|Birth: ||Oct. 4, 1921|
|Death: ||Aug. 12, 2002|
Dr. Marian Lucille Dillinger Alexander, 80, retired music teacher, wife of Robert Sherwin Alexander, died on Monday, (August 12, 2002) at the Middlesex Hospice Unit in Middletown.
Lucille Alexander was born in Edina, MO, on October 4, 1921.
She was the daughter of James Marion Dillinger and Bernice Brown. Lucille dedicated her life to music and education. Her family is proud of her varied accomplishments in theater, publishing, dance, and genealogy. At a time when women were not acknowledged for their accomplishments, she proved herself a pioneer in her field. She graduated from Hannibal High School, Class of 1939, and received a cello scholarship to the University of Missouri in Columbia.
She then transferred to the Teachers College in Kirksville, MO (now Truman State University) from which she graduated in 1942. As she began her 50 year career as a music teacher in St. Louis, she also started flying lessons. In 1943, she joined the Women's Army Service Pilots (WASPS) to train for airplane transport service in the war effort.
After moving to New York City, she completed her Master's degree at Columbia University Teachers College in 1946, while supporting herself by teaching ballroom dance. There she met and married David Helfeld. In 1947, she had her first child, Jan Edward Helfeld, and enrolled in the Yale University Graduate School in New Haven. She served as Director of the Guilford High School Band in 1948.
The next year, she and her family moved to Puerto Rico, where she taught music in private schools and had a second son, Thomas Jefferson Helfeld. After five years, she returned to the states. She taught vocal music at West Hempstead, Brentwood, and Yonkers, NY, and taught band at Joan of Arc Junior High School in Manhattan.
In 1959, she married Robert Alexander, a composer employed in the music publishing industry, and her third child, Michael was born. A fourth child, Mark, was born just prior to the family's move to Wayne, NJ, in 1964. She taught band in Kinnelon and Wayne. Her last child, a daughter, Jennifer, was born in 1966.
In the next 30 years, Lucille continued to be actively involved in the promotion of music in her community, both as a teacher for the Wayne School System, and in a continuous string of community theater productions. She directed summer shows for the Packanack Players and a local staging of "The Sound of Music," as well as acting and singing in the Montclair Operetta Club chorus. Meanwhile, in 1980, she completed a Doctorate in Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also was a founding member of the Woman Band Directors Association, and published band arrangements as M.L. Cleveland, most notably of Sesame Street songs.
Her other interests included genealogy and travel. Over the course of years, she ventured to Europe, China, Russia, Mexico, and extensively throughout America. She retired from teaching in 1995, and moved to Middletown in 1999.
Lucille is survived by her husband Robert; her children, Jan Edward Helfeld of Falls Church, VA, Tomas Luzcampos (Thomas Helfeld) of Orocoivis, PR, Michael Alexander of Houston, TX, Mark Alexander of Seattle, WA, and Jennifer Alexander of Middletown. She also leaves eight grandchildren, Taita, Nami Lanisa (Beba), Jarisa, Tenzin, Margaret, Karma, Teki, and Kobi; a brother, Paul Dillinger of Oahu, HI; a half brother, Billy Joe Dillinger of Kansas City, MO; and a half sister, Martha Jane Sheston of Centerville, IA.
Calling hours are at the Doolittle Funeral Home, 14 Old Church Street, on Wednesday, August 14, from 6-8 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, August 15, 9 a.m., at First Church of Christ, 190 Court Street. Private burial will follow at the lndian Hill Cemetery, Middletown. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Truman State University Foundation, McClain Hall 100, 100 East Normal, Kirksville, MO 63501-4221, for the Dr. Lucille Dillinger Woman Band Director Scholarship Fund. Published in The Hartford Courant on August 13, 2002
Indian Hill Cemetery
Created by: Ms. Clyde
Record added: Aug 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96206743
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