Pastors' Memoirs

Eric Richard Alexie Sr., 1916 – 2007

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2008 Memoirs

 The Rev. Eric Richard Alexie, Sr., 91, passed away Oct. 4, 2007. He was born in Massachusetts. His mother was Finnish and his father was born in Russia to Swedish parents. His parents immigrated to the United States and became citizens in 1935. He was immersed in different languages during his young life and was proud that he spoke at least five different languages. He was a member of Mensa. He was an avid sportsman in high school and college but his college was interrupted by World War II. He served in the United States Army and was in the Battle of the Bulge.
  While stationed in Norfolk, Va., Eric visited First United Methodist Church. It had become customary that Marion and Leon Davis invite soldiers that visited church to come home with them for dinner. This was probably the best meal that Eric ever had, as it introduced him to his wife, Vera Mae Davis.
  Eric worked for the United States Post Office for a while but this didn’t seem to offer him the fulfillment he desired. He contacted Dr. Douglas Newman and inquired about how he could become a minister. They talked, and together they came up with a plan. Eric went to seminary at Duke University and, as we know, he found the fulfillment that enriched his life as well as the lives of so many that he ministered to.
  Vera and Eric had one son who was the joy of their life. He too was named Eric, but they fondly nicknamed him “Buster.” Together the family moved about to minister to different churches in the Virginia Methodist Conference. He served churches in Ford, Surry, Emporia, Jarret, Isle of Wright, Chesapeake, and Roanoke, Va. He loved to preach, and when he retired, he taught Sunday school for many years at First Church in Norfolk and at Raleigh Court in Roanoke.
  Eric and Vera Mae were close. She supported him in everything he did just as he supported her. She was there for him in every new church he served. Likewise, when they retired, he supported her when there was a need for them to move in with her elderly parents and care for them. Their marriage was a testimony of unconditional love. They were always together. They could finish each others’ sentences. As the years went by, the two complemented each other quite well. Old age brought some bitterness with the sweetness. Vera Mae’s physical health declined, but her mind remained clear. Eric’s strength and stamina remained strong (despite his pacemaker), but his mind became a victim of Alzheimer’s. Together, they could function quite well. When Vera Mae passed away Aug. 2, 2007, Eric could not grasp that she was deceased. They had been married for 63 years. He continued to hear her calling him. He looked for her daily. On Oct. 4, 2007, he was reunited with her.  
 The lives they led were a testimony to their faith. The lessons they left behind are valued. The love they spread is cherished. The joy they gave is treasured. The destination of their journey is known.
— Sharon Alexie and Eric “Buster” Alexie, Jr.


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