Born in Litchfield, Medina County, Ohio, son of Benjamin Bosworth Alexander and Amie Edith (Lewallen) Alexander. They were both from Morgan County, Tenn. and moved to Medina County in 1917.
Ronny went to local public schools, both in Litchfield and Berea in Cuyahoga County, graduating from Berea H. S. in 1936. In 1934 he earned his Eagle Scout Award, in beekeeping. He had a great interest in music and played the slide trombone from the 5th grade until the end of H.S. When his family moved to Berea, near Cleveland, one of his first jobs there was helping his father build houses and other carpentry work. Another job was selling furniture for a store. He then worked as a timekeeper for Rayon, which made clocks for workers.
He later had a position with Iron Fireman, which made coal stokers, and became a manager with seven servicemen and 7,000 stokers working under him in Cleveland, Ohio. During part of this time period he also attended night school at a local college. Right after Pearl Harbor in 1941 he began working for NACA, a forerunner of NASA, so had a deferment from military service. He continued in NACA until early 1951.
He married Janice Yochem in Feb. 1951. They opened their own dry cleaning business also picking up and delivering the clothing. They eventually closed it in the late winter of 1951 because of continuing deep snow causing delivery problems, and an auto accident. They moved down to Houston, Texas, where Ronny was a service manager for Rheem Manufacturing and Air Conditioning Co. traveling around several western states. Tired of being away from home so much, he joined with Russ Builders and Associates, eventually buying the company. He was a well-known building contractor, for the next 40 years, in the Houston to Galveston areas of Texas. Since he knew all the Astronauts then, he was able to build homes for some of them, and even kept in touch with them for many years.
When his wife, Janice, had a stroke and needed constant care the next 11 years, he undertook that demanding task and was home with her most of the time. He took classes as a real estate broker with Elder-Kelley Century 21, and had a very successful career until Janice passed away. Then he sold everything and moved up to Destin, Fla., to live with his son, Ronald H. Alexander and his wife, Renee.
His only living son, known as Ron, was born Feb. 1953. He had a successful military career flying helicopters and airplanes. After retirement, he was employed for several years at Eglin Air Force Base, nortkof Destin. In October 2007, he went into service for the Government to manage the helicopter program in Iraq, coming back to Wash. D.C. periodically. His wife, Renee, soon moved up to Alexandria, VA, where they have an apartment. She also works for the Government at this time.
Ronny has a sister, Violet Stoffan, 4 yrs. younger, who resides in the Cleveland area. His other descendants are children of Ron and first wife: Andy Alexander and Amy Alexander, both living in Fort Walton Beach.
On Feb. 14, 2003, in Ft. Walton Beach, Ronny married Carol (Richardson) McKinney, a widow from Utah. They had 7 happy years together until his recent passing at the Gulf Coast Medical Center of causes incident to age. They had moved over to Panama City Beach in May 2003.
They are both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at 2 p.m. for family and friends at the church, 505 South Arnold, in Panama City Beach. Brock's Funeral Home in Panama City is handling preliminary arrangements. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to Boy Scouts of America, 9440 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL 32514, in the name of Ronald L. Alexander. Donations may also be made locally to Boy Scouts of America, Panama City Stake, and mail to President Jacob Fish, 505 South Arnold, Panama City Beach, FL 32413.
Published in Panama City News Herald on Mar. 9, 2010.