Mrs. Lillian Rhea Alexander, 90, of Woodbury, Tennessee went on to be with the Lord on Friday, June 9, 2023. She entered this life in Readyville, Tennessee on Wednesday, October 12, 1932. Preceding her in death were her husband, Richmond Alexander; parents, Jake and Mildred Finley Alexander; sisters, Marlene Taylor, Elaine Martin, and Jessie Burr Jackson; and sister-in-law, Betty Ann Alexander.
She is survived by her son, Tim (Brenda) Alexander of Woodbury; grandchildren, Whitney (Cody) Burdick and Wesley (Lindsey) Alexander both of Woodbury; great grandchildren, Avery and Lilly Alexander both of Woodbury; brothers, Buddy Alexander of Woodbury and Gerry Alexander of Winchester; sister, Mary Dale (Buddy) Clark of Woodbury; special family member, Linda Johnson; and several extended family members and friends.
Growing up in Readyville, Tennessee during the Great Depression meant that Lillian quickly learned what mattered most in life. Faith and family were central to her existence on this earth. She helped raise all of her siblings and took on every responsibility that fell under the title "Big Sister." Her mothering spirit led to a desire to have a family of her own someday, and there was one boy in particular that caught her eye.
Lillian had a crush on Richmond on and off throughout their years growing up together, and something about him kept her mind coming back to that boy from the holler. They finally began dating, and after graduating from Woodbury Central High School, they were engaged and then married on February 7, 1951. In their almost 60 years of marriage, their love for one another did nothing but grow, and Richmond learned just the kind of lady that he married.
A cornerstone in her family, Lillian continued in her role as big sister and was sure to keep everyone in their place and in line. All she had to do was point, and her siblings knew exactly what to do, where to sit, or how to help. She had a way about her that was firm yet also demonstrated the sacrificial love she had for her family. There was no question that Lillian rightfully stepped into the role as the matriarch.
Fittingly enough, her favorite color was red, and she led her family and conducted herself with the love, passion, strength, courage, and drive that the color symbolizes. In all that she did, Lillian did it with love. During her career, she worked for White Stag, a garment manufacturer in Murfreesboro, and rather than changing her scenery, she used her time and talents to make herself and family members clothing. Later in life, she taught herself to do needlepoint and crotchet, and she would make blankets and tablecloths for her loved ones.
That was the thing for Lillian — doing for others. She stayed involved in all of her family member's lives. When the caterer for Tim and Brenda's wedding had a loss in her family, Lillian stepped up to the plate and had the whole family organized and mobilized for a seamless reception. When Whitney and Cody were baptized, Lillian was right there on the bank to wrap her arms around them. When Wesley and Lindsey had Avery and then Lilly, there wasn't a chance that Lillian wasn't going to be in the waiting room.
This level of involvement and attention to detail on things that matter didn't just go for the generations after Lillian though. She was an avid genealogist for her family and traced it back through the Civil War and Revolutionary War. She knows her family signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in 1775, and that their flight to North America goes back to a Presbyterian minister who fled Scotland under persecution of the Queen of Scots. Looking through the countless papers and notebooks of documented information, her family is convinced she could have been a private investigator.
And the real kicker? Lillian didn't need the internet to do it! The only time she got online was to use her tablet to look at Facebook and keep up with more of her family. She was intentional with her actions and her time. Any skill she needed or wanted that wasn't passed down to Lillian by a family member she took the liberty of teaching herself. In her younger years, her precious dogs became the muse for sketches, and she was meticulous with the details. Later in life, she transitioned to more of the crocheting and needlepoint. It wasn't until February 1, 2011 that Lillian slowed down.
After several years of taking care of Richmond, he went on to be with the Lord, and half of Lillian's heart went with him. Not having Richmond with her meant she finally had to face the reality of her own declining health, and over the course of the years, Lillian became less physically capable. But she never let that stop her from working for the Lord. When her body was failing her, that's where technology came into use. Lillian was known for quite lengthy phone calls, and Tim and Brenda accommodated her with another charged phone always on hand.
Lillian called, encouraged, listened, and ministered to those in need. She continued to put her focus on God first and others second no matter what challenge came her way. The grace and dignity with which she conducted herself reigned true to her final breath. Now, she has entered into her great reward in the presence of her Savior and the arms of her husband.
Visitation will be held at Gentry-Smith Funeral Home on Sunday, June 11, 2023 from 1-3 pm. Funeral services will be Sunday, June 11, 2023 at 3 pm in the Gentry-Smith Funeral Home chapel. Bro. Herb Alsup will officiate. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Woodbury Church of Christ or the ABC Girls. If donating to the ABC Girls, please make checks payable to Woodbury Church of Christ and put ABC Girls in the memo.
Share memories and condolences at www.gentrysmithfuneralhome.com Gentry-Smith Funeral Home, 303 Murfreesboro Rd. Woodbury, TN 37190, 615-563-5337 Because every life has a story