Barbara Wehrle Alexander BSN

Barbara Wehrle Alexander was hospitalized, battling a heart infection, and she died on Saturday, September 24, 2016. She was born in Punxsutawney, PA on April 8, 1941, and lived there until going to college at Mount Mercy College School of Nursing (now Carlow University) in Pittsburgh, PA, attaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 1963. After graduation she joined the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps and was stationed at the Portsmouth, VA Naval Hospital, mostly treating returning Vietnam casualties with orthopedic injuries. In 1964 she met a new Navy dental resident, Dr. Roger Alexander, whose patients were on her ward, and they were married at the Norfolk, VA Naval Station Chapel on June 25, 1966. Their wedding was one of the first ever allowed by the Catholic Church to be presided over by both a Catholic and Protestant Chaplain. At the time of her death, they had been married for 50 years and 3 months. She left Navy active duty in 1966 to become a nursing school instructor in Portsmouth, and was honorably discharged in 1968. She quit working as a nurse for several years to raise a family and follow her husband as he moved to various duty stations (including Puerto Rico), and eventually to a residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. By then they had 3 sons, Matthew, Marc, and Daniel. After her husband completed his residency training, she moved to San Diego, CA while he was deployed to Okinawa, Japan. They remained in San Diego for 17 years, where Barbara was a CCD teacher at the Mission Basilica, a pack leader in cub scouts, and got a reputation as a fun-loving, energetic, caring person who loved to cook. Kids knew her as “the cookie mother” (Her chocolate chip cookies, spaghetti sauce, and baked beans were legendary) and friends nicknamed her “CookerBarb.” Finally, she decided to resume her nursing career, took a refresher course, and was re-licensed. She worked for many years as a school nurse and hearing specialist for the San Diego School District. She moved to Dallas, TX in 1990 when her husband retired from active duty when he was recruited to join the Baylor College of Dentistry faculty in Dallas (now Texas A & M Baylor College of Dentistry). She worked in the Dallas Independent School District as a school nurse, serving 2 schools, until she retired in 1998. Over several years, 2 of her sons died from medical problems. Her remaining years after 2003 were spent battling a growing number of medical problems which compromised her lifestyle and mobility. She battled chronic back pain and numerous auto-immune diseases, but was still a positive, empathic, caring individual with a huge heart, deeply loved by everyone who knew her. In 2014, she and her husband had a home built in a Dallas suburb for their senior years. She was especially proud of her 5 grandchildren, and their academic and athletic accomplishments. She will be buried next to her son, Matthew, in the Garden of Reflection area of El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego, CA. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Francis E and Estelle Grace Wehrle of Punxsutawney, PA; her eldest son, Matthew Scott Alexander of San Diego, and youngest son, Daniel Adam Alexander (Capt, USA, West Point Military Academy 1994) of Helotes, TX; and her younger sister, Nancy Jean Johnson, of Haymarket, VA. Surviving family includes her sister, Jane Ann Spencer of Punxsutawney, PA; her husband, Roger Eugene Alexander DDS (Captain, USN-retired) of Rowlett, TX; son Marc Alan Alexander (Lt. Colonel, USMC, Naval Academy, 1994)) of Arnold, MD; daughter-in-law Shawn Ann Alexander RDH, and grandchildren Abigail Leigh and Adam Parker Alexander of Arnold, MD, and Victoria Ellen Jones of Tuscaloosa, AL; daughter-in-Law Breige Foley Alexander and granddaughter Lauren Grace Alexander of Helotes, TX, and grandson Lance Gabriel Alexander (West Point Military Academy Class 2019). An ecumenical Memorial Service to celebrate her life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Rockwall, 602 White Hills Dr., Rockwall, TX at 1:00pm on Saturday, October 1, 2016, with a reception to follow at the church. The family requests that memorial donations be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church (write “Building Fund, Barbara Alexander” in the memo line), 3905 Hickox Road, Rowlett, TX 75089.

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