William “Bill” Wray Alexander
William “Bill” Wray Alexander will be remembered as a loving husband, father, and grandfather who was always willing to lend a hand to help those in need. Born September 27, 1942 to William Anthony Alexander and Alice Eggleston Alexander, Bill spent his childhood in the central valley of California. He was the oldest of three children. He and his sister Barbara Lloyd (Frank Lloyd) and brother Robert Alexander (Diane Alexander) have remained close throughout the years. There have been many family gatherings for holidays, reunions, and even vacation travel together.
He met his lovely wife, Margaret “Peggy” Skarsten Alexander, in choir while attending Pacific University in Oregon, and they never stopped singing. With various choirs, they have traveled to East and West Germany, England, Scotland, and throughout the United States. Their daughters, Malinda and Melissa, were raised attending church every Sunday and arriving early because of choir practice.
Bill owned and operated the three One Hour Martinizing dry cleaning businesses in Santa Barbara, CA for thirty years. He was known as a fair and honest businessman and employer. For the holidays Bill dressed in a Santa suit made by his wife to deliver Christmas bonuses to his employees. He regularly helped those he worked with. Through his example, he taught his daughters to treat everyone with kindness and integrity.
He was a valued member of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara and was a Paul Harris Fellow. Bill also participated in the Santa Barbara Cosmopolitan Club. Bill and Peggy have attended the First Congregational Church in Santa Barbara since 1968. He has served on almost every committee, helped with building repairs, sung in the choir, and even got talked into ringing in the bell choir when Peggy was directing.
One thing that both Bill and Peggy shared was their love of travel. They have set foot on and explored five of the seven continents. Some of their favorite locations have included Australia, the Panama Canal, Germany, Norway, Alaska, and many other special places in the United States.
Themes that keep appearing in stories about Bill include his generosity, his love for friends and family, and his desire to always lend a hand to the point of constantly pulling out his utility knife to fix things–even in the doctor’s office. He played a mean game of Hand and Foot, Tripoley, Mexican Train, Kings in the Corner, Billiards, and Monopoly.
He was well-loved by everyone, but especially his wife Peggy of 56 years, his two daughters Malinda Alexander (Kim Chatellier) and Melissa Timm (Blake Timm), and three grandchildren, Liam Alexander and Sydney and Hannah Timm. He attended many music, dance, and theater performances as well as baseball games and mountain man rendezvous all to support his grandchildren’s interests.
Bill passed away peacefully in his sleep on September 17, 2021. A celebration of his life will take place in the spring. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations to honor the life and service of Bill Alexander be made to the:
Endowment and Gifts Fund at the
First Congregational Church UCC of Santa Barbara, 2101 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.