Lucie “Trudy” Smith Alexander, 72, of Fletcher, North Carolina entered the gates of heaven on January 18, 2019 after a lengthy struggle with pancreatic cancer.
Trudy was born to Thais Estelle Ray and Isaac Henry Smith II in Shreveport, LA, in 1946. She was extremely close with her maternal grandmother who helped to raise her, Lucie Leveque Ray. Many summers of her childhood were spent riding horses at her family’s camp in Plain Dealing, Louisiana. Although shy during adolescence, Trudy got lost in her vinyl 45 record collection, with Elvis Presley being her first crush.
She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Arts in Library Science. She briefly worked in Shreveport before moving to Houston after her first marriage. Her son, Stewart was born in 1970, followed by a daughter, Emilie, in 1973. Those early years of parenthood were dotted with late night card games with dear friends Bill and Naomi Harrison.
Trudy was an avid tennis player during her Houston years, where she met dear friends who planted the seeds of a lifetime of faith in Jesus Christ. It was through these Bible studies, surrounded by women who loved her, that Trudy developed lifelong friendships, sharing many years of joy together.
In 1991, Trudy reentered the work force by working part time at Logos Christian Bookstore and later, becoming an assistant librarian at Spring Branch Elementary School. These experiences led to her years as the school librarian for Grace School and Second Baptist School. She stated that revamping these libraries was the professional accomplishments of which she was most proud. Trudy loved books, painstakingly cataloguing every book she ever read, as well as those she intended to.
Never content to gather dust, Trudy discovered dancing during her early years as an empty nester. She overcame her shyness to find that she was a talented dancer, eventually competing in Houston swing dancing competitions. For the rest of her life, dancing would continue to provide a consistent source of joy.
In 1999, after reading an ad for a school librarian, Trudy moved to Asheville on a whim to work at Asheville Christian Academy. It was in the mountains of Western North Carolina that Trudy found her greatest joy, husband Marshall Alexander. Their 17 years together were filled with long bike rides, finding the best cheeseburger, and dancing with their dear friends in Hilton Head as part of the Hilton Head Island Carolina Shag Club, as well as the Mountain Shag Club in Asheville.
Trudy was a steadfast friend, festively celebrating all birthdays and holidays with zeal. She was loyal to her grandsons, who will remember her for instilling the love of reading (and ice cream shops) that they have to this day. Trudy was always ready for the next bit of fun - a road trip, a new hiking trail, or playing just one more game. She was never the first to call it quits, as she described herself, “I wanted to do it all.”
Trudy is survived by her loving husband, Marshall David Alexander; son Stewart Johnson of Jackson Hole, Wyoming; daughter Emilie Cunningham and husband Wes of Waco, Texas, and grandsons Truman Howard, Marco Valentine and Conrad Stewart; brother Isaac Henry Smith III and wife Darlene; brother Walter Herbert Soes; stepdaughter Christy Kennedy and husband Alex; stepson David Alexander and wife Cathy; and stepson Kevin Alexander and wife Jenifer, as well as six step-grandchildren. The family wishes to thank Trudy’s extended circle of support, including special friends Annetta Collins, Maggie Schlubach, and Karen Riser.
An evening visitation will be held at 6:00 PM on January 21, 2019 at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian, with the Pastor Alex Kennedy officiating. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery at 2:00PM on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Serving as pallbearers are Stewart Johnson, Wes Cunningham, and Truman Cunningham.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to CarePartners Hospice and Palliative Care and The North Carolina Arboretum.