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CHAMPAIGN — Richard “Dick” E. Alexander, 85, passed away peacefully with family by his side at 12:35 p.m. Friday (Nov. 1, 2019) at Amber Glen Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, Urbana.

Dick was born Feb. 7, 1934, in Fisher. He was the son of the late Melvin Lewis Alexander and the late Lois Ehler Alexander.

Dick grew up on his family farm north of Champaign and attended a one-room schoolhouse, Mount Vernon School. He graduated from Champaign High School in 1952.

Dick was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, serving as a signal corps radio operator and SP4 during the Korean War.

Upon his return from active duty, he became a camera operator at WCIA. In 1962, he married Linda Sue Adamson of Chicago and returned to his main profession of farming. Dick was a farmer until his final harvest in 2010.

Additionally, he served on the Champaign Unit 4 School Board for nine years, culminating in his presidency of the board from 1976 to 1978. Along with his fellow board officers, Dick demonstrated courage and leadership as he helped lead the board and community through the desegregation process. He also served on the Beaver Lake Drainage Commission and as a youth fellowship leader at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church in Champaign.

Dick’s greatest joys included his children and grandchildren, time with family and friends and his lifelong fandom of the Chicago Cubs.

He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Linda Alexander; two daughters, Jan Alexander of Savoy and Valerie (Ray) Vallese of Champaign; one son, Brian (Ronna) Alexander of Douglas, Mich.; five grandchildren, Marlee, Lucy and Olive Alexander and Trevor and Delaney Vallese; sisters-in-law, Deanna Alexander of Champaign and Terry Alexander of Manchester, Md.; a stepbrother, Glen Miller, and his wife, Mary, of Seymour; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Donald Alexander and John “Jack” Alexander; as well as his mother, Lois Alexander Miller, and stepfather, George Miller.

A celebration of life will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, at Morgan Memorial Home, Savoy.

A special thanks to the staff at Amber Glen for their caring dedication, support and love for Dick and his family.

Memorial contributions may be made to the family for a memorial bench and tree at the Champaign County Forrest Preserve. Condolences may be offered at morganmemorialhome.com.

Veteran US