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Rev. Francis Leon Alexander

Deceased: 2021-03-10


ICTE Fall: 1996

Father Francis Leon Alexander, 81, of Charleston, died Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at CAMC Memorial Division, Charleston. He was pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish, South Charleston, for over 20 years and had also served several parishes in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Father Alexander was born in Huntington, where he was a member of St. Joseph Parish. He attended St. Charles College in Catonsville, Md., and St. Mary
Seminary in Baltimore and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph H. Hodges at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling May 14, 1966.

Father Alexander founded the diocese’s youth camp, Camp Tygart (now Blessed Carlo Acutis Youth Camp) in Huttonsville, and served as director from 1965 to 1971. He served as associate pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Beckley from 1966 to 1968 and of Immaculate Conception Parish in Clarksburg in 1968. He was director of Youth for the diocese from 1968 to 1971 and then served as associate pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in St. Albans from 1971 to 1972. He went on to serve as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Montgomery from 1972 to 1981, Sacred Heart Parish in Bluefield from 1981 to 1986, Blessed Sacrament Parish in South Charleston from 1986 to 2006, and St. Francis de Sales Parish in Morgantown from 2006 to 2010. Father Alexander served as dean of the Bluefield Deanery from 1981 to 1986 and vicar forane of the Charleston Vicariate from 1986 to 2006. He retired from active ministry in 2010. He also served as temporary administrator of Ascension Parish in Hurricane from 2018 to 2019. Father Alexander served on Presbyteral Council, the Clergy Personnel Committee and the Priests Health and Retirement Board.

He was an avid steam train lover and enjoyed acting with various acting guilds in the Kanawha Valley, but he was probably best known for his time spent at Camp Tygart in Huttonsville. Father Alexander was also an avid traveler where he visited many European countries of which Italy was his favorite. He will be greatly missed because of his life’s mission and ministry where he influenced and encouraged thousands of people throughout his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter J.D. Alexander and Rita M. Miller Alexander; brother, Walter John Duane Alexander, II. Surviving, a niece and many nephews along with countless friends around the world. Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., Friday, March 12, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, South Charleston. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 13, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church with Bishop Mark Brennan as celebrant. Please observe pandemic guidelines with social distancing and by wearing masks. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his memory to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 305 E Street, South Charleston, WV 25303. Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston, is handling the arrangements.