DANVILLE — At age 89, Clifford Alexander of Danville, finally gave up the ghost on July 16, 2014. He said many times, “I’ve lived twice as long as I expected and four times longer than I deserve.”
Clifford, was known to many as “Mr. A,” by the students he taught at Fairchild School over the years. He could never venture out in Danville without being recognized and greeted by someone of one generation or another who had him as a teacher, mentor or friend.
Most were unaware Cliff was a veteran who served with the elite Army Ski Corps in Europe during WWII. He was proud of his service, and always had a soft spot for any veteran who needed a few bucks or a helping hand. He was a man who was always drawn to those less fortunate. He chugged around town endlessly in his cool coal black 56 T-Bird convertible, and was never without his pipe, and friendly wave, or a corny joke.
Mr. A earned his teaching degree from Eastern Illinois University, and his master’s from the University of Illinois. He was born in Fairmount, and graduated from Urbana High School. He and his wife, Dorothy, were longtime residents of Walnut Hill, and they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary just a short time before she passed away in 2011.
Clifford also was preceded in death by one son, Cord Alexander. Survivors include one grandson, Justin; numerous nieces and nephews; and special neighbors and friends who have helped him over the rough spots the last few physically challenging years of his life. Being cantankerous as he sometimes was, he insisted — no, he demanded — that no funeral service of any kind be held. He wanted to be remembered in life, not in death. He wanted nothing but a simple graveside service attended by his family. That request will be honored. His wish to be buried behind Catlin IGA will not be.