Earl Alexander of Backus, Minn., passed away from bone cancer at his home, surrounded by his children, Oct. 24, 2019, two days after his 90th birthday and on the eve of his 70th wedding anniversary with his recently departed bride, Connie Alexander.
Memorial services are June 12 at 2 p.m. at Church of the Nazarene in Backus. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.
Earl was born the fifth of six boys on Oct. 22, 1929, in Fifty Lakes to Virgil Joe Alexander Sr., and Gertrude “Gertie” Hoffman. At the young age of 14, after his mother passed away, Earl struck out on his own. He traveled west as far as the orchards in Washington State and spent a few years exploring and learning different trades. Eventually, he returned to Minnesota with his hotrod, and at age 20, he met and married the love of his life, Connie Bundy, age 16.
Connie’s parents took in the wayfaring Earl and loved him as their own. Earl always credited Connie’s father, Clyde, with setting him on the right path. Earl and Connie would have three sons together, Marcus, Robin, and Brian, and Earl passed on his love of cars, heavy machinery and “mechanic-ing” to them. Earl and Connie also had two daughters, Merry and Kathy, who adored their daddy and grew up with the knowledge that their dad was a hero. Earl was very proud of his children, and especially his grandchildren, and they always loved to make Earl proud.
Earl was known for his work ethic, integrity, compassion, humor and his friendliness. He never met a stranger.
Earl’s father was a logger, and Earl shared the family profession with his sons. Earl was an outdoor enthusiast and had many hobbies: making knife and axe handles from both wood and deer antlers, hunting with his best friend, Lyle Gehrke, and later his children and grandchildren, watching wildlife, reading wildlife magazines, collecting guns, and traveling with his wife. Earl served his church, Backus Nazarene, in many capacities over the years: board of trustees, building and grounds committee, ushering, service to the community, and furnace keeping for the church building.
Earl was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Virgil Alexander Jr., Louis Alexander, Peter Alexander Sr., Roy Alexander and Glen Alexander; sons Robin Alexander and Brian Alexander; and most recently his sweetheart and bride of 69 years, Constance Alexander (Bundy).
Surviving family members include children Marcus (Kristy) Alexander of Littleton, Colo., Kathy (Phil) Cox of Bemidji and Merry Alexander (Larry Kipf) of Forsyth, Mont.; 18 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.
Arrangements are with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River, Minn.