Thomas Willis Haywood Alexander died peacefully at home, after a valiant battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born on February 27, 1940, in Raleigh, the only child of Thomas Willis Alexander, Jr. and Shirley Benbury Haywood.
He attended Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, and graduated from Woodberry Forest School in Orange, VA, where he was Senior Prefect and captain of the football team. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a Morehead Scholar, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1962, and received a J.D. degree from Wake Forest Law School, in 1968. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve from 1961-1968.
From 1968-69, he was a clerk for Chief Justice R. Hunt Parker of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and from 1969-1971, served as an assistant district attorney for Wake County. He spent the next 32 years as a defense litigator for the Raleigh Law firm of Maupin Taylor, specializing in product liability, construction, and general aviation.
He was a past president of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, a member of the Wake County and North Carolina Bar Associations, the International Association of Defense Counsel, the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, and the Wake County Bar Executive Committee.
His civic activities included many in the area of Historic Preservation. They are as follows: Former member and Vice Chair of the Wake County Historic Preservation Commission, board member of the Capitol Area Preservation Society, board member and Treasurer of the North Carolina State Capitol Foundation, legal advisor to Historic Haywood Hall, board member of Mordecai Historic Park, member and vice-president of the Board of Directors of Carolina Charter Corporation, and member of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Military Historical Society. He was a former president of the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati and served for 10 years as Treasurer-General of the national organization.
In addition to participation in civic and historical endeavors, he was a founding member of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, and, until he himself succumbed to Parkinson’s disease, was a community volunteer with Hospice of Wake County, and served on their Ethics Committee. He also was an avid and lifelong ham radio operator, with friends and associates around the world.
He is survived by his wife, Michele Gallagher Alexander; a son, Haywood Griffin Alexander and his wife, Jennifer Maupin Alexander; his mother, Shirley Haywood Alexander; and a granddaughter, Marguerite Maupin Alexander.
Visitation will be held Sunday, January 2, 2011, from 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM, at Bryan-Lee Funeral Home, 831 Wake Forest Rd., Raleigh.
A memorial service will be conducted at 2 PM, Monday, January 3, 2011, at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, in the chapel of Saint David’s School, 3400 White Oak Rd., Raleigh. A private burial service will be held at Historic Oakwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.