Shirley Haywood Alexander

January 18, 1918January 31, 2011

Shirley Haywood Alexander, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, died peacefully on January 31, 2011, at Springmoor Retirement Home surrounded by her family. She was 93 years old.

Shirley was born on January 18, 1918, in the family home on Blount Street in Raleigh, NC. She was the daughter of the late Dr. Hubert Benbury Haywood Sr. and Marguerite Lynn Manor Haywood. She attended Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sweet Briar College in Virginia in 1938. During her college years, she was selected to lead the 1935 Terpsichorean Ball in Raleigh. In 1939, she married Thomas Willis Alexander Jr., with whom she celebrated 56 years of marriage. She was a great supporter of her husband’s business and civic endeavors in developing Research Triangle Park.

Shirley was a lifelong and active member of Christ Episcopal Church where she served in many capacities. She was generous with her time and leadership, benefiting several community organizations such as The National Society of the Colonial Dames, The Friends of Haywood Hall and the Junior League of Raleigh.

Shirley treasured her time spent with family and friends. She enjoyed playing tennis and bridge, participating in the Modern Minerva Book Club, spending summers at Atlantic Beach, and traveling the world. She had a great love and appreciation of history and the Arts. Raising her son Tom was her greatest joy. Shirley will be remembered for her gentle demeanor, eloquence, and grace.

In addition to her husband, Shirley was preceded in death by her brother, Dr. Hubert Benbury Haywood Jr., and her son, Thomas Willis Haywood Alexander, who died on December 31, 2010.

She is survived by her grandson, Haywood Griffin Alexander; his wife, Jennifer Maupin Alexander; and her great-granddaughter, Marguerite Maupin Alexander. She is also survived by her daughter-in-law, Michele Gallagher Alexander; her sister-in-law, Virginia A. Haywood, and several nieces, and nephews.

A celebration for the life of Shirley will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 120 East Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC at 11:00 am on Friday, February 4, with a reception to follow in the Parish Hall. Burial will be held at Historic Oakwood Cemetery.

The family is sincerely grateful to Shirley’s caregivers for their love and support.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Historic Haywood Hall, 211 New Bern Place, Raleigh, NC 27601.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary’s Street.


Shirley Haywood Alexander

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February 2, 2011

Haywood and family,
Very sorry for the loss of your grandmother, my aunt. Lauren and I will keep you in our prayers. Your grandmother was married to my mother's brother. My mother was Alice Alexander Conner from Charlotte. Your grandfather was her older brother. We loved them both and I have many fond memories of her. She will be missed. So glad I had opportunity to give her a hug last month.

Sincerely, Nick and Lauren Conner in Norfolk