By Tony Parra
PNT Staff Writer
The local dances weren’t just for hip wiggling for the social, gentle and charismatic Calvin Alexander, family and friends said.
Alexander, who died on Jan. 19 at the Roosevelt General Hospital, was fond of meeting new people.
His daughter, Betty Jo Dever, said her father stressed honesty and work ethic above everything else.
“He was real outgoing,” Dever said. “There has always been one thing he believed in, even when we got older. He believed in keeping your word.”
Alexander was born on April 4, 1919, in Honey Grove, Texas, to Ida May and Fletcher Alexander. According to family members, he spent most of his life in Portales.
“He firmly believed in honesty,” Dever said. “The family believed there should be no lying.”
Calvin met his first wife, Mickey Alexander, in New York when he was in the service, according to Dever. Calvin was in the U.S. Army during World War II and served as a guard for President Franklin D. Roosevelt at his residence.
Calvin married Mickey on Sept. 18, 1943, in Millbrook, N.Y. They moved to Portales around 1950. They were together for 57 years before she died.
“He was very good with kids,” Dever said. “His two youngest kids were involved in Little Wranglers. He was very much into it.”
Dever said Calvin worked as a truck driver and even after he retired, he started a junk-yard business and raised a herd of goat, which Dever and her husband, Jerome, take care of now.
Calvin met his second wife, Shirley “Corky” Kalin Alexander, in a senior citizens’ dance in Melrose, according to Shirley.
“We had a good time at the dances,” Shirley said. “He always treated me real well. He was a real gentleman and a sweetheart. He was a man’s man.”
Shirley said they would attend dances in Melrose, Portales and Clovis. She said his knees would hurt at times but he still enjoyed the dances.
“He would enjoy visiting with people when he wasn’t dancing (at the dances),” Shirley said. “He had no enemies. We had 16 real good months together.”
Shirley said Calvin enjoyed watching Westerns and country music stations. He also enjoyed dancing to country music.
“He was a real intelligent man,” Shirley said. “He was self-taught and he knew a lot about the country music entertainers.”
Shirley said her daughter, Calvin’s step daughter, Mary Kay Kalin, thought the world of Calvin. Family members said Calvin enjoyed fishing, also. Betty said he would travel to Elmer, Okla., and fish with his sisters and nephews, who lived there.
Name: Calvin R. Alexander
Born: April 4, 1919 in Honey Grove, Texas to Ida May and Fletcher Alexander.
Died: Jan. 19 at the Roosevelt General Hospital.
Family: Wife, Corky Kalin Alexander of Portales; a son, Tim Alexander of Scottsdale, Ariz.; a stepson, Tim Kalin of Clovis; three daughters, Betty Jo Dever (and husband, Jerome) of Portales, Pam Gaines (Kenny) of Fort Worth, Texas, and Beverly Walker (John) of Ruidoso; a stepdaughter, Mary Kay Kalin of Portales; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a brother, Dean Alexander of Spokane, Wash.; two sisters, Lorene Fullbright of Comanche, Texas and Marcella Magness of Elmer, Okla.; and Jay Johnston of Elmer.