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Erlene Ima (Coleman) Alexander

1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Erlene Ima (Coleman) Alexander Obituary
ERLENE IMA (COLEMAN) ALEXANDER, 95, passed on Saturday, February 20, 2016 in Camas, Washington. Born on a spring day in Asher, Oklahoma on March 4, 1920, Erlene was the daughter of Everett Inman Coleman and Amanda Virginia Jane Clark. Sister to nine siblings, loving mother and grandmother, artist, dancer, world traveler, and woman of deep faith, Erlene was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and believed in God, home and country. As a young farm girl growing up in Oklahoma in the 1920's, Erlene's world consisted of picking cotton, climbing peach trees, spotting bullfrogs and taking warm afternoon naps under the tallest cotton stalks in the field. Despite growing up in challenging times with limited opportunities, she nurtured a rich imagination and a deep curiosity of what the world was like beyond the horizon of dusty Oklahoma hills. Little did she know that her life's adventure was about to take her to far destinations spanning five states and ten countries and two continents. Erlene met her soon-to-be husband, Ernest Lee Alexander, in Riverside, California in the months following Pearl Harbor. They loved frequenting clubs together and dancing to the blazing horns of big bands. When Ernest was completing U.S. Army officer-candidate school in Florida, Erlene left her parents and siblings in California and met him, traveling by rail across the country for sixteen days without a proper ticket. They married on December 10, 1942 in Miami, Florida. Erlene was a military wife in a time of turbulence. When Ernest was called to serve in the Korean War for several years, Erlene raised their sons--Douglas, Ralph, Alan and Donald--with patience and resilience as best as one could with four young, mischievous boys. As a family they shared many memorable years when Ernest's NATO position brought them to live in Germany and explore the United States and Europe. In her later years, she was a dedicated member of her church community, and also developed her skills to become an exceptional oil painter with an eye for capturing majestic landscapes, seascapes and sunsets on canvas. Erlene was a cornerstone of our American family, and her memory lives on each day that we envision a world beyond our own dusty hills, and pursue our dreams with unwavering faith and resilience. Erlene is survived by sons, Douglas (Leslie) Alexander, Ralph Alexander, Alan Alexander (deceased), Donald (Julie) Alexander, Daughter-in-law June Crail Alexander; twelve grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Services to celebrate her life will be held on Monday, March 7, 2016, at 11:00 A.M. at Arlington Mortuary, 9645 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92503. Graveside services will be held on Monday, March 7, 2016 at 1:30 P.M. at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside, CA 92518.

Published in Press-Enterprise from Mar. 5 to Mar. 6, 2016
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