Alex graduated from Helix High School in La Mesa, CA, served four years in the US Navy as a medical corpsman, later graduated from embalming school, and was a funeral director and Deputy Coroner for Placer County, CA. for seven years.
In 1965 Alex joined the California Highway Patrol, serving fifteen years, first as a traffic officer, then a motor officer, and retired as Sergeant after being injured in a CHP unit while on duty. During his CHP career, he met his wife, Marnee, a pharmacy technician at a small hospital-medical center in Newhall, CA.
Marnee lived with her parents on their 300-acre ranch in Saugus, CA.
They married in June of 1967, and Alex started back to college in 1968, earning his AA Degree from San Fernando Jr College, a Bachelors’s degree, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California while working full-time with the CHP. He regularly attained the Dean’s List while carrying a full load of credits.
In August 1978, as a CHP Sergeant, Alex incurred two ruptured discs in his back while on his way to a fatal accident. This was his second serious accident while a member of the CHP. In October of that year, he went on injured leave for evaluation and was ultimately retired from CHP in 1980. In June of 1979, Alex, Marnee, and their daughter, Jenny, moved into a home they had built in Castle Rock, Washington. This was an excellent move for the family. Jenny, born with Down Syndrome, was ten years old and entered Toutle Lake School that fall.
Jenny graduated from high school in 1989. She stayed an additional year at Toutle, where she helped in the office and cafeteria. Then transitioned to Outward Bound, a home situation where four women with challenges shared living quarters, run by an organization that would later become Life Works. In September 2001, she moved into an apartment later known as Independent Living, where she continues to live in Longview. This Life Works complex assists individuals with developmental disabilities. She works at Papa Murphy’s Pizza.
At the urging of their State Farm Insurance Agent, Harold Gilmore, Alex applied for and was hired by State Farm. He opened his door for business in Woodland, WA. on April 1, 1980. Marnee soon joined him as his office manager and secretary. In 1983, after many years serving the community, Harold Gilmore retired, and Alex took over his office in Longview, WA.
In 1985 Alex was invited to join The Rotary Club of Longview. He served as Sergeant at Arms, Literacy, Chaired Small Gifts, the Foundation Committee, the Log Book Committee, Awards and Recognition, and many others in his 37 years as a member, and worked on many projects and Fundraisers.
Alex served on the Board for three years, was Club President in 1994-95; served as Assistant Governor in 2000-2001, and again in Area 10 (now Area 160) from 2003-2005. He left the club for a short period in 2001 but rejoined in early 2002; shortly after that proposed that Marnee as a member. She has been a member of Sergeant at Arms for the past 20 years. Together with some other club members, they created a hands-on project, creating the Rotary Angel Program, which helps local school children from low-income families not being served by other programs to have a very special Christmas. This project was presented to the Board in February 2002 and again in July to new Board Members, and that December began one of the club’s premier projects. Alex took on the fundraising for this program. Marnee ran for a director position on the Board and made it the first time, serving from 2007-2010. She has worked on fundraisers such as The Tour de Blast, Rotary Angels See’s Candy Sales, and projects such as Squirrel Fest, Walk N Knock, and Rotary Relays.
She served on the Mentoring Committee, Rotary Angels, and the Socials Committee for several years and chaired the Assembly Committee. Marnee has also chaired the Socials Committee since 2019.
Bob Beal, also a member of Longview Rotary, took over the State Farm Insurance business when the Alexander’s retired in 1998.
Longview Rotary put Alex’s name up for District 5020 Governor in 2007. He received the nomination and was elected District Governor for the 2009-10 Rotary year.
Over the years, Alex served as a Board Member of Cottonwood Lodge and Life Works and served on Cowlitz County Developmentally Disabled Advisory Board from 1994-97. Along the way, in recognition of his community involvement & contributions, Alex was nominated for Longview’s Citizen of the Year
Marnee and Alex have coordinated many special club events, including our 90th Club Anniversary in 2016, our 95th in 2021, and several Presidents dinners, District Governor Receptions, and assorted club socials.
Alex and Marnee began their Paul Harris contributions within one year of joining Rotary because “It was the right thing to do – and still is.”
They have been both Paul Harris Society Members since 2018, Benefactors, Bequest Society Members, and Major Donors Level 1.
On May 19, 2021, Alex and Marnee Alexander were presented with Legacy Society Awards, signifying a lifetime commitment of one million or more dollars. This donation was to establish a Master’s Program Grant forever.
In December of 2021, Alex and Marnee paid forward all of their combined Paul Harris points to complete Paul Harris awards for ten club members and presented 100 points to 30 club members to jump-start and encourage their own Paul Harris donations.
The Rotary Club of Longview membership and all of District 5020 is incredibly proud to be associated with and call the Alexander’s “valued members and good friends.”