Name:    Vernard Thomas Alexander

From:  The Lubbock Avalanche, Lubbock, Texas
Date:  Thursday, May 8, 2008

Vernard Alexander of Midland died Tuesday, May 6, 2008.

He was born June 16, 1924, in Commerce, to Bertie L. Alexander and Nora Belle Treadwell Alexander. He graduated from Commerce High School and joined the Coast Guard in September, 1942. He was a seaman first class on the destroyer, USS Richey during World War II sailing as convoy escorts many times across the Atlantic Ocean. After his honorable discharge in April, 1946, he enrolled at East Texas State (Texas A&M-Commerce) where he graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He later earned a Masters in Education. While attending college, he played football and ran track.

He coached for the Lubbock schools for six years and was coaching there when the Lubbock Westerners won two state championships. His passion was coaching and developing young men. His favorite quote was "I would coach for nothing!"

He met Patti Pipkin at Lubbock High and they were married Aug. 18, 1956 at Matador. They have four daughters: Leslie and her husband Laynce Nix of Midland, Linda and her husband Ross Williams of Austin, Heather and her husband Sam Davis of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Michelle Alexander  of Midland. They have six grandchildren: Laynce, Jayson, and Lyndsay Nix, Eryn and Tanner Williams, and Taylor Davis.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, DeWitt Alexander.

Vernard coached at Morton, Post, Pecos, Vernon, and Brazosport besides Lubbock. After coaching he was an assistant principal at Freeport Intermediate before becoming a principal with the Windham School District at the Texas Department of Corrections for eleven years before retirement.

Vernard was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who was devoted to and so proud of all his family. He was an avid golfer who enjoyed playing with his family. He loved playing in the mountains of Ruidoso and vacationing there.

The family will receive friends at Ellis Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 8, 2008. Graveside services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, May 9, 2008, at Resthaven Memorial Park. A memorial service will be held at the Glass chapel at First United Methodist Church at 1 p.m. Friday, May 9, 2008, with Rev. John Rech officiating and Rev. Jan Reed assisting.

The family wishes to thank all the nurses, doctors, and caregivers who have done so much to take care of Vernard. In-Home Care, Select Specialty, and Hospice of Midland's support has been priceless.

Memorials may be given to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Ellis Funeral Home, 801 Andrews Highway, Midland, Texas 79701