Funeral services for Ernest R. Alexander were Feb. 11, 2019, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Tekamah. Burial with military honors was in Tekamah Cemetery.
Alexander, 94 years, of Tekamah, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at the Norfolk Veteran Home in Norfolk, Neb.
Ernest Ray Alexander was born to Joseph A. and Arlie LaVone Leona (Odle) Alexander on May 14, 1924, in Laurel, Neb. When he was a boy, the family often relocated, due to his father’s job as a migrant farm worker. One of the last places they moved to was Lyons, Neb. in 1942. There he met Dorrell Jean Johnson. The first day at his new school, during assembly, he sat behind her and said, “I’m going to marry that girl someday.” They graduated together in 1943 and married Oct. 9, 1944.
In August 1945, Ernest left for the Army and was assigned to the 89th Station Hospital in Korea as a utility repairman. While gone, he missed the birth of his firstborn, but was able to return home in September of 1946.
In 1949, Ernie and Dorrell moved to Tekamah and lived in many surrounding areas throughout, with one final move in 2015 to the Veteran Home in Norfolk. Bingo was the highlight of his day. Ernest was so lucky at Bingo that he stashed his quarters in his lock box. He was proud of those winnings and would show them to his visitors, but afterwards that lock box key went right back into his pocket!
Ernest worked many jobs during his life; a farmer’s hired hand, grain elevator operator, river tugboat deckhand, implement mechanic for Allis Chalmers and International and finally as the van driver for Tekamah Nursing Home, retiring from there at the age of 80.
He enjoyed venturing to Clifton, Kan., for the annual Alexander reunion. He also enjoyed yard work, gardening, spending time with grandchildren and going to the City Café for morning coffee. His most favorite pastime was walking his four-legged friend Trixie.
Ernest was a member of VFW, Knights of Columbus, a devoted member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and was a Tekamah Housing Authority board member for many years.
He was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather, Walter Wilson; baby sister, Shirley; brother, Joseph “Peanut,” sister, Helen Brink; granddaughter, Jamie and his beloved dachshund, Trixie.
He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Dorrell; sister, Erma Shawver of Lyons; sister-in-law, Margaret Johnson of Oakland; brother-in-law, Carol Sappingfield of Gothenburg, Neb.; children, Ernest Jr. (Mary Jane) Alexander of Omaha, Diana (Joe) Sova of Omaha, Pat (Dick) Sheets of Norfolk, Jeff (Twila) Alexander of Tekamah, Jim (Tricia) Alexander of Tekamah, Christie (Mark) Richardson of Onawa, Iowa; 21 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild on the way; many nieces and nephews, cousins and longtime friends.
Memorials are suggested to Tekamah Area Veterans or Hearts United, a national no-kill animal shelter, sanctuary and animal welfare organization based in Auburn, Neb.
Pelan Funeral Services is in charge of the arrangements.