Hope Powel Alexander, beloved wife, mother and friend, died peacefully in her sleep at home on Thursday, January 17th, 2019. She was surrounded by her family at her death and was one week shy of her 94th birthday.
Hope was born on January 24, 1925 in Providence, RI. She was the daughter of Thomas Ives Hare Powel and Hope Hodgman Powel and was the sister of Adelaide Hare Powel Bitting and Thomas Ives Hare Powel, Jr., all of whom pre-deceased her.
Hope was married to Captain Richard Griffiss Alexander, USN Ret., and was the mother of Hope Griscom, Elizabeth Goddard, Katherine Field (all of Newport, RI) and Townsend Alexander (of Fairfax Station, VA). She leaves behind her husband, her four children and their spouses: Lloyd Griscom, Thomas Goddard, Tylor Field and Kathleen Alexander, as well as eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
From her childhood on in Providence, East Greenwich and Middletown, RI, Hope had a wonderful, long life. She attended the Wheeler School, Miss Porter’s School, and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1947. During World War II she was a “candy striper”, which was the name for volunteers working in hospitals. Married for 71 years to her husband, Richard, the great love of her life, Hope never lost her love for him or her enjoyment of being his wife. While her family was her primary passion and focus, she also supported many of the Navy families who were part of her husband’s ships, helping them to adjust to new environments and befriending the spouses of those on long deployments. She loved being a homemaker, caring for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and making sure that each member of her family and was loved, encouraged and supported. Her friends knew her as a warm and welcoming hostess, a support in hard times and a loyal companion. Her sense of humor, unflappable good spirits and ability to tackle anything put before her will long be remembered. Until the end of her life, she taught those around her how to grow old with grace, have faith in God and see the best in others.
Hope was a friend to many in the community. She was the Vice Regent from Rhode Island, Mount Vernon Ladies Association, from 1978 to 1996 and was elected Vice Regent Emerita upon retiring. She was a trustee serving both as Secretary and Second Vice President of the board of the Newport Historical Society from 2000 to 2009 where she was instrumental in establishing its Museum Shop and playing a major role in the financial and programmatic turnaround of the institution beginning in 2005. Hope served at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT as a trustee from 1975 to 1979, member of the Alumnae Board from 1970 to 1973 and on many other committees over the years. Hope was a member and former President of the Newport Garden Club, and was a member of Spouting Rock Beach Association, Redwood Library & Athenaeum, Newport Art Museum, Preservation Society of Newport County, The National Society of the Colonial Dames in America and St. Columba’s Church.
Her family invites you to remember the many acts of kindness she showered on those she knew and to pass on her spirit of fun and dedicated service to others in your communities. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Newport Historical Society, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI 02840, Mt. Vernon Ladies Association, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22309 or to a charity of your choosing.
A celebration of Hope’s life will be on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 11:00 AM at St. Columba’s Chapel, 55 Vaucluse Avenue, Middletown, RI.