Marlene Alexander

May 27, 1933 ~ December 9, 2022 (age 89) 89 Years Old


Long time Red Hook and Rhinebeck resident Marlene (Irma) Alexander, 89, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Friday, December 9, 2022, at Northern Dutchess Hospital. Marlene was born in Manhattan and grew up in Holyoke, MA on Fairfield Ave. with her extended family all living in one big three-story home. She cherished her upbringing with her Mamere and Papere, Aunt Bernie and all her cousins.


On a summer evening in Sound Beach, Long Island she met an Irishman named Willie at Boyle’s, a popular summer gathering place. They married and settled in Levittown with their newborn son Gary then moved to Commack where they met their lifelong friends, the Stanford’s.


In 1965, they moved up to the country in Red Hook, took a chance buying the Paper Box luncheonette in the village and an old farmhouse on Hapeman Hill Rd, and had their son Chris a few days later. They raised their boys in Red Hook and lived there for 31 years before moving to Rhinebeck in 1997.


Marlene graduated from Dutchess Community College Nursing School in 1975 and began her career as a Registered Nurse.  She worked for Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck and then as the long time beloved nurse for Dr. McKibbin. In later years she worked for several physician groups in Dutchess and Ulster counties.


As an active member of the Church of the Messiah, Rhinebeck, Marlene served as the Vestry Warden, volunteered for multiple committees including the food pantry, homeless shelter, cuddle blanket ministry, soup kitchen, taught ESL classes, and took several mission trips to Nicaragua with her church friends. She was on the Pastor Search Committee, ran the Parish Hall and was an ECW board member.


Marlene enjoyed many adventures including working as a Census Taker in 2000 roaming the Catskills searching for folks to count. She worked as a Docent at area historical sites volunteering at several historic mansions on the Hudson. To keep up with her sons she took up skiing in her 40’s and was known to sign them out of school for ski days calling them life experiences. In later years she really wanted to learn to snowboard with her grandchildren. She loved annual family trips to Lake Placid at Christmas time. As a hiker with Bleeker’s Creepers, she summited several Catskill peaks to earn her 3500 Club patch. In addition to biplane and helicopter flights, she zip lined in South America after climbing Machu Pichu, and hot air ballooned in Africa. She was even evacuated from a sinking cruise ship in Greece and was rescued by the Boy Scouts after an overnight with a broken leg on a mountain. If she wasn’t a nurse, she said she’d have become a helicopter pilot. An avid camper, she loved traveling to the National Parks. In her 60’s, she decided to white water raft down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Marlene earned the moniker of the “Oldest Teenager in Rhinebeck” after a particular adventure on a toboggan run in Lake Placid.


Adventures didn’t stop when she became Grammie. Instead, she took them along and taught them how to hike, camp, get dirty, and love life. Grammie didn’t care about material things. She loved her grandchildren more than anything else in the world and spending time with them was the greatest joy of her life.


Marlene counted her friends, near and far, as family and she was a second mom to more people than can be named. She was loved by many and shared her love freely. Admired for her nontraditional, forward-thinking, progressive views and curious mind, she was not afraid to ask the big questions and never hesitated to speak her mind. She fought aging to the end and didn’t want to miss out on anything.


Born May 27, 1933, she was the daughter of Ernest and Pearl (Morneau) Grauman.

On May 23, 1953, in New York City, she married Wilfred A. ‘Bill’ Alexander.  Bill passed away January 6, 1999.


Marlene is survived by her sons, Gary, and his wife Cindi of Griffin, GA.; Chris, and his wife Kerry of Cheshire, CT.; and Alan Adamski (Jayne dec.) of Casselberry, FL; 7 grandchildren, Meghan, Georganna, Liam, Will, Erin, Justine (Jon), Jonathan (Cheryl); and 3 great grandchildren, Jace, Mila and Jayne.


Funeral services will be held at Church of the Messiah in Rhinebeck on Wednesday December 28th at 1:00 pm followed by a lunch reception in the Parish Hall.


Memorial donations may be made to Church of the Messiah, PO Box 248, Rhinebeck, NY, 12572 in her name.

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Funeral Service
December 28, 2022

1:00 PM
Church of the Messiah
6436 Montgomery St.
Rhinebeck, NY 12572


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