HERMITAGE, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Florence Marie Parker Alexander, of Hermitage, passed away on Friday, November 1, 2019, at her residence in Hermitage, surrounded by her family. She was 92 years old.
Mrs. Alexander was born March 25, 1927, in Sharon, Pennsylvania, to Lee W. and Marie I. (Chantrey) Parker.
Her father owned the Parker Lumber Company in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania and Florence and her brother Lee, Jr., both spent time working there as children.
Florence spent her childhood in Clarksville (now Clark) and attended elementary school there. Her family subsequently moved to Sharpsville where she graduated high school in 1945. Her yearbook lists an entire paragraph of offices and clubs that she held while in high school; she continued her commitment to volunteering throughout her life.
Ever since she was three years old, she knew that she wanted to be a nurse. She attended The University of Pittsburgh and graduated from the former Christian H. Buhl School of Nursing in 1948.
She volunteered for the Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II and although she was required to be prepared to go overseas, the war ended before she was called.
She worked as a registered nurse at the Christian H. Buhl Hospital (currently Sharon Regional Hospital) and later as a private duty nurse.
She married W. Dean Alexander on July 23, 1948. They raised five children in their dream home in Hermitage. They spent many family vacations exploring the mountains of Pennsylvania.
Florence loved to travel and she traveled extensively with her family throughout the United States and Europe.
She was vice president of the Dean Alexander Construction Company, Inc.
Florence loved nature and all animals and they loved her back. As a child, she loved to visit her grandparents’ farms in Hartford and South Pymatuning Township, where she would ride her favorite horses, exploring the countryside. As an adult, she lovingly nursed any wounded creature her children brought home, be it a snake, dog, cat or weasel. Accompanied by her beloved German Shepherds, she would often take her children on nature walks pointing out wildflowers and identifying trees. The horses and cats often followed them through woods which made an impressive parade of animals.
The previous owner of her home, Pauline Pierce Brayer, planted many exotic trees and flowers to attract birds and Florence worked hard to maintain the original essence of the property. She especially loved hummingbirds and she spent many hours watching them with a bird book by her side. Later, Florence and her husband, Dean, donated the Erie Extension Canal Lock #10 to the Borough of Sharpsville so the lock could be saved for historical purposes. This lock was built in the mid-1830s and it is the only remaining canal lock from the Erie Extension Canal.
She was of the Methodist faith and a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church of Sharpsville. While in high school, she was President of the Youth Groups and later she served on many of the church boards. She had a generous personality and lived her life as a true Christian.
She never spoke ill of people and always gave them the benefit of the doubt. She did many discreet acts of kindness to people that needed help, giving them money, clothing and/or sending cards and kind notes. She always said her strength came from her happy childhood and her strong faith.
Florence loved music and was a very gifted musician. Her musical talents were recognized early and at age 16, she was chosen among all area high school students to play piano solos for the troops at Camp Reynolds (Transfer, Pennsylvania). Besides piano, she played the cello, clarinet, bells, xylophone, accordion and the historic pipe organ at the Chloe Pierce Memorial Chapel in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. As an adult, she loved to entertain and her family and friends will remember her for the family dinners and wonderful parties where she often played the piano.
She was very active in her younger days. She loved to swim, jog, hunt, cross-country ski and ice skate. She enjoyed antiquing and was an avid reader.
She belonged to the Hermitage Women’s Club and the Pennsylvania Order of the Eastern Star.
Later in life, she became the matriarch of her family. Florence’s kindness, grace, strength, courage and wisdom were inspiring to all who knew her.
Besides her husband Dean, she was preceded in death by her parents; her only sibling, Reverend Lee Parker, Jr. and her beloved daughter, Jennifer Alexander.
Surviving Florence are her children, Cynthia Alexander (Hermitage), Jeff Alexander (Sharpsville), Rod Alexander (Sharpsville) and Dr. Laurel Alexander (South Pymatuning Township). She has one grandchild, Megan Alexander (Sharon) and three great-grandchildren. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews, including her special niece, Linda Parker (Reel) and her sisters-in-law, Faye Parker and Dorothy Estep.
The family extends its gratitude to everyone who helped care for Florence in her final years.
Donations may be sent to the First United Methodist Church of Sharpsville, 148 East Shenango Street, Sharpsville, PA 16150 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Friends may call Sunday, November 3, 2019, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., at Stephen J. Sherman Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 2201 Highland Road, Hermitage, PA 16148; also, Monday, November 4, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. until time of the funeral service, 11:00 a.m., at the Sharpsville First United Methodist Church in Sharpsville.
Burial will take place in Riverside Cemetery Sharpsville, Pennsylvania.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.shermanfuneralhome.com.