Joseph William Alexander

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2001

Joseph William Alexander died Oct. 26, 2001, at Sunset Homes in Anchorage, of liver failure.

Born Joseph William Aleksejczyk on Jan. 16, 1914, to immigrant parents in Chicago, Alexander came to Juneau in 1942 with the U.S. Army Engineers. His family name was changed before his marriage in Juneau to Katherine Torkelsen in 1944.

His career in photography began when he was still in high school and working for a photo shop in downtown Chicago. He served in the photo unit of the Signal Corps at Fort Richardson in 1943. When he was honorably discharged from the Army in 1945, he worked as a photographer for Ordway Photography in Juneau. In 1946, he opened in own studio. He retired in 1988.

In addition to photography, Alexander loved baseball, bowling, golfing, Las Vegas, Frank Sinatra and a good martini.

He is survived by his son, David M. Alexander, Seattle; daughter Susan Derrera and her husband Curtis, Anchorage; David and Susan's sister Mary Hilowitz and her husband Andy, Anchorage; grandchildren Alexandra and Aidan Derrera and Hannah and Jacob Hilowitz, all of Anchorage; cousin Mollie Gillberg, Chicago; and brother Dr. Henry Alexander, Des Plaines, Ill.

A military honors ceremony will be performed at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at Fort Richardson National Cemetery outside of Anchorage. A celebration of life will follow the ceremony at Susan Alexander Derrera's home in Anchorage. Contributions in Alexander's memory may be made to film preservation efforts at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau or the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

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