James Clyde “JC” Alexander, 97, of Gardner, Kan. passed away February 22, 2016 at Royal Terrace Nursing and Rehab, Olathe. James was born October 22, 1918 in Kansas City, Mo to Robert Edward and Margaret A. “Maggie” (McPherson) Alexander. He graduated from Westport High School in 1934 and immediately began delivering ice and coal for The City Ice Company which was owned by his older brother, Edward. In 1937 he was employed by The Postal Telegraph Company delivering telegrams in the Plaza and Mid-town areas until 1939 when he began a warehouse position with the Western Electric Distribution Center on Roanoke Road in Kansas City.
In 1940 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and went on to serve throughout WWII on the USS William P. Biddle and the LCS 48. During the War he was involved in numerous US amphibious landings in the Pacific Theater, North Africa, and Sicily. In 1945 he received an Honorable Discharge from the Navy, and then met and married his wife, Mary Virginia. He returned to Western Electric to resume employment and started a family. He also began night school finishing his education in 1952 with a J.D. law degree from University of Kansas City Law School finishing third in his class, and with subsequent admission to the Missouri Bar. However, he elected to continue work with Western Electric in warehouse and distribution management until retiring with 39 years of service.
James was in love with the game of baseball and he taught his four sons to also love the game. He was a member of the group who successfully planned and began The 3&2 Baseball Club of Johnson County. The first 3&2 ball field was merely a chain link backstop and two benches on the corner of a farmer’s corn field at 85th and Antioch, where Shawnee Mission West stands today. He was amazed as the club expanded to take over the old Segner Field Stadium on Sante Fe Drive, then built the massive complex on West 87th Street, and finally the additional major complex in Shawnee. He received great satisfaction that this small beginning helped so many Johnson County boys and girls learn and play baseball. After retiring and traveling, he settled in Gardner in 1982 and played golf for many years at the Gardner Golf Course as well as serving as President of the Gardner Golf Association. A memorable event in his last years playing golf, was shooting a hole in one. With his wife and four sons he was a dedicated Jayhawk basketball fan, and would never miss watching a KU game. Most amazing was his prodigious memory. James could recall people, places and things that would be lost to the dim recesses of history for most people.
As a side note, millions of fish are safe now as he was also an avid fisherman.
Throughout his life, when others described him, the one phrase so often used was “tough but fair.” No matter what the situation he believed that fairness was the first requirement and he always believed in demanding a high standard of honesty and effort. He taught this to his sons, the boys he coached, and exemplified this ideal to all that knew him.
James was a devoted family man. He is dearly missed by family and friends. However, James would not want us to mourn his passing but rather to celebrate the good times in life that he so loved to do.
James was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Mary Virginia; his parents; his son, Joseph M. Alexander; his two brothers and five sisters and one granddaughter, Courtney Alexander. He is survived by his sons: Raymond C. (Lona) Alexander of Gardner, Kan; David R. (Debbie) Alexander of Albany, N.Y; Joe’s wife, Cheryl; James L. (Regina) Alexander of Mesa, Ariz; grandchildren: Stephanie, Kimberly, Brian, Kevin, Melaney, Heidi, Jake and Jaime; great-grandchildren: Derek, Ashlyn, Scarlett, Nathaniel, Madison, Courtney Jo, Annaliese, Crewe and Jaxon.
Private Family Celebration and inurnment at Gardner Cemetery at a future date. Memorial Contributions may be made to Wounded Warriors Project. Arrangements by: Bruce Funeral Home, Gardner, KS 913-856-7111. Condolences may be left at www.brucefuneralhome.com.