2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Dearing, Burton, Thomas, Gordon, Gollott, Chaney, Albritton, Browning, Butler, Carmichael, Clarke, Davis, Doxey, Frazier, Harvey, Hyde-Smith, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Jordan, King, Kirby, Little, Mettetal, Nunnelee, Pickering, Robertson, Ross, Walls, White

Senate Concurrent Resolution 554

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, the Mississippi Delta and the State of Mississippi lost a great leader with the death of former State Senator and President Pro Tempore, William Brooks Alexander, on Thursday, January 19, 2006; and

     WHEREAS, a native of Cleveland, Mississippi, Alexander served in the Mississippi State Senate from 1960 to 1984.  He was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee for eight years and was President Pro Tempore of the Senate from 1976 to 1984; and

     WHEREAS, former Representative Charlie Capps, Jr., said he remembers working alongside Alexander and that the Senator was a champion for the Mississippi Delta; and

     WHEREAS, Senator Alexander had a strong conservative philosophy.  Among the important bills and resolutions that Senator Alexander introduced were constitutional amendments to permit the sheriff to succeed himself and to separate the sheriff's office from that of the tax collector, a constitutional amendment creating a lay State Board of Education, and prohibiting the use of Medicaid funds for performing abortions; and

     WHEREAS, during his eight years as President Pro Tempore, he served 80 days as Acting Governor; and

     WHEREAS, when Alexander was not dealing with legislation, he was practicing law in Cleveland.  He practiced law with his father, W.B. Alexander, J.C. Feduccia, Robert Johnston and his son, Brooks Alexander, from 1948 until 1997, when he retired from active law practice.  Many people were unaware that Alexander was a candidate for the U.S. Congress in 1966; and

     WHEREAS, Senator Alexander was born on December 23, 1921, in  Boyle, Mississippi, to W.B. Alexander and Vivien B. Alexander.  He attended Boyle schools for 12 years.  He played left halfback and called signals for the Boyle High School Football Team; and

     WHEREAS, Alexander was an Eagle Scout in Troop #23 at Cleveland and Troop #2 at Boyle.  He also received the Badge of Bronze Palm, which is a step above the Eagle Award; and

     WHEREAS, he attended Mississippi College from 1940 to 1946 as an enlisted man.  His overseas duty was in New Guinea, Leyte Island, Mindoro Island in the Philippines and Korea during the war.  Upon his discharge, he entered the University of Mississippi Law School and graduated in June 1948.  After graduation, he joined the law firm of Alexander, Feduccia and Alexander; and

     WHEREAS, he was a member of the First Baptist Church of Cleveland since 1948.  He was a teacher of 12-, 13- and 14-year old boys for about 10 years, and he was a teacher of the men's Bible Class for 30 years.  He was a Deacon for 25 years, a four-time Chairman and was a member of the Pastor Search Committee in 1996.  He was also Moderator of the Bolivar County Baptist Association for one year; and

     WHEREAS, Senator Alexander was past President of the Mississippi Heart Association and Director of Delta Council.  He also served on the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and he was a former member of the Mississippi College Board of Trustees for 18 years.  Alexander was past State Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Director of the Mississippi Economic Council.  Alexander was a member of the Cleveland Exchange Club for over 50 years, was recently honored for all his years as an active member, and was also a past president for the organization.  While in the Senate, he was selected as the Outstanding Legislator in 1975 by the Mississippi Bar Association; and

     WHEREAS, Senator Alexander was also a strong supporter of Delta State University.  He authorized a bill in the Legislature that allowed Delta State College to be renamed Delta State University; and

     WHEREAS, after his retirement from law practice, Alexander organized and became the first Chairman of Sav-A-Life of Cleveland, which is an organization that encourages pregnant women to avoid abortion, and teaches abstinence; and

     WHEREAS, he is survived by his wife, Belle McDonald Alexander, of Cleveland; three sons:  William Brooks Alexander III and his wife, Cathy of Mobile, Alabama; John Marshall Alexander and his wife, Melissa, of Oxford, Mississippi; and Jason McDonald Alexander and his wife, Chakras, of Florence, Mississippi; a daughter, Grace Alexander Bluerock and her husband, Scott, of Dayton, Ohio; two sisters, Narcissa Richardson of Madison, Mississippi, and Antionette Myers of Richmond, Virginia; a brother, Richard Alexander of Tampa, Florida; and eleven grandchildren; and

     WHEREAS, Senator Alexander's public service was exemplified by sound judgment and firmness and he set the highest standard in all of his many roles, as a father, husband, lawyer, citizen, statesman and leader in the Mississippi State Senate:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and legacy of public service of former Senator and President Pro Tempore William Alexander of Cleveland, Mississippi, and express to his family the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Senator Alexander and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.