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DR. CHARLES ALEXANDER
GRAFTON – Dr. Charles C. Alexander, 87, passed away at 8:43 a.m., Wednesday, August 30, 2023 at Jersey Community Hospital, with his wife and sons by his side. Although Doc had Alzheimer’s for several years, he died as a result of a sudden massive infection.
He was born on November 4, 1935 in Jerseyville to the late Clifford “Basket” and Thelma (Woolsey) Alexander, and was blessed to have two sweet sisters, Patsy Moore and Ruthann Cory.
In his senior year at Jersey Community High School, he was hit in the top of the head by a shot put. It’s a good thing he was hard headed, because the injury caused him to have neck pain and severe headaches…more to follow on this injury.
He went to work at Laclede Steel in Alton, Illinois. During his time the steel mill, he enlisted with the United States Army, and served his country honorably from 1959 to 1961. He was stationed in Landstuhl, Germany at the third Army General Hospital and was assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Urology Department.
When he returned home to the states, he began going to a Chiropractor for treatment of his headaches. One day, his Chiropractor said: “Charlie, I think you’re smart enough to be a Chiropractor!” The next day the doctor took Charlie to Logan Chiropractic College in St. Louis, Missouri, where he enrolled Charlie and paid for his first year’s tuition.
Charlie left the steel mill and began his college career. He graduated in 1966 after completing a four year degree in just three years. He served two years of internship in Sedalia, Missouri, prior to opening his practice in Jerseyville in 1968.
While still in Sedalia, he shot and killed a turkey. The bad thing was the turkey flew over a fence on the way down. The fence was posted “No Trespassing”. Charlie thought he could climb over the fence, walk ten feet and retrieve the turkey. Well, the landowner just happened to be there and had Charlie arrested! When we went to court, the judge questioned him about why he was in Sedalia, where his permanent residence was and about his previous jobs. Charlie told him he lived in Jerseyville and had worked his way through college as a bartender. The judge looked at Charlie and asked him if he knew a Father Heinen. Charlie replied that he did indeed know him. The judge said, “What did Father Heinen drink?” Charlie replied, “A Scotty Dog over ice.” The judge slammed his gavel down and said, “By George, you DO know him! Pay the clerk $10.00 and get out of here.” Doc had a thriving practice in Jerseyville for 45 years, prior to his retirement in 2013.
In the summer of 1967, while he was home one weekend, he noticed a young girl who had come into Bush’s Bowling Alley. He asked his fellow bartender, Denny Soffray, who the girl with the ling dark hair was. Denny replied “Her name is Becky Prough from Kane”. Charlie said, “I’m gonna marry that girl!” It wasn’t until eight years later that they finally met, and on August 21, 1974 they were married and just nine days before his passing, celebrated their 49th Wedding Anniversary.
Becky had a four year old son, so Charlie had a ready-made family. Within a month, Chad was calling “Cholly” by the name, “Dad”. Charlie loved it. Eighteen monhs later, Seth came along and fourteen months after that, Luke came along. Charlie loved it. He was crazy about his boys.
Charlie had a few favorites: His God, his family, hunting and football. If it had horns or feathers, it was dead meat! He lived and breathed football. But, his number one priority was teaching people about Jesus and praying for them. Over the years, he taught hundreds of people about Christ. In 2003, Charlie, Becky and the “boys” all became members of the Catholic Faith. He always aid it was the best decision he ever made.
Charlie was so proud of his boys. They all three played football and Charlie NEVER missed any of their games. One of the funniest football stories was during a playoff game at Chatham –Glenwood. Chatham’s cheerleaders ran around the track carrying this enormous flag. It had to be at least 10 ft. x 15 ft. They came over to the Jerseyville stands and kind of taunted us with the flag waving. Charlie hopped down from the stands and started running around the track waving a teeny-tiny Jerseyville Panther flag, that was only about 6 inches x 8 inches. He was kind of rubbing it in their faces. The Jerseyville stands erupted in laughter. The Chatham fans got a little bit put out about it. There was almost a brawl. A referee went to Coach Bill Breden and said something like, “You better that that #!$% joker off the field or I’m calling this game! So, Charlie came back up to the Jerseyville stands and sat down, while he was still waving that flag. We all laughed and clapped from him.
At the Chiropractic office, we had a little kitchenette in the office. During football practice (Called two-a-days), the boys and a bunch of their teammates would come to the office and eat chili or spaghetti, or whatever Becky made that day. Then, all the boys (maybe 15 or 20), would lay down on the floor and rest for an hour before they had to go back to practice. Charlie LOVED it!
On Saturday mornings, the office would be full of football players getting their backs or necks cracked by “Ole Doc Alexander”, it was a hoot! Here were these tough athletic boys, who had the living crap beat out of them the night before, asking if “it” would hurt!! It was hilarious, and Charlie loved it!
As president of the Chamber of Commerce, Charlie was able to secure grant money to build a civic center. He organized a Strassenfest and raised $30,000.00 so the state could go ahead and give the rest of the funds. As a result of his leadership, the Susnig Center was built and people of all ages have used it ever since.
Doc is survived by his wife, Becky of Grafton; three sons, Chad Richards of Grafton, Seth (Julie) Alexander of Jerseyville and Luke (Tana) Alexander of Godfrey; four grandchildren, Reahn Richards and her fiancé, Zach Niswander, Donald, Maggie and CC Alexander; two sisters, Pat Moore of Piasa and Ruthie Cory of Jerseyville; a brother in-law and sister in-law, Gary and Louann Prough of Brighton; along with nieces and nephews, David (Gayle) Prough, Laura (Rock) Cory, Brenda (Chris) Lorton, Ethan Prough, Andrew (Connie) Prough, Dr. Katie (Sam) Terry, Tyler (Laura) Prough, Valerie (Dave) Mourning and Tammy (Jim) Andrews; also surviving are several great and great-great nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers in-law, Eugene Moore, Ron Cory and his best friend, Dennis (Priscilla) Prough; his father in-law and mother in-law, Richard and Glenda Prough.
Many many thanks to his fiend and helper, Bob Ehlers.
Per his wishes, his body has been donated to Logan University.
A Memorial Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. until time of Military Honors at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Thursday, at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Jerseyville, with Father Martin Smith officiating.
Private burial will take place at a later date.
Memorials may be given to St. Francis/Holy Ghost Catholic School or to Jersey Community Hospital Foundation.
Memories may be shared with the family by visiting www.crawfordfunerals.com
“Charlie, it’s been a blast. I’m heartbroken that you’re gone, but I’m so glad that you are no longer ill. It’s been my pleasure and honor to love you and care for you. I’ll see ya later, babe!” – Becky.