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In Memoriam: Thomas S. Alexander


Friend of the Foundation Thomas S. Alexander passed away on November 17, 2021.  Tom was a member of the Foundation’s board of directors for many years and served on a number of committees including finance and audit as well as leadership roles of treasurer, vice president, and president.

To make a memorial contribution or to read more about a fund, visit the Alexander Advisory Fund, Alexander Family Scholarship Endowment Fund, or Thomas S. Alexander Advisory Fund.

From the obituary:

Thomas Stephen Alexander died on November 17th from complications of Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 81. Tom was born on January 28th, 1940 in Aurora, IL, the third of four sons of John and Berniece Alexander. He grew up in Aurora, and graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and from The University of Colorado Boulder. He spent his summers working at several of the yards of Alexander Lumber Co., the business founded by his grandfather, John Alexander in 1891. Following graduation, Tom served in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve before returning to work at Alexander Lumber, where he served as an executive officer for over 60 years right up until his death.

Outside of his work at the lumber company, Tom managed several farms, raising corn, soybeans and cattle; he also somehow found time to raise sheep, chickens and other livestock on his own farm in Sugar Grove.

Tom served on many non-profit boards, including 33 years with the Aurora Foundation (now the Community Foundation of Fox River Valley), 39 years with the various boards of Copley Hospital and Copley Hospital Foundation (now Rush-Copley), and was very involved with the Congregational Church of Batavia, which was founded in 1834 in his great-great grandfather’s cabin near Eola. Tom was a true philanthropist, and gave generously of his time, talent and treasure in a quiet and humble way.

To those who knew Tom best, he had a dry and mischievous wit, with endless patience and a calm demeanor. He was admired by all for his honesty, reliability, intelligence and hard work. Tom was the “quiet glue” that kept the extended Alexander family together, and his commitment to the family and to those he felt responsible for cannot be overstated.

Tom was preceded in death by his brother Walter, and is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Ann Tomson Alexander; three sons, James (Cat Austin) of San Anselmo, CA, Matthew (Kelle Eason) of San Francisco, CA and Peter (Charlotte) of Wilson, WY; two brothers, John (Emily) of Sheffield, MA, Duncan (Kit Keane) of Batavia, sister-in-law Karen Alexander of Geneva, and five adored grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Gifts to the Rush-Copley Movement Disorders Program, or to any of the above charities, are welcome. Arrangements handled by Moss Family Funeral Homes 630-879-7900, or

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

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