Shirley T. Alexander, of Williamsburg, passed away on Monday, April 15, 2013 at the age of 88.
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Shirley was born Oct. 17, 1924 in Portsmouth. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was preceded in death by her mother, Addie Copeland Thompson, her father, George W. Thompson, Sr. and her brother, George W. Thompson, Jr.
Shirley graduated from Churchland High School in 1941 and worked at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. She married her childhood sweetheart, William T. Alexander, in 1957 and moved to Williamsburg in 1959. Shirley worked at The College of William and Mary for 23 years as a computer programmer until her retirement.
When her first grandson, Wren Sim, was born in 1991, she began her second career as his caregiver. Wren was followed by Garrett and Juliette, and Shirley dedicated the remainder of her life to providing loving care to her grandchildren.
Shirley collected everything! She especially loved Frank Sinatra and collected records, books, and any and all memorabilia. She also loved dolls, glassware, teddy bears and information on the Kennedy family.
When she was younger, she loved dancing to music from the '40s and '50s. Shirley was an accomplished "cross-stitcher" and leaves behind a beautiful collection for her friends and family.
Her husband, Billy, also known as "Baby Do", her children and grandchildren were the loves of her life. Shirley loved all babies and children and told everyone that when she died, she hoped to go to Heaven and take care of "God's Nursery."
Shirley is survived by her husband William T. Alexander, Jr. They were married for 55 years and their life together is a true love story.
She is also survived by her three precious children: Terri Sim of Williamsburg, William T. Alexander, III of Boulder, Co., and Dr. Bonnie Alexander and her husband, Larry Lafary of Virginia Beach. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Wren, Garrett and Juliette Sim of Williamsburg, and Tasha Shrader of Minneapolis; her niece, Deborah Anne Thompson Hall and her husband, Michael, and her nephew, George W. Thompson (Buzzy) and his wife, Mary Ruth Senn; and her cousin, Phyllis Lee Timms.
She will miss her dearest close friends, Mil Camp and Jean Godwin, who were her grammar school pals and her "laugh a minute buddies" as well as her friends, Penny Campbell and Janet Canaan (deceased), who were the sisters she never had. Shirley also loved her Lions Club, her Bunco buddies, her bowling buddies, her friends from the Eastern Star and her church breakfast group.
A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 19 at Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg. A reception will be held at the church following the service with music by "Frankie."
In lieu of flowers, Shirley requests that donations be made to Williamsburg United Methodist Church; Avalon, 3204 Ironbound Rd., Williamsburg, 23188; or Hospice House of Williamsburg, 4445 Powhatan Pkwy, 23188, Williamsburg. Condolences may be registered online at www.nelsencares.com and www.vagazette.com .
Published in Virginia Gazette from Apr. 17 to May 16, 2013