Jim Alexander, 87, of Abilene, passed away peacefully in the arms of his daughters at his home on August 13, 2022.
Jim was born November 7, 1934 in Abilene to Ruth Guitar and Minor Alexander. Jim attended Abilene High School and eventually graduated from New Mexico Military Institute in 1952. He graduated from Texas Tech University in 1956 with a degree in Agricultural Economies. In 1955 Jim married Jerri Hills, whom he often described as “The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me!”
Jim’s military service with the Army took him to Korea and through advanced paratrooper school, ending with his last assignment in Augusta, GA.
Jim loved Abilene and in 1962 he returned home to never live anywhere else again.
Jim was extremely proud of his heritage and was the product of two ranching families in the Abilene area, the Guitars and Alexanders. Jim’s two favorite places on earth were his house on the banks of Elm Creek in Old Elmwood, that his family has occupied since 1946, and his beloved “River Ranch” in Southern Jones County, on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. This Ranch was originally acquired by Jim’s Grandfather, Dr. Jim Alexander.
Jim was raised on the family ranch with his sisters, Jane and Jeri, and really never considered doing anything else with his life other than ranching. He loved raising and owning cattle and the economics surrounding the business. All of his children and grandchildren were raised with the phrase “Show me the numbers!”
Jim was blessed with incredible business relationships and partners but he often credited Bob Morford with teaching him by example, the business side of cattle. They owned Abilene Cattle Feeders together for many years but later in his life, on reflection, he would say his best partner was his beloved son Mike, who passed away in 2018.
Jim loved being active in all of his business dealings – cattle, drilling oil wells, real estate and investments – he was energized by it all. He had a quest for knowledge and learning that never ended nor did his “training” for all those around him.
Throughout his years and exemplifying his love for Abilene, Jim served on numerous boards and was involved in many fundraising endeavors. He was extremely proud of his involvement in the Community Foundation of Abilene in its early years, and the West Texas Rehabilitation Center where he served on the Board of Directors and led the Cattleman’s Roundup for Crippled Children for over twenty years.
Jim loved the land and all things in nature! To know Jim Alexander was to know he loved Family, the land, cattle, horses and his dogs (sometimes not in this order). A great day may have been to be horseback in the morning and quail hunting in the afternoon, which combined all of his favorite things; outdoors at the ranch, a few good friends, not too much conversation and watching a good dog at work. His butterfly garden, pond and the surroundings of his home brought him much enjoyment in his final years.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Jerri, his son, Mike Alexander and his sister Jane Rhodes.
Jim is survived by his daughter Laurie Eagle (husband, Bob) and their children Emily Clarke (husband, Walter) of Dallas, Alex (wife, Lauren) and Rob (wife, Blake); daughter Cathey Weatherl (husband, Rick) and their children Carrie Cook of Pasadena, CA., Allie Davis (husband, Eric) of Nashville, TN. and Mary Catherine Barr (husband, Alan); Andrew Weatherl (wife, Michelle) of Dallas and Annie Weatherl McBride of Tomball, and Mike’s children, Minor Alexander (wife, Lexi), Mary Ellen Alexander of Nashville, TN and Grant Alexander of Fort Worth, his sister Jeri Mangum (husband, A.L.) of Lubbock and 19 Great Grand Children.
The legacy Jim was most proud of are the children and grandchildren listed above. He honored their unique gifting’s and encouraged each of them to think for themselves, while continuing to pour into them his wealth of knowledge.
The Family wishes to express deep gratitude to Jim’s caregivers, who have become like family over the past several years.
We will celebrate and honor Jim’s rich life on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 4:00 pm at The Episcopal Church of Heavenly Rest with an inurnment service at the Columbarium. Please join the family immediately following for a Celebration of Life reception in Gerhart Hall. The service is under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.
Honorary pall bearers are his grandsons Minor and Grant Alexander, Alex and Rob Eagle and Andrew Weatherl.
Memorial gifts may be made to the West Texas Rehabilitation Center or the charity of your choice.