Marion Maurice Alexander was born on September 11, 1950, in Tuskegee, Alabama. She was the youngest child of the late Reverend Nash Alexander, Sr. and the late Ruth B. Alexander. Ms. Ruth B. Alexander instilled in Marion a strong work ethic and a zeal for learning. After graduating from Tuskegee Institute High School, Marion attended Tuskegee University for two years, where she met the late Reggie L. Alexander, whom she later married. Marion completed her undergraduate education with a degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Upon her graduation, Marion began her lifelong career as an educator. After teaching in public and parochial schools in Birmingham (AL), Knoxville (TN), and Greenville (SC), Marion was employed by Richland County School District One. She continued to pursue advanced degrees from the University of South Carolina, where she received a Master of Science and an Educational Specialist degree in guidance and counseling. Marion was a fourth grade teacher at Hyatt Park Elementary School for many years before serving as their school counselor. She retired from Richland School District One in 2008, after 28 years of service as a public school educator in South Carolina.
Marion strove to be of service to others throughout her life. As an undergraduate at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she tutored elementary students in the Northside community. Also in college, she joined the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She was an active member of their Columbia (SC) Alumnae chapter for years, where she volunteered in many roles to support the organization and the African-American community. Marion also shared her time and talents by working with the Girl Scout Troop at Hyatt Park Elementary School, volunteering at Harvest Hope Food Bank, providing religious reading materials to inmates, and coordinating the gathering of items for the Clean Hearts Project for individuals who were homeless. She provided support to the United Negro College Fund, the United Way and the American Cancer Society, among various other charitable and civic organizations. In line with her belief in the power of education, Marion was part of the Columbia Tuskegee Alumni Association. She spearheaded the Associations’ efforts in providing scholarships to local youth attending this historically Black university.
As a member of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church for almost 40 years, she embraced and served her church community with untiring devotion. She was a long-time member of the Rosary Altar Society, where she held many executive positions. In addition, she taught CCD classes, regularly participated in the Soup Kitchen Ministry, and engaged in many activities associated with Catholic Charities. She also served on St. Martin de Porres School’s advisory board, where she worked on various projects and fundraisers in support of the school’s mission. In recognition of her service and dedication, Marion was named the SC Council of Catholic Women “Woman of the Year” for the Columbia-Midlands Deanery in 2011. She was also recognized in 2018 by Church Women United as the Human Rights Award Recipient for the Catholic denomination. She was a member of the Fourth Degree of St. Martin de Porres Chapter 51, where she served as an inner sentinel. Marion was a charter member of the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church, Father Paul Williams Court Number 380. She also served as the Junior Daughter Counselor for the Knights of Peter Claver, and she recently served as the Grand Lady for the chapter.
Marion’s dedication to her Catholic faith included being a support and providing service to others in the faith. Marion was a member of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Presidium of the Legion of Mary. She met regularly with members to pray the Rosary. She served as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, distributed Rosary beads during mass at Providence Hospital and offered personal prayer for patients in crisis situations. In 2016, Marion became an associate of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. Through prayerful study and in community with other associates, she sought to deepen her spirituality and commitment to Christ.
In her spare time, Marion enjoyed traveling near and far to celebrate, every day and extraordinary, accomplishments of family and friends. She always treasured the memories made at family reunions, where she could be counted on to start up a line dance. Marion loved recounting special trips with her sister, Sorors, and church family to places like Las Vegas, Hawaii, Canada, and Washington, DC. She also enjoyed preserving memories through the craft of scrapbooking and constructing customized corsages. She was an animal lover throughout her life, as she owned several dogs, and even a parakeet. Marion also enjoyed tending her garden and collection of plants, and she loved gifting her carefully tended collection to others.
Marion was preceded in death by her brothers, Nash Alexander, II, and Naversia Alexander.
Marion M. Alexander was a friend to many and will be dearly missed. She leaves to cherish fond and precious memories a son, Reginald Terrell Alexander of West Columbia, SC, daughter, Cecilia (Joseph) Till of Newark, DE; siblings, Irma (Homer) Rickerson and George Alexander of Montgomery, AL, Herald Alexander, Wilsebastian Alexander, Herronald (Tanya) Alexander, Nash (Pam) Alexander, III and Rosmargretha Dunn all of Atlanta, GA; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives and friends will also remember her. She will always be remembered for her love of life, love of family and friends, and strong faith.
In remembrance of Marion’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to St. Martin de Porres Catholic School (https://www.saintmartindeporres.org/donate/) or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (https://www.pancan.org).
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