Mary Alexander: “We were put on this earth to help each other.”

Mary was born in the Ukraine and as a child immigrated with her mother, Polly, to South Porcupine, Ontario, Canada. Later she moved to Toronto where she began a courtship with Gary Alexander. The two were married and headed west, settling in San Francisco. Not long after, they bought their first home in Pacifica, a city Mary cherished her entire life.

Mary was always busy with a full calendar. Besides raising two young children and working, she was first to volunteer, always offering a helping hand or chauffeuring anyone in need. Driving children to cancer treatments was just one example of her humanitarian nature. Mary and husband Gary were active members of the Pacifica community. They were one of the very first families to sign up for the newly formed Pacifica Sea Lions swim team. Years of driving and carpooling to swim practices, meets and events followed. Many close friendships were forged along the way. Mary worked as a legal, executive and school secretary. One of Mrs. Alexander’s greatest joys was working with children in the Laguna Salada and San Bruno School Districts. She was also employed as a “banquet girl” at Nick’s Restaurant in Rockaway Beach, where one of her many tasks included jumping out of a cake.

After the family relocated to Millbrae in 1969, Mary continued as a tireless volunteer. The League of Women Voters was one of her favorite organizations. She spent countless hours delivering ballots, registering new voters and doing anything and everything to further election and political awareness. The “Canadian Women’s Club” also held a special place in her heart. Mary looked forward to her “duty” as Election Day poll worker at Meadows School in Millbrae. She stayed from dawn until well after dark. Donating blood was yet one more of her life’s missions. Her cumulative contributions were later measured in the gallons. As a result, she held high status at the American Red Cross. Her other interests included being a patron of the Arts, supporting theater groups, the Symphony, Opera, Ballet and Museums.

Mary’s hobbies included reading, politics and travel. She had a superlative green thumb and her garden bloomed incessantly. Her love and nurturing of animals and pets gave her great joy. Sheena, the prolific feline producer, contributed mightily to Pacifica’s early feline population. The Keeshonds Miss Muffet, Crystal and Keesha were faithful family dogs. Mary’s endless warmth, kindness, compassion and generosity defined her. She emanated a selfless attitude and healthy sense of humor. Mary touched so many lives, even complete strangers who crossed her path. Always positive, her goodness brought out the best in others.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Gary, and sister Olga. She is survived by daughter Roberta, son Marty, daughter- in-law Ela and the love of her life, grandson Adam. She is fondly remembered by family in Canada, Southern California, Maine, Israel, and friends far and wide.

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