BRUNSWICK — Joseph Charles Leon Alexander, beloved husband, father and grandfather, died Wednesday, September 20 at his home surrounded by family – his wife of 43 years, Susan, and his children, Scott, Brian and Stacy – ending a two-year battle with cancer. He was 63.

Joseph, known to most as Joe, was born March 1, 1954 to LayForest J. Alexander and Louise Kopatz Alexander in Brunswick, where he would live nearly all his life. He attended local schools and graduated from Brunswick High School in 1972.

He worked part-time at Jay Brush before enlisting in the U.S. Army. He served from 1973-1976 as a military policeman and was stationed stateside at Fort Gordon, Georgia, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and overseas in Helmstedt, Germany.

Joe married his high school sweetheart, Susan, in 1974 and they settled in Brunswick after his military service. He worked at Vaillancourt Auto Body, owned by his father-in-law, then at Healthtex, before starting his career at Bath Iron Works where he helped build U.S. Navy ships. He stayed at BIW for 36 years until his cancer diagnosis prompted an early retirement. Joe and Sue started their family in 1978 and had two sons and a daughter, who they put above everything.

He always volunteered to go on Boy Scout trips with his sons and never missed a father-daughter Valentine’s Day dance with his daughter. He and Sue made countless trips to attend school band concerts and later to visit all three children while they attended the University of Maine. He was a member of the American Legion and Knights of Columbus, a regular both at Bingo Night and Sunday Morning breakfasts.

When he was a boy, one of the things Joe enjoyed most was fishing with his father. He later took his own children fishing and, this past summer, introduced his granddaughters to fishing as well.

Joe loved camping with his family when his children were young, and later, renting a cottage with them every summer. He played in softball and golf and bowling leagues. He liked to watch old western movies and game shows and, more recently, Disney shows with his granddaughters, who called him “Bumpa.” He liked old music, Neil Diamond and Chicago especially. He followed the Red Sox, the Bruins and the Patriots, like most Mainers, but had a soft spot for the Rams, too.


He was gentle, kind and principled, hard-working and unpretentious. As he grew older, Joe was happiest at home with his family, and, fittingly, that’s where he died.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Susan Alexander; his sons, Scott Alexander and Brian Alexander; his daughter Stacy Russell; daughter-in-law Melissa Alexander and son-in-law, Eric Russell: four granddaughters whom he adored, Lucy and Molly Russell and Lillian and Juliet Alexander.

He also is survived by his two sisters, Kathy Marino of Brunswick and Doreen Borens of Colorado.

He was pre-deceased by his parents.

Visiting hours will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 at Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal St. in Brunswick. A funeral mass will be held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 39 Pleasant Street, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the American Cancer Society.

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