Obituary of John E. Alexander
John E. “JACK” Alexander, 85, grew up in Elwood IN, worked in Indianapolis IN, St. Louis MO and after 35 years in the Chicago suburbs of DuPage County IL, retired to the place he always called “Paradise”, Venice FL. Jack left his “Paradise” and this mortal world on August 10, 2023. Jack was born in Steubenville OH, June 18, 1938 to the late Kenneth L. Alexander and Mildred L. (Hackett) Alexander, both of Venice FL.
Jack was a cheerful and upbeat person who was always a happy Christian, a loving husband, father, grandfather, as well as a successful businessman. Jack always loved whatever he was responsible for, whether family, church assignment or business. In business he was a salesman, sales manager, senior executive, President of a large holding company and owner of two Class II freight railroads, the Chicago South Shore Railroad, and the Chicago, Missouri and Western Railway, which was formerly a large portion of the Illinois Central RR. Together the two railroads served the cities of South Bend IN, Chicago IL, St. Louis MO, Kansas City MO and Kansas City KS.
Jack was an active member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) and served in many leadership capacities both in Illinois and Florida.
An avid “kayaker” on the Myakka River, “bicyclist” and “power walker”, Jack also kept busy as a frequent volunteer and being a friendly neighbor. In February 2005 Jack organized the neighborhood ROMEOs “Retired Old Men Eating Out” lunch bunch which for many years, monthly brought many male neighbors together for good fellowship and friendship.
Jack is survived by his wife of over 62 years, Edith (Pritchard) Alexander. Their daughter Jennifer Lynn with husband Richard Batch reside in Boulder CO. Granddaughter Bryn Olivia Newell also lives in Boulder CO. Jack’s brother, Dr. David L. Alexander and his wife Claire, live in Carmel IN.
While in the US Army, Jack served two years active duty in Germany and was selected as Soldier of the Month for the Seventh Army, 555th Combat Engineer Battalion. He was also awarded the Good Conduct Medal and Marksman (Rifle M-14).
During Jack’s sales career he consistently won awards and recognition for creating new accounts, increases in production, as well as for customer relations. Earning multiple business promotions prepared Jack for taking on the responsibility, along with four other partners, of leading hundreds of employees while owning the largest privately held railroad company in America. Eventually, and equally, Jack and one partner, the late John Darling, owned all the operations.
Services will be held at the Farley Funeral Home in Venice, FL on Friday, August 18, 2023. Visitation begins at 11 am, funeral service at 12 noon, followed by a short cemetery service with military honors at Venice Memorial Gardens Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (memo field: LDS Humanitarian Fund) c/o Bishop Jarom McKinney, 200 East Palm Ave, Nokomis, FL 34275 or
Tidewell Foundation, 3550 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL, 34239 (or by calling Tidewell Hospice at 941-552-5900.
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