Joel McAlexander, 86, of Hillsville, VA., died peacefully on Tuesday, January 29, 2013. Joel “Mac” was the youngest of six children born to John R. Martin and Cora Williams McAlexander of Meadows of Dan, Virginia. He lived on the family farm until he joined the US Navy during World War II at the age of 17. He served in England and on a destroyer in the Mediterranean, was discharged in June 1946, and returned home to finish high school. His many talents led him to be a farmer, truck driver, carpenter, deputy and finally a Virginia State Trooper for 31 years, serving as Sergeant in Sussex County for seven years. Hobbies included vegetable gardening, furniture and cabinet making, auto repair and always a bit of farming on the side. Mac was a faithful member and deacon of Hillsville First Baptist Church, a member of the Hillsville Masonic Lodge, and belonged to the VFW. Preceded in death by his wife, Madeleine, he is survived by two daughters, Brenda Hawthorne and Karen (Mike) Chan; three grandchildren, Anna, Lee and Roberta; nieces, nephews and grand- and great- nieces and nephews. Friends will be received Saturday, February 2 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. at Vaughan Guynn McGrady Funeral Home in Hillsville, VA, where a funeral service will follow at 2:00 with Rev. Jerry Keegan officiating. Interment will be at the McAlexander Family Cemetery, Meadows of Dan, Va. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Virginia State Police Association, Emergency Relief Fund, 6944 Forest Hill Avenue, Richmond, VA 23225, (804) 320-6272, http://vspa.org/ and Wheatland Hillsville Resident Activity Fund, 100 Kyle Drive, Hillsville, VA 24343, c/o Karen Worrell. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the nurses and staff at Wheatland Hills Assisted Living in Hillsville, Virginia. Dad, your love and guidance will be greatly missed! Vaughan-Guynn-McGrady Chapel is serving the family.
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