William Thomas ‘Billy’ Alexander Jr., 91, loved Virginia Tech sports and traveling to games with Hokie friends

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William Thomas Alexander Jr.
William Thomas Alexander Jr.

William Thomas ‘Billy’ Alexander Jr., 91, passed away Monday, March 28, 2016. Billy was born July 16, 1924, to Mittie G. Costello and William Thomas Alexander Sr. in Portsmouth.

He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. Billy left for VPI in the fall of 1941, but that endeavor was interrupted in March 1943 when he was called into service in World War II. He served in the 102nd Infantry Division in Northern Germany until 1947.

He returned to VPI and received a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1950. Upon graduation, Billy worked for the Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, Md. He returned to Virginia in 1957 and worked for the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station before accepting a job at Fort Eustis in the Applied Technology Laboratory.

He retired in 1983 after 35 years of military and civil service. Billy loved Virginia Tech sports, particularly football. He traveled to many games over the years with his fellow Hokie friends. He enjoyed watching all sports, professional and collegiate, as well as those involving his children and grandchildren. He was a fan of big band music, including Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Stan Kenton. Like his wife, he loved Frank Sinatra. He enjoyed photography and building model airplanes. He built and operated radio-controlled airplanes. He enjoyed spending time on the water, especially at the family home on the Chesapeake Bay. He loved picking and eating steamed blue crabs!

Billy was a member of the Williamsburg United Methodist Church, Williamsburg Lions Club, Williamsburg Masonic Lodge No. 6, and the Order of the Eastern Star, Pocahontas Chapter 103. He also enjoyed his ‘Brain Busters’ and retiree groups, his ‘coffee mates,’ the church breakfast group and his many friends from the Lions Club and the Masonic Lodge. Billy had a sweet soul and was a friend to many. He was a man of integrity and honor. His warmth and affection for friends and family will be missed. He was a proud member of ‘The Greatest Generation’ and loved his country.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and his beloved ‘Babydo,’ Shirley T. Alexander.

He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Billy is survived by his children, Wayne P. Alexander of Portsmouth, Terri A. Sim of Williamsburg, William T. Alexander III of Boulder, Colo., and Dr. Bonnie Alexander (Larry Lafary) of Virginia Beach; grandchildren, Sommer and Athena Alexander, Wren, Garrett and Juliette Sim and Tasha Shrader; great-grandchildren, Sage Baker and Cody Alexander; niece, Deborah Anne Thompson Hall (Michael); nephew, George W. Thompson (Mary Ruth Senn); and aunt, Garnett Alexander.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Greg Biernacki and the staff at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center for their loving care.

A celebration of Billy’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 1, at Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg. A reception will be held at the church following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in memory of Billy be made to the Virginia Tech Athletic Fund, P.O. Box 10307, Blacksburg, VA 24062; or Williamsburg United Methodist Church.

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