Alexa Carroll Williams, 89, died Sunday, Jan. 18, four days shy of her 90th birthday. She is predeceased by her husband and love of her life, Turner G. Williams.
Alexa grew up in Raleigh’s Cameron Park where she made and kept friends for a lifetime. She attended Wiley Elementary and Broughton High Schools. She received her BS in Chemistry and her teaching certificate from the “WC”—now University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
She was a life-long writer and held numerous positions as a communications professional, including staff writer for Science Service in Washington, D.C., editorial assistant for the Ladies Home Journal, freelance writer for Albert Coates, columnist for the News and Observer, science writer for Duke University, publication director for the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and writer for the Office of Information Services at North Carolina State University. One of her special projects was researching and writing “Rex Hospital: A Centennial Celebration.”
Alexa was a long-time member and deacon at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. She made many contributions to the church, perhaps most notable are the beautiful needlepoint tapestries her husband Turner designed and she and her good friends stitched and the book “Windows of the Way” explaining the rich history and symbolism of the church’s beautiful stained glass windows.
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She was a docent at the NC Museum of Art for decades, volunteering there into her 80s. She was also a member of multiple garden clubs, but her family has no recollection of her ever gardening. As a member of the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, she edited and wrote both editions of “Raleigh, A Guide to North Carolina’s Capital.”
Alexa’s interests and activities were many and varied. Travel was one of her passions, and she tried to make at least one international and one domestic trip a year. One of the most meaningful trips was a pilgrimage she made to Scotland with a group from Pullen. She played “at” tennis and golf as a member of the Carolina Country Club, mostly to accommodate her husband. She had a knack for tastefully combining antiques with modern design. Many children of friends and family wake up on Christmas morning eager to get to their Christmas stockings knitted by Alexa.
Because of her dementia, Alexa was unable to maintain relationships with her many friends during her extended illness, but the family hopes you realize how important you were to her and how much she enjoyed your company throughout her life.
Many thanks to the Brighton Gardens staff in Raleigh for providing a very loving, comfortable and safe place for her to live for more than seven years.
Alexa is survived by her children and their spouses, Douglas and Ellen Williams, Bo and Sally Williams McCormick, and Ann Williams McColl, all of Raleigh; by her grandchildren Caitlin McColl Williams Sperling (Will), Sarah Ann McCormick Walters (Jeremy), James McCormick, Cameron McCormick, David Cain and Turner Cain; as well as by nieces and nephews from her husband’s family.
A memorial service will be conducted by the Rev. Nancy Petty at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan 23. Visitation with the family will immediately follow at the church. Note that because of road construction, street parking will be limited. Funeral arrangements by Brown-Wynne 300 St. Mary’s Street.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27605.