St. Peter heard Jim was on the way but was not prepared for the 6’4” hulk to come through the gates blowing his trumpet and saying “OK, let’s get this show on the road.” So now, St. Peter is a Republican and is helping Jim organize a voter registration. That’s my husband, always positive, always with a smile on his face and song in his heart. He did not want to go, and his fighting spirit tried so hard, but his 92-year-old heart could not keep up.
Jim was born in Huntington, West Virginia, in 1928, graduated from Marshall University in 1951 (Go Herd!), served in the U.S. Marine Corps for two years, and began a corporate life at Sun Oil Company. After moving seven times in twelve years, he settled his young family (wife and two daughters) in Jacksonville and followed his passion for real estate development (apartments, shopping centers, and housing projects such as The Woods on Atlantic Blvd.). He loved meeting people, working hard, providing jobs for families and doing deals…often beginning on the back of a napkin. His word was his bond. He never told a lie, always was a straight shooter, and was a man of great integrity. He made money; he lost money. That’s what developers do, but he never gave up. He loved talking about real estate development, mentoring younger people and never stopped working…even discussing a new project last month.
Jim was a real patriot and proud to be a Marine. He was a man’s man but would shed a private tear over a good patriotic speech. He loved this country and deeply felt the sacrifices made to give us this liberty and freedom.
He loved deviled eggs, hot dogs, college football (especially Marshall), fried chicken, all kinds of music from classical to country, singing at Happy Hour at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, Jeopardy, history, politics, a good grilled ribeye steak, chocolate cake baked by his daughter, Kim, and Glenlivit with a splash served in his favorite crystal glass.
As he said a few weeks ago, “It’s been a good ride.” His first wife, Patsy, passed away in 2000; his daughter, Pam, in 2015; and his half-brother, Bill, in 2010. Jim is survived by his daughter, Kim Pickering; son-in-law, Randy Pickering; and me, his wife, Marjorie. We and all his many dear friends will sorely miss him…what a man…I thank God that Jim was in my life, and I was proud to be his wife.
In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL, 32257, or the James M. Alexander Scholarship Fund, Marshall University, c/o Lance West, 519 John Marshall Drive, Huntington, West Virginia 25703.
There will be a Celebration of Life for friends and family on Thursday, August 12 at 11:00 am at Ponte Vedra Valley, 4750 Palm Valley Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082. Please bring your favorite “Jim” memory, see old friends, and enjoy a light lunch afterwards without fried chicken. For those unable to attend, the Celebration of Life will be livestreamed directly below beginning approximately ten minutes before the service and can be accessed anytime in the future. Please sign the guestbook below.