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Witzke Funeral Homes Inc.

5555 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD

OBITUARY

Edward Elliott Alexander

March 10, 1927August 31, 2019
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Edward Elliott Alexander, 92, of Columbia, MD, passed away on August 31, 2019. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 10, 1927, son of Edward and Ida Rollins Alexander. He is survived by his spouse, Mirian Butler Alexander and his daughter Michelle Mirian Alexander. He is also survived by his sister in law, Barbara Butler and other loving family and friends. Edward was a five-letter athlete in high school, excelling in track, basketball, football, softball and gymnastics. Upon graduation he was a Batboy for the Homestead Grays which was a professional baseball team that played in the Negro leagues in the United States. He subsequently was recruited to play for a Minor League Baseball team in upstate New York. He attended Duquesne University for one year, transferring to Wilberforce University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1950. He also became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. while attending Wilberforce. He served in the United States Army in World War II and in the Korean Conflict, Honorably Discharged to the Army Reserves in 1952. Edward moved to Detroit, Michigan where he met the love of his life Mirian Butler working for the Detroit Public School system. They married and welcomed a baby girl, Michelle Mirian. Tired of the cold, they moved to the San Francisco Bay area and taught school in the Oakland School System. Both of the Alexanders were admitted to the Golden Gate School of Law in San Francisco, California in the 1960s. Edward and Mirian were not just educators but activists, marching for fair wages, teachers’ rights and were lifelong union members. In 1969, they moved to the new city of Columbia, pioneering a new way of life. In 1970, Edward began working in Howard County Public School system as a teacher, and very soon was named Principal at Clarksville Elementary School. He later served as Principal of Stevens Forest Elementary School and was known for teaching all the students dances on the playground. His favorite dance song was “I’ll Take You There” by the Staple Singers. He later was named Director of Elementary Schools in Howard County, the first African American to hold the Director position. His wife Mirian, was a teaching Vice Principal at Longfellow Elementary School and was later promoted to Elementary Supervisor, and later Supervisor of Staff Development in Howard County Schools. He retired in 1996, having mentored and hired many African American educators and administrators. His other love was golf and he was regularly seen playing at Hobbits Glen golf course and Fairway Hills, walking the course up to his 80s. An early riser he loved to tee off at dawn and arrive home at dusk after playing 36 holes. He also played basketball, and was a pool shark often making lively comments while beating his fellow players. He also enjoyed dancing, travel and was a Jazz aficionado. In fact, his daughter Michelle sang before she could speak and was raised on Nancy Wilson, Peggy Lee and Billie Holliday growing up. Edward was a devoted father to his daughter Michelle, supporting her passion which was dance. He was the “Dance Dad” to members of the Columbia Dance Theatre, from 1970-75, and later when Michelle became MiaNaja, and began teaching bellydance was a fixture at all the performances at Slayton House in Wilde Lake for scores of dancers of all ages from 1994 to the present. Edward was a dedicated husband, father and son to his family and a good friend to many and will be deeply missed.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, September 6, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, September 7, 2019
  • Committal Service Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Memories

Edward Elliott Alexander

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Brandon and Gina Mason

September 9, 2019

Dear Mrs. Alexander and Michelle,
What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful husband, father, son, and friend! Although we are miles apart and could not be there to show our support for the family, we are with you in spirit. We feel your pain and your loss but what beautiful memories you have! May they keep you smiling and joyful and may they comfort you always.

With love,
Brandon, Gina, Noelle, and Michelle Mason
Oakland, CA

FROM THE FAMILY

Young Edward

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Mother Ida

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Father Edward

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Camp Pickett

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Young Edward

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Mother Ida

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Father Edward

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Camp Pickett

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