On Sunday May 1st, at 91 years of age, Mickey Alexander shed this mortal coil.
Mickey loved being with people and she loved the arts, both high and low: she would weep with emotion at a performance of Swan Lake and weep with laughter at her grandson’s renditions of Monty Python skits.
She was, until recent years, a voracious reader, a collector of art, subscriber and patron of the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet and the Toronto Symphony.
Her greatest cultural love affair, however, was with Shakespeare. Smitten in high school, her appreciation deepened in university and was cultivated over decades through trips to the Stratford Festival and to England for productions, seminars and festivals celebrating the Bard. Mickey would re-read each play before seeing every production. Every time. She took Shakespeare courses, devoured books of Shakespeare criticism and collected Shakespeare kitsch.
She loved gardening and fresh-cut flowers, travel, sushi and Winnie the Pooh. She could boast of two holes-in-one, of conquering the Globe and Mail crossword each day and matching wits (or not) with Jeopardy contestants.
She also had a thing for owls.
And she hated her given name: Call her Mickey, Mom, Nana or Mrs., but call her Mildred at your peril.
Mom’s most outstanding quality was her devotion to family and friends, and maintained some friendships which began more than 70 years ago at the U of T.
She loved her two children, Rick and Heather and their partners, Maureen Meade and Paul Skeels, and adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Every Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving, Mom would send a card – usually a goofy one – to every grandchild, and birthdays of every family member and dozens of friends were marked with a card and a phone call.
Mom spent the last number of years housebound, her very active life curtailed by arthritis. She was fortunate for the tender care of support workers Maria Gabita, Sonia Macadaeg, BJ Exzel and, especially, Merly Aguilar, who has been attending to Mom’s needs with kindness and devotion for 10 years.
Mickey was pre-deceased by her husband, Gordon Alexander; her second love, Owen Grimbly, with whom she shared 25 years of laughter and adventure; and by her beloved grand-dog, Stella.
She is survived by her son Rick (Maureen Meade) and daughter Heather (Paul Skeels); grandchildren Kyle (Robin), Adrienne, Christan (Nick), Kirsha (Neish), Tracy (Matt), Sean, Michelle and David; and great-grandchildren Ella, Riley, Eva, Lauren, Keira, Hunter and Aria.
A funeral will be held at Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre on Thursday, May 5th. Visitation is at 10, a service at 11 and reception at noon. The funeral will be live-streamed, a link to access the livestream will become available at the top of this page at approximately 10:45 am.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Centres