Submitted by: Lions Club Chairman Donna Butler
The major cornerstone of Lionism is SERVICE. Our motto is WE SERVE. Lions focus on building bridges to a better life and building the bridges of equality and understanding through the services we provide to others of all ages – regardless of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, or disability.
In keeping with our motto, the Chester County Lion’s Club established a “Servant of the Month” Program many, many years ago to award and recognize those in our community who work hard to enhance our community and the lives of our citizens.
Many times, the servants we have had the honor to recognize are people who are busy behind the scenes – just truly giving back and trying to do something good for others. It is my pleasure to recognize and honor one such servant this evening who certainly immolates that type behavior.
Mike Alexander was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Mike graduated from Fraser High School in 1972. He enlisted in the US Army in 1973, where he was assigned to Air Defense Artillery. He retired from the US National Guard (medical section emergency treatment NCO). He obtained his LPN Licenses and worked in the medical field for 32 years before retiring. During those 32 years, he worked 16 of those years as years as a rehab charge nurse.
Mike met and married Patricia Ann Lewelling (she too is a retired LPN). They have two children – a daughter, Amber (deceased at age 24 years) and a son Justin Alexander. Justin is now a vet tech student at Columbia State Community College. Justin too previously served in the US Army as an MP.
Mr. Alexander is a member of Silerton Baptist Church, currently chairman of the board. He is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and an elected official as a Chester County Commissioner District 6 for over 16 years now. He says after his daughter passed away, he thought about doing Cemetery work as a way to honor her memory. He started out by cleaning headstones and monuments. It was in November, 2018 that he attended a cemetery workshop in Delight, Arkansas to learn how to perform historic restorations to headstone and monuments. With this He recounts how he started out by performing pro bono work of restoring historic headstones in the Henderson City Cemetery. That start has now led him to where he is now. Just this year, he has
worked in at least 11 various cemeteries in Chester and surrounding
He says he enjoys restoring these monuments and headstones. He loves their history and the story they tell. He enjoys the history of the carving style of professional carvers from long ago. His says his mission is to restore, honor and respect those who have gone on before us and help in a small way to preserve history. He has restored over 100 headstones and monuments thus far. He says each one is different and he has learned so much – certainly learned enough that he knows he has a lot more to learn. He has tried to transfer his knowledge and skills by training two other
“Conservators” David Mayor from Pinson, TN and James Sisk from Dyersburg, TN. He is a Core Member of the Cemetery Conservators for United Standards. Their mission is “DO NO HARM”. Mr. Alexander says there are more cemeteries than he will ever be able to conserve. He says each headstone or monument is special to him in its’ own way to him. He just hopes to make a difference in a small way of service to each cemetery and each family represented by the monuments he has had the pleasure of restoring.
After speaking with Mr. Alexander and hearing about his work, it reminded me of a quote by John Wooden….
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for; Someone who will never be able to repay you.”
I am beyond honored to present Mr. Mike Alexander to this club and to this community as the November, 2019 Servant of the Month!