New Philadelphia High School.
He enlisted into the United States Marine Corps following graduation and served during World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre. Following re-enlistment, Bob continued to serve his country during the Korean War and had also been assigned to the American Consulate at Calcutta, India, for a period of time.
Bob was most proud of his duty aboard "The Freedom Train," on which he served as a member of the honor guard which protected our nation's precious documents as the train toured the United States from 1947-1949.
He was a member of the Marine Corps League, the Marine Corps Tankers Association and the Tuscarawas VFW, in which he served as a member of the club's honor guard.
In early 1957, while dining at the former Bonvechio's Restaurant at Wainwright, a young hostess named Grace Bonvechio caught his eye. The couple married on Sept. 2, 1957, and reared five children.
Bob joined the Bonvechio family for 17 years in the operation of the restaurant, first serving as a bartender and later took on the role of kitchen manager. Bob eventually started working with Biff Schneider in the carpentry business, a skill he had learned from his father, and worked as a private carpenter until retirement.
He was an avid reader who also enjoyed gardening and using his carpentry skills to make polenta sticks as gifts to family and friends as well as providing his grandchildren with special toys.
In addition to his wife, Grace, with whom he recently celebrated 53 years of marriage, Bob will be missed by his five children, Kevin (wife, Marla) Alexander of Dover, Leslie (husband, Doug) Kendle of Bolivar, Bruce "Alex" Alexander, Marc Alexander, both of Wainwright, and Marissa (husband, Shawn) Handrich of Dover.
Seven grandchildren, Ian, Maria, and Jared Alexander, Abigail and Alan Kendle, Riley and Grant Handrich, as well as numerous nieces and nephews complete the family.
In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by three sisters, Glenna Kaderly, Rita Baldwin and Olga Walters; a brother, Richard Alexander; and a grandson, Vincent Alexander.
The family will receive friends on Monday, Oct. 25, 2010, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. in the Linn-Hert- Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia. A rosary service will begin at 3:45 p.m. Father Anthony Lonzo will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, at 10 a.m. in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at Dennison. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery at New Philadelphia.
Following services, the family will gather in the Geib Family Center, adjacent to the New Philadelphia funeral home, where a meal and fellowship will be shared.
Those unable to attend may send the family personal condolences by signing the online guest registry located on the funeral home's website.
Memorial contributions in Bob's name may be directed to Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School, 777 3rd St. NE, New Philadelphia, O. 44663 or to Immaculate Conception School, 206 N. 1st St., Dennison, O. 44621.
Published in The Times Reporter from Oct. 23 to Oct. 24, 2010