Michael Edward Alexander, 72, of Fort Myers, Florida, peacefully passed on at 5:06 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, at Healthpark Medical Center in Fort Myers with his family at his side.
Mike was born December 24, 1946, in Pontiac, Michigan, to Everett Edward and Vera Guylene McMahan Alexander. He lived in Michigan until his junior year in high school when his mother moved the family back to her hometown in southern Illinois after his father’s death. In 1965, Mike graduated from high school in Carrier Mills, Illinois, and continued his education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, graduating with a B.A. in political science and history in 1969. For eight years he taught junior high social studies in Bushnell-Prairie City, Illinois, where he married his former wife, Gwen Aten, and they had two daughters. During this time he received a Master’s degree in political science from Western Illinois University.
For four years, Mike was a school principal at Union C.U.S.D., Biggsville, IL, while working on his Education Specialist degree which he attained in 1981 from Western Illinois University. He then became a superintendent of schools, serving six years at Triopia C.U.S.D. in Concord, IL, and twelve years at Warrensburg-Latham C.U.S.D. During that time, Michael completed his Ph.D. in Educational Administration in 1992 from Southern Illinois University.
Dr. Alexander’s professional memberships included the American Association of School Administrators, and the Illinois Association of School Administrators, for which he served on the State Legislative Committee and the Board of Directors. He was a member of the Lions Club and the Elks Lodge and was a football and basketball referee for many years. Having dual statehood, he was a loyal fan of the Detroit Tigers and Lions, as well as the Chicago Cubs and Bears. Mike grew up deer hunting with his father, fishing, and was an avid golfer. He loved his Lexington Country Club golf groups.
Mike is survived by his wife of thirty-seven years, Arlene, and his daughters Tonya Uselton (Ron) of Green Valley, IL, and Kelly Phillips (Christopher) of College Grove, TN; grandchildren Nicole and Jake Uselton, and Jessica, Jacob, Jayden, and Jordan Phillips; sister Susan Enstrom of Springfield, IL, and brother Kevin Alexander of Evansville, IN. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Following Mike’s wishes, there will be an informal celebration of him at Lexington Country Club in Fort Myers on Sunday, December 8, 2019, at 4:00p.m.