Fay Janet Alexander

Nashvillians bid farewell this week to Fay Janet Alexander, a long-time civilian volunteer and devout supporter of the work of her late husband, the Rev. William ‘Bill’ Alexander, pastor for nearly 50 years at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in historic College Hill near Tennessee State University. 

Active in the Presbyterian Women’s Guild, Mrs. Alexander was very active in the Nashville PTA while their four children grew in the city’s public schools. She was also a regular volunteer in voter registration campaigns in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, and worked Nashville polling places with area friends and neighbors on election days throughout those decades.

 Born June 19, 1933, to Margaret Roberts Hampton and Albert Eugene Hampton in New York, New York. Alexander was the youngest of four siblings (Albert, Jr., Kenneth, and Marion Hampton Brice). Her mother died soon after her birth and she and her siblings were raised by her paternal grandmother, Agnes Garvin Hampton, along with their aunt Wilhelmina Hampton Tynes.  

Alexander was educated in the New York public school system and graduated from Evander Childs High School in 1950. Ms. Alexander dedicated her life to Christ at an early age and was a member of St. Augustine United Presbyterian Church in the Bronx, New York. 

It was there she met her future husband, Rev. William A. ‘Bill’ Alexander, Sr. in 1951. She married Rev. Alexander on March 9, 1952. They moved to Nashville thar year to support his ministry at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. During their years at St. Andrews, the couple embraced and welcomed hundreds of students and teachers and neighbors in the TSU, Moses McKissack school and Preston Taylor community.   

The couple embarked on a lifetime of community service, working closely with the Nashville Branch of the NAACP and the Clover Bottom Development Center. She was a member of the Presbyterian Women’s Guild and was treasurer of the church. Her community service included working at the Hubbard Hospital gift shop. 

She was a poll worker for many years and was proud of her civic engagement to help citizens exercise their right to vote. Ms. Alexander loved to spend time with family and friends. She enjoyed music, reading, travel, playing Pinochle with her husband, family and friends, and games with her children and grandchildren. In her later years she was the primary caregiver for her husband and aunt who both battled Alzheimer’s Disease.

“She was a good person with very interesting sense of humor,” said Walter Whitmore, a music industry person who grew up around the corner from the Alexander’s near St. Andrews.

Whitmore, son of a former city councilman, said Mrs. Alexander, a James Bond film fan, would always catch him “off guard” with some humorous quip. He would later in life be named a Godfather of daughter Leslie’s daughter.

Izola Davidson, wo met Mrs. Alexander in the late 1970’s as a member of St. Andrew’s, echoed others is recalling Mrs. Alexander as a “sweet loving person” who “did things from her heart She thought everybody was a good person,” said Mrs. Davidson, who noted Mrs. Alexander “saw the good things in people.” 

Mrs. Alexander relocated to Durham, N.C., in 2016, to be closer to her daughter, Leslie Alkins-Alexander. She lived independently at Emerald Pond, a senior living community. She was quickly recognized for her engaging personality and service mindset, becoming an “ambassador for the facility” she also managed the “Country Store” at the living community where residents could purchase snacks and other supplies.

Mrs. Alexander died September 27, 2022, at the age of 89.

In addition to daughter Leslie, Mrs. Alexander is survived by her sons (William, Jr., Paul and Peter) and their spouses (Avarita Hanson, Evelyne Martial and Mark Alkins), a host of grand children, nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the: Assistance Program of the Board of Pension of the Presbyterian Church (https://www.pensions.org/your-path-to-wholeness/assistance-program).

Service of Celebration for Mrs.Alexander was scheduled for Wednesday, October 5, 2022,at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 949 Jackson. She was to be buried beside her late husband at the Veteran’s National Cemetery.