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Stephenville's Richard Alexander remembered as great dad

Photos courtesy of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment museum
Richard Alexander was a former honourary lieutenant-colonel of the Second Battalion Royal Newfoundland Regiment. He was also a Second World War and Korean War veteran.
Photos courtesy of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment museum Richard Alexander was a former honourary lieutenant-colonel of the Second Battalion Royal Newfoundland Regiment. He was also a Second World War and Korean War veteran. - Contributed

Trevor Alexander can’t say enough about his dad, Richard Alexander, a hero of both the Second World and Korean wars, who he described as “a great father, a great leader in the community and all around gentleman.”

Some of the things he remembers growing up were trips to Piccadilly Head Park on the Port au Port Peninsula digging clams, his dad taking his boys fishing and his dad, along with four of his boys, playing on the same baseball team – Marche’s Flyers.

Trevor remembers at 13 years of age joining the army cadet corps that his father had been instrumental in getting established, that a couple of his brothers also got involved in. The brothers took it a step further and went on to get involved in the militia for a while.

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One of the greatest memories of his dad was going cross-country skiing, something Richard loved to do, and got most of the kids involved in it. He remembers their dad leading them from Aguathuna (where they lived) all the way in Goose Pond Road on what was known as the pipeline trail, which was mostly all uphill.

But when they turned around to come back on that beautiful moonlit light, they glided mostly all the way home. It’s a scene that’s been etched in his memory that he’ll forever remember his father for making happen because of his love of skiing.

Alexander said the boys in the family always joked about how short their dad would have their hair cut, which was likely because if his military influence. He said it must have rubbed off because today he still wears it short.

“While dad was always strict, he was always fair with things and because of that always got our (family members) respect,” he said.

Alexander said during the years his father would tell stories about when he was at war but wouldn’t go deep into the story.

One in particular he remembered was about a little boy that his unit found when they were out on patrol in Korea that they brought back to the orphanage and how difficult it was to leave him when they witnessed the conditions there.

Alexander said he can remember his mother saying to love his dad for who he was because of all that he had seen.

He said he was very proud of his father’s accomplishments, including having Alexander Construction Co. that was responsible for the construction of the Stephenville Mall back in the early 1970’s. He remembers working with his dad on the construction of the Diamond Building Supplies warehouse at the corner of Hansen Highway and Atlantic Avenue from the survey on up.

Alexander, who now lives in Stephenville, said when he moved to Nova Scotia some years back it was his dad that brought him over and also took his wife Leeann and his daughter Kristen over once he was settled in.

“Kristen and dad were real close and he found it rough leaving her to go home,” he said of his daughter, who is now 35 years of age and living in Fort McMurray, AB.

Alexander said while the community and military have lost a great leader he and his brothers and sisters have lost a great father and grandfather.

Richard Alexander’s funeral is being held in Port au Port West Thursday.

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