George Alexander

George Valentine Alexander

1936 - 2022

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Obituary of George Valentine Alexander

George Valentine Alexander, 85, laid aside his earthly body and went Home to meet his Lord Jesus Christ on February 13, 2022. Born in Lancaster, PA, he was the son of the late George Ashworth and Miriam Clark Alexander.

Twice blessed, he was the husband of Gail Suggs Alexander for 29 years. Gail brought him much happiness, comfort and care during these years. Previously he enjoyed 33 years of marriage with the late Carol Murphy Alexander who preceded him in death in 1991.

Also preceding him in death were his sister, Esther Alexander Kennedy, and a brother, Richard Clark Alexander.

George was the father of James Mark Alexander, husband of Tammy Fisher Alexander, and the grandfather of Carson James and Caity Jean Alexander. He was the stepfather of Gail’s children, Ryan Theodore Bushey and Kristen Michelle Bushey.

A licensed barber when he graduated from Manheim Twp. High School in 1954, George worked in his father’s barber shop in Lancaster for several years.

Upon receiving God’s call to ministry, preparation and education became important to him. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Millersville State College. This was followed by a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary and a Master of Sacred Theology from Lancaster Theological Seminary. In 1980, he received a Master of Arts degree from New York University. He also graduated from the U.S. Navy Chaplain’s School.

He served as pastor of Grace E.U.B. Church in Cressona, PA, and First Baptist Church of Freeport, NY. While at the latter he served as chaplain of the Freeport Fire Department. He began the One Way Coffee House in the church, ministering to teenage alcoholics and drug addicts. In Mattituck, NY, he served the North Fork Baptist Church. The church opened The Haven of Rest youth hostel and became a major stop for bicyclers between New York City and New England. George returned to Lancaster in 1978 as associate pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lancaster. He also served Baptist congregations in Scottdale, PA; Salem, OH; and Penacook, NH as well as interim pastorates in NH and NY.

In 1994, he began a church consulting ministry. Vision Ventures Ministries was designed to assist local churches in “discovering God’s Vision . . . and living God’s Ventures.”

Enlisting in the PA National Guard following high school, he served five years in HQ Company of the 103rd Medical Battalion in Lancaster. Following his first pastorate, George joined the U.S. Naval Reserve as a chaplain, retiring as Commander after 21 years of service. He served with Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard units. He was the first chaplain to serve on the staff of the Ninth Coast Guard District (covering the Great Lakes). He was a member of the American Legion for 18 years.

George enjoyed leather carving, reading, and his dogs and cats. Alex was a certified therapy dog, and they visited nursing homes, hospitals and senior centers. Collecting Boy Scout memorabilia was his hobby.

In 1946, George joined Cub Scout Pack 113. After three years, he moved on to Boy Scout Troop 13 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Lancaster. As a youth he received the Eagle Award and the Explorer Silver Award. He never left Scouting! While in college, he was scoutmaster of Troop 99. In seminary, he served as scoutmaster of a troop in Dayton, OH. Later, while a pastor on Long Island, he was scoutmaster of his third troop. In all, he served scouting in ten councils. He organized one scout troop, and two high adventure Explorer posts. He served as Roundtable Commissioner (training other scoutmasters) in four councils. While in New Hampshire, he served on the operating committee of the L.L. Lee Scouting Museum. For many years he was the Northeast Regional Vice President of the Association of Baptists for Scouting. During the years 1953 to 2005, he served as a staff member for eight national jamborees, and as assistant scoutmaster for one world jamboree. He attended three training conferences at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and spent the summer of 2002 at the ranch as a chaplain. His training included three Scouter Keys and Woodbadge. The Boy Scouts of America recognized his service with the District Award of Merit, the Silver Beaver, and the Order of the Condor. The Association of Baptists for Scouting presented him with the Good Shepherd Award. In 1984, the mayor of Jacksonville, NC proclaimed August 28 as “Chaplain George V. Alexander Day” in the city in recognition of his work with Scouts at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The American Legion in Pennsylvania named him “Legion Scouter of the Year” for 2011.

A memorial service will be held at a later date in Lancaster, PA. Donations may be made in his memory to Agape Care, North Charleston, SC.

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