Paul Alexander, Sr., age 62 of the city of Ithaca, passed on the night of October 15th, 2022, in Cayuga Medical Center. He was born in Ithaca on July 26th, 1960 to his late parents, Fredrick Alexander Sr and Jacqueline Thorpe Alexander.
Shortly after the death of his father in 1968, went to live with his Aunt Margie, his Grandmother Claire Thorpe best known to ALL as “Gram” and his sister Jana. Together they moved to a house in the Fall Creek neighborhood, directly across from Fall Creek School. It didn’t take them long to become true “Fall Crickets.”
While in the middle of a game of Strike-Out game at the Fall Creek School playground, my Dad, who was 16 at the time, was approached by the school’s Principal Patrick Saggese about a part time cleaning job. This was the start of my Dad’s 45 year career with the Ithaca City School District. He began as part time Custodial Worker and made his way to full time Custodial Worker. He also served as Union President for the Ithaca City School District, then Supervisor of Custodians and finally Director of Facilities, which is the position he held at the time of his death. His work in Ithaca Schools was of a monumental level. Considering his respectable, impeccable 45 years working for the ICSD, that is an amazing accomplishment that can never be scoffed at. My Dad took great pride in all his work.
He was a long-time member of Number 2 Fire Department where he held a number of positions, including Treasurer, and later serviced as an Ithaca Fire Commissioner for 12 years.
My Dad attended Immaculate Conception School grades 1st through 8th, then Boynton Jr. high School and Ithaca High School, graduating in 1978. He also attended IC3 and graduating in 1980. All through his years in school, Paul made a number of lifelong friends.
He was a long time member of the Immaculate Conception Church. He started as an alter boy during his elementary and junior high school years. In later years he was a member of the Church Council, an RICA sponsor for many who wanted to receive their first sacrament. He did his absolute best to show every shred of kindness to the people he met along the way, including the older members of the Church who could not attend, by bringing them communion.
He met his (to be) wife Carol Schoneman in 1981, and they married on October 4th,1986. They spent their time going to book sales, new and old book stores, flea markets, the Dewitt Mall of Ithaca to visit the shop Pastimes (and made fast friends with the shopkeeper, Adam), going to Lowman’s Flea Market on Sundays where they made sure to buy fresh bread from a wonderful little Italian man, they also hung out with an amazing group of friends, and made great memories at the bar “The Ritz”. They went on to raise a family, consisting of two sons (Paulie and Nick), and one daughter. Which is me, Dawn. I’m the daughter in the scenario. We also introduced two cats into the picture in 1999, so I’ll include Tiger and Whiskers in here. We got them much to his chagrin, but my Dad grew so fond of them. Never did I think I would hear that man meowing back at a cat while feeding them tuna! My dad would take my brother Nick for rides in the car however he always had to stop and get fries from Burger King on the way home because they are Nick’s favorite. My Dad loved to travel around with my brother Paulie and I. Be it baseball games (New York Yankees), wrestling matches, flea markets, eating ice cream by the lake, or just a drive around the park, it was always fun. He would make as much time as he could to hang out with us, no matter what. One of my favorites being the Elks Emporium Flea Market in Owego NY. We made friends with a booth owner named Ed, and later the postcard lady, or her real name Sue. Paulie’s favorite being any time our Dad let him “drive” the car. Pretend, of course. Or, when he and our cousin Alex went with our Dad to Washington DC. Paulie was roasted under the sun, turning into a lobster! It made fond memories, though. They also had their fair share of going to Yankees games with our Grandpa (Duke Schoneman). Eating hot dogs and hoping for a spare home run baseball.
His hobbies included golfing, playing baseball with Paulie and I in the backyard, watching game shows and The Three Stooges, and talking about Italy. He was proud of his Italian lineage. He also had a love for singing the song Roxanne whenever it came on the radio, partially to see if he could annoy me. Jokes on him, it just made a cherished memory. He would talk to my brother Paulie for hours about baseball and wrestling, and he always listened with a keen ear to any of our interests. My brother Nick also adored our Dad, to the point that he would screech with delight whenever he came home. But the main hobby he paid mind to for me,was photography. Be it the moon, a random abandoned school, a field of horses he was there with me every time. To the point that he would ask me if I wanted to stop and take photos while “out and about”,as he’d say. Considering the fact that my Dad would willingly spend hours by my side while I took photos of the sunset, I suppose I will now always see his shining face in that bright sun.
Paul is survived by his wife, Carol Schoneman Alexander, his children, Paulie (Paul) Alexander Jr of Ithaca, Nick (Nicholas) Alexander of Ithaca, and Dawn Alexander of Ithaca; his Aunt Margie Thorpe of Ithaca; his Uncle Paul “Bud” Thorpe (Margie Thorpe’s brother) of Virginia; his Brother Fred (Nisi) Alexander of St. Petersburg Florida; his Sister Marta Sanders of Ithaca and her 2 children Shanta Sanders of Jamaica Queens NY and Marcus Sanders of Ithaca; Sister Jana (Scot) Taylor of Ithaca and their 2 children Alex (Mary) Taylor of Ithaca and Kaitlyn Taylor of Ithaca; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.
Arrangements are to be held at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, located on 309 Siena Drive, in Ithaca, N.Y. On Saturday, October 29th, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. The Church will be open one hour prior to the service, the family will be available for well wishes at this time.