Glen Herbert Alexander 1921 - 2016
CHATHAM, IL - Glen Herbert Alexander, 94, of Chatham and Loami, Ill., died peacefully on Saturday, June 18, 2016, at Concordia Village in Springfield, Ill.
Glen was born Aug. 27, 1921, the only son of PF and Ethel Alexander, and the husband for 52 years of Shirley Ann (Cary) Alexander, who preceded him in death in 1998.
Glen is survived by two sons, the Rev. Peter (Diana) Alexander of San Diego, Calif., and Tim (Pam) Alexander of Chatham; a daughter, Lynn (Dan) Girvan of Williamsburg, Va.; seven grandchildren: Matthew Alexander and Eliza Alexander(Tyler) Geis of Southern California, Troy, Trent, Tyler (Lindsay) Alexander of Central Illinois, and John and Elizabeth Girvan of Williamsburg, Va.; six great-grandchildren: Dominic and Chantal Alexander, Addisen and Camden Geis, and Myles and Harrison Alexander; sister, Amy McKey, 90, of Chenoa, Ill.; three nieces: Paula McKey of Scottsdale, Ariz., Peg Filer of Sammamish, Wash., and Pat Peters of Littleton, Colo.; and three nephews: John McKey of Gridley, Ill., Jim McKey of Louisville, Ky., and Dan McKey of Berlin, Ohio.
Glen was born, raised, and lived his entire life on the farm in Chatham that was settled in 1828 by his great-great-grandfather, the Scotch-Irish immigrant and pioneer of Chatham township, Thomas Alexander, and his son, David. The land they patented was continuously farmed by subsequent generations and is still operated today by his son, Tim, and grandsons, Tyler and Trent, as a part of Alexander Farms.
A 1939 graduate of Ball Township High School, Glen attended Eastern Illinois State Teachers College for two years before he proudly enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. He was assigned to the 8th Air Force, 466th BG, and based in Attlebridge, England, from which he flew bombing missions as a B-24 Liberator pilot and squadron leader during '44-'45 over Nazi occupied Europe.
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and having achieved the rank of Captain, he returned to the States in June of 1945 to marry Shirley Ann Cary of Chatham and to begin farming that Fall in partnership with his father.
Over a lifetime of farming, Glen was no stranger to hard work and successfully instilled the value of hard work in his children. He improved the productivity of the land he farmed through investment in drainage projects and added judiciously to the acreage he inherited and acquired by marriage.
Glen also served his community for many years as a member of the Ball-Chatham Community Unit District 5 School Board and the Chatham American Legion Post 759.
Although raised a Baptist, he adopted his wife's faith early in their marriage and was a faithful member of St. John's Lutheran Church of Chatham for over 50 years.
As a young teen in the 1930's Glen received his first plane ride from a barnstormer who landed in a local field, an experience that began a lifetime of love for flying. He took flight instruction at Southwest Airport and, at 16, obtained a private pilot's license. Glen went on to fly bombers in the military, and then flew small aircraft throughout the balance of his flying career. He enjoyed piloting his private plane and ferrying his family and friends to various points throughout the Eastern half of the U.S. well into his late 60's.
Glen's greatest joys in life were his faith, his family, flying, and his life as an independent, multi-generational farmer. His legacy will long endure in the hearts and minds of his family and friends.
Visitation will be held at Bramley Funeral Home in Auburn from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2016.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church in Chatham on Thursday, June 23, 2016, with the Rev. Clarence Rogers officiating.
Memorial gifts can be directed to: Lutheran World Relief at lwr.org
, St. John's Lutheran Church at sjlchatham.org
, and Chatham American Legion Post 759 by email at [email protected]
Condolences may be left online at www.bramleyfh.com
Published by The State Journal-Register on Jun. 21, 2016.