Obituary of Joseph R Alexander
Joseph R. Alexander Sr., 94, Mechanical Engineer, Loving Husband and Father
Joseph R. ALEXANDER Sr., of West Orange, N.J., passed away on August 8 at Ocean University Medical Center, Brick. Joe was born in Newark NJ on December 22, 1928, to John Joseph and Marie Deering Alexander. He lived in the Vailsburg section of Newark and graduated from Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament School in East Orange. He then attended and graduated from his beloved St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark in 1946, remaining very active in the school’s Alumni Association throughout his life. Joe majored in Engineering at Rutgers University, graduating with a B.S. in 1950. He was in the ROTC at Rutgers and went on to serve in the United States Air Force from 1951-53. During his military service he was stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois as well as in Okinawa. After his honorable discharge as a First Lieutenant, he went on to earn a M.S. from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1956. He went on to work for several companies, most prominently General Electric; Melchior, Armstrong, and Dessau (Melco); and beginning in 1977 Exxon Research and Engineering in Florham Park, where he remained until his retirement at the end of 1993.
Joe met Marion Largey of Orange, and they married on September 14, 1957, at St. John’s Church in Orange. They were married for 65 years until her death this past February. They first lived in East Orange and had a son, Joseph Jr. and then moved to Vailsburg and had a daughter, Mary Eileen. In 1973 Marion and Joe moved to West Orange and remained there until their deaths. They also enjoyed a summer home in Point Pleasant Beach beginning in 1968, where Joe was fond of going to the beach to do a crossword puzzle followed by a late afternoon walk as well as creating outdoor floral arrangements at the house.
Joe was very proud of his Irish Heritage and was a member of the Irish-American Society of the Oranges and the Jerry Lynch Social and Civic Club. Marion and her husband Joe sponsored and hosted several children via the Project Children program, becoming very close to the families of the children back in Ireland. Marion and Joe enjoyed many trips to Ireland over the years, including a trip for their 50th wedding anniversary, with a Mass celebrated at the Knock Shrine followed by a party hosted by Marion’s relatives from County Mayo. Joe was very happy that because of these trips he was able to reconnect with his relatives from counties Kildare and Wicklow.
Two of Joe’s uncles were employed by the city of Newark, and they brought Joe to many Newark Bears baseball games when he was young. This led to his being a big fan of both the Bears and the New York Yankees with whom the Bears were affiliated. He had many fond memories of Bears games, and enjoyed seeing many minor league stars who would later make the majors. Joe liked to tell of being present for Yogi Berra’s first game at Newark and also seeing Jackie Robinson’s first game there as a visiting player. Later in life, he and Marion were very pleased to meet Yankees star Bernie Williams and had their photo taken with him.
Joe and Marion were known as a loving and devoted couple and had many close and lifelong friends who often spoke of them with admiration. Joe was a devout Catholic and was known as a man with a solid moral compass and as a man of prayer. He enjoyed being active in parish life, whether for religious devotions or social events, and became known as OLMBS parish’s favorite bingo caller!
Joe is survived by: son Joseph Alexander Jr. and his wife Deborah of Linden; daughter Mary Eileen Pellecchia and her husband Ronald of West Orange; brother William V. Alexander and his wife Ann; his sister Mary, widow of the late Norman Hughes; 4 grandchildren Peter (Laura), Shannon (Kyle Adams), Erin, and Luke Alexander; and 4 great-grandchildren, Chelsea, Gabriel, and Zeke Alexander, and Shiloh Adams; and many loving nieces and nephews.
The family will receive visitors at the Dangler Funeral Home, 340 Main St., West Orange, on Sunday, August 13 from 4 to 8 pm. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph Church, 44 Benvenue Avenue in West Orange at 10 am on Monday, August 14. Interment will follow at St. Theresa Cemetery, Summit. In lieu of flowers please make donations either to St. Benedict’s Prep School, 520 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Newark, NJ, 07102, or to the Marion and Joseph Alexander Scholarship Fund at St. Joseph Grammar School, 115 Telford Street, East Orange, NJ, 07018.