Anne M. Alexander
Born January 16, 1884 in Galesburg, Illinois, Anne Mac Kay married Judd Alexander on February 10, 1919 in Pasadena, California.
Anne was very active in the Wausau community volunteering her time and offering frequent financial support to the Red Cross, the Hospital board, the YWCA, the Wausau Woman’s Club, First United Methodist Church and the Wausau Public Library Board--on which she served for 43 consecutive years! Anne also was very supportive of Wausau area youth organizations including the Drum and Bugle Corps, Future Farmers and 4-H.
When Anne MacKay Alexander died January 10, 1977, her loss was felt throughout the Wausau community—perhaps in different ways. The loss was, of course, immediate and very emotional for anyone who knew her personally—but more gradual and subtle for those who indirectly benefitted from her extraordinary volunteer service and philanthropic ways. Many Wausau residents never knew about the leadership Anne Alexander provided in helping Wausau improve its quality of life. In fact, Anne served as president of the charitable Walter Alexander Foundation for many years after the death of her husband, Judd in 1948. In 1973, she established The Judd S. Alexander Foundation to honor her late husband and to ensure that the philanthropy of the Alexander family would continue well into the future.
A Wausau Daily Herald reporter once referred to Anne Alexander as “boundless generosity.” An editorial written shortly after her death read: “Those who knew her well were very aware of this constant concern for others. She expressed her empathy and generosity in so many ways that all who came in personal contact with her considered her to be a most remarkable human being.”
Few people knew how benevolent Anne Alexander was and the important role she played in so many community projects and activities, and that’s just the way she wanted it. When organizations tried to recognize her or the foundations she presided over by listing her or the family name on donor lists, Anne would insist they simply state, “Anonymous. “ To explain her philosophy on philanthropy, she often quoted Matthew 6, verse 2: “Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee…”
Perhaps “My Prayer,” written by Anne Alexander, herself, just three years before her death and read at her memorial service, best describes what this generous, kind and most respected lady was really like:
“Dear God, it is getting late. I am on my way to You. I pray for guidance and strength to help others on my way out. I have erred and fallen short—too busy to heed Thee, too contented to need Thee—forgive me. I have had a wonderful and abundant life, good relatives and good friends—good times. Thank You. Please — a safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at last. Thank you and Amen.