Died 12 March 2014
Jesuit Father John D. Alexander died on March 12, 2014, at Murray-Weigel Hall, in Bronx, N.Y. Born in Jersey City, N.J., on May 23, 1923, to William and Lena (Chesler) Alexander, he was 90 years old and a Jesuit for 72 years.
He attended St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, N.J., graduating in 1941. He joined the Society of Jesus at the novitiate of St. Andrew-on-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Aug. 14, 1941.
He pronounced his first vows there on Aug. 15, 1943, and continued there with two years of collegiate studies. For the study of philosophy he proceeded westward to West Baden College in West Baden Springs, Ind. (1945-48). He completed one year of special studies in history at Stanford University and then proceeded to Brooklyn Prep, teaching there for two years (1949-51).
In preparation for priesthood, he studied theology at Woodstock College, Md., from 1951-55, obtaining the Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in June 1955. He was ordained a priest on June 19, 1954, at the Fordham University Church by Francis Cardinal Spellman.
His final year of Jesuit formation was completed at Auriesville, N.Y. (1955-56). In 1956, Fr. Alexander then began a long commitment to Brooklyn Prep. It would be his home, community and the site of his apostolic work for many years as teacher, administrator, headmaster and moderator of the alumni.
Brooklyn Prep was closed in 1972, but Fr. Alexander continued with the secondary school apostolate, moving to Xavier High School and teaching theology there for five years. In 1978, he began full-time work with the alumni of Brooklyn Prep, as the moderator of the Brooklyn Prep Alumni Association.
In 2008 he began living at Loyola Hall, the Jesuit community on the Fordham University campus, and for the last years of his life he resided at the Jesuit infirmary, Murray-Weigel Hall. He is survived by his nieces Mrs. Robert (Patricia) Donnelly of Avon, N.J., and Mrs. John (Judy) Matthews of South Orange, N.J.