Gertrude Elizabeth Alexander

obit - alexanderTALLAHASSEE, FLA. and SOMESVILLEGertrude Elizabeth (Betsy) Alexander, nee Bakewell, 98, died in her sleep at home in Tallahassee, Fla., on Monday, April 13, 2015. Born in Minneapolis, Minn., Betsy grew up in St. Louis, Mo., and moved to Homestead, Fla., with her husband, John S. (Sandy) Alexander, following their marriage in 1940. They built their home in Tallahassee in 1978 and spent their summers in Somesville for more than 50 years.

An elementary school teacher, nature lover and gifted writer, Betsy published four volumes of poetry and a novel, “Path Through Deep Waters.” She was the featured poet in Chebacco, the magazine of The Mount Desert Island Historical Society, published in 2008, Volume IX. She was an active member of the society and served as president for a number of years. In her poem, “April Moon,” Betsy wrote, “Now that half slice of moon’s sliding off the tray, and the resident owl gives his last lonely croon. But oh! How I ache to have just one more day to bring me the cry of Maine’s own lovelorn loon.”

Betsy enriched many lives with her giving heart, inspiring words, vibrant spirit and healing touch. For a number of years, Betsy was employed by Sonogee as an LPN. She and her husband (deceased in 2008), always attended the book fair at Somesville Library and the Firemen’s Supper in Somesville. They enjoyed sailing, walking the carriage trails, playing golf, picking blueberries and marveling at the surf at Thunder Hole.

She was predeceased by her parents, Edward and Kathleen Bakewell, her sister, Nancy Weiler, and her husband Sandy. Survivors include daughters Judy Stone of Tallahassee, Fla.; Kathy Cepeda (Charles) of Plantation, Fla., and Somesville; and Nancy Zucker (Ronald), of Garland, Texas; and son, John W. Alexander (Theresa), of Herndon, Va.; eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Until recently, she directed a weekly class in creative writing for seniors at the assisted living facility, Allegro, in Tallahassee, Fla. A loyal friend and loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Betsy was a passionate letter writer who kept in touch through “snail mail” and frequent phone calls.

In keeping with her wishes, Betsy will be cremated and her ashes buried alongside her husband in Brookside Cemetery in Somesville, just a short walk from the Somesville Museum where Betsy volunteered. In 1961, her first summer on the island, she wore a period costume discovered in our old house to commemorate Somesville’s founding in 1761. Details of a graveside celebratory ceremony this summer will be provided at a later date. Her passing will leave a void in the lives of those who knew and loved her, but they will always have a treasure trove of happy memories from having known her.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice.


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