Elizabeth "Beth" Alexander

April 9, 1958July 7, 2012

Elizabeth (Beth) Alexander (b. April 9, 1958) passed away on Saturday, July 7, from breast cancer. She spent the last 16 years teaching English and speech at the Renwick School District Garden Plain High School, after having taught at Nickerson, Derby, and Kapaun-Mt. Carmel High Schools. Her passion was teaching, and she spent 32 years sharing her love of literature and the spoken word with her "kids."

Beth loved to read and just to "be" in nature. She also was an actress, performing at Wichita State University, Wichita Community Theatre, Kechi Community Playhouse, Community Theatre, and Music Theatre of Wichita.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Donna Alexander, and is survived by her best friend and soul-mate, Shirley Bessette; sisters, Karen (Tom) Hoffman of Pittsburgh, PA, and Samantha Anne Monet of Arlington, VA; brother, John (Mary-Kaye) of Phoenix; nephews, Micah Alexander and Joshua (Therese) Alexander, and great-nephew, Donovan Alexander. She is also survived by wonderful colleagues and her many beloved students.

Vigil 7pm, Tuesday, July 10, 2012 and Mass, 10am, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, both at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Renwick Education Foundation, 600 W. Rush Andale, KS 67001.

Condolences may be offered at


  • Rosary Service Tuesday, July 10, 2012
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Elizabeth "Beth" Alexander

have a memory or condolence to add?

Erin Doyle

July 12, 2012

A candle loses none of its light by lighting another candle. Beth was a incredible person whose spirit candle burned brightly and ignited the fire and light of the students she taught, the faculty she worked with, and the parents of her students. I'm sure this expanded to all of the people who were privelged enough to know her outside of her teaching contacts. My son is forever changed for the better as a result of having Beth for a teacher and a role model. He considers her a hero, and I can't think of a better word to describe her. How very sad that Beth's candle on Earth has come to its end. Her light will boldly shine on!!

Amanda Sorg Barcenas KMC 1998

July 11, 2012

I loved her wit, her spunk, and her desire to make religion class inspiring and enjoyable. Ms. Alexander thank you for being you and for touching so many lives.

Joyce Cavarozzi

July 11, 2012

With sorrow at losing a beautiful spirit. With thankfulness that I knew her

July 11, 2012

She lived, she loved, she was a force. I am so sorry for your loss but Beth made a difference in the universe. take a deep breath and remember a life well-done.

Michael Zoglman, GPHS class of 2001

July 10, 2012

The last time we spoke was in December 2004 and I was on leave from Iraq/Kuwait. She said "mike, your sister's grades are slipping, and I blame you! or the Army, I haven't decided which!" Somehow that wit and slight sarcasm made things a little bit better. I know my deployment was hard on baby sis and she helped her through it. Her compassion, wisdom and inspiration for so many will never be forgotten. Godspeed Ms. Alexander. Until we meet again.....
To the family members- thank you for sharing such a kind person with the world. My prayers and condolences are with you in this difficult time.

Jennifer Wilson

July 10, 2012

Gone but not forgotten your legacy will live on forever in each life you touched.

Barbara Fizer

July 10, 2012

Shirley, we are so saddened by your loss. Carolyn and Barbara

Debi & Ranger Detwieler

July 9, 2012

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

Jennifer Sturch

July 9, 2012

I think I must be one of your oldest students, Beth. You, I believe, were just beginning in the profession when I had the honor of having you teach me in 11th grade English. That was 1984-85. You were such a good teacher and friend, I had to keep you with me; even from a great distance, because you mattered so much in my life. You made life seem possible - you made everything seem attainable, and good. You saw the best in everyone and never asked anything in return! Well, except for us to do our best. Thank you, Beth, for your brilliance, passion, and your neverending light.

I send love to Beth's family and friends. Oh my, weren't we all blessed to know her?

Hilary Berg

July 9, 2012

Ms. Alexander was an unforgettable character. After almost 20 years, I can still hear her say, "In the immortal words of Flipper, 'Eh-Eh'." Memories of her class and quirks brings a smile to my face. RIP, Ms. Alexander.

Hilary (Evans) Berg, Class of 1995, KMC