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With profound sadness we announce the passing of our beloved Alexis Alexander Johnson, age 75. On December 23rd, due to complications from an undiagnosed Acute Myeloid Leukemia, her soul ascended, joining again to her Heavenly Father. It was her second battle with cancer, having survived 15 years prior. Even with this unexpected turn in her life-story, her creation, and her life, was a heavenly stroke of artistic genius and a brilliant victory for all.
Alexis was a devoted wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and friend; a positive, giving force, radiating life into the world. She had a distinct voice, that she expressed in many artistic endeavors including writing, painting, and arts & crafts. She was known for her interior decorating, which included exquisite table setting, down to the last detail. She prided herself on making gatherings special, creating wonderful family memories.
She was born, Alexis Carole Alexander on March 22, 1947 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to the late Helen Holt Alexander and John Henry Alexander. At an early age, she joined Goler Memorial AME Zion Church. She graduated from Atkins High School and then attended Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) from which she earned a bachelor of science in home economics. She subsequently earned her master’s degree in education at Memphis State University. In college, she became a lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Alexis married her loving college sweetheart, Joe Johnson, from Buckingham Virginia, who became her husband of 53 years. While Joe was building his career in the auto industry, he and Alexis were building a family. To this union, was born their first son, Wirt Meng, then three and a half years later, a daughter, Helen. For many years Alexis and Joe built a home full of love as they relocated to nine different states. On this journey, while living in Michigan, they welcomed twin boys, Larry and Wayne, into the family. Alexis was a loving mother who wisely and artistically inspired her children, guiding them to find their own voice. When her children approached adulthood, she worked in Human Resources and Training for the Department of Agriculture and then for what is now the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Radiant with kindness, thoughtfulness, and warmth, Alexis was dearly loved by her family and friends. She was rich in love, which she gave generously. She had an almost magical ability to make friends using her humor, touch, and effortless class. Those who had the privilege of knowing her would say “She never met a stranger.” Upon retiring to North Carolina, she became an engaged member of Pleasant Grove Church. She implemented a church tea, and while leading the church’s health ministry, was instrumental in forming an Alzheimer’s Summit. She was steeped in her faith, spending substantial time each morning in devotion and spiritual journaling.
As a cancer-survivor inspired to help others, she dedicated her time and energy to founding a Tennis For Life affiliate in North Carolina, which is a breast cancer support group. She traveled the world and her love of tennis took her to three of the four major tennis events, the US Open, Australian Open, and French Open. Plans to go to Wimbledon were paused due to the pandemic.
Alexis had a big and pure heart and loved the Lord, the church, and faithfully serving God. She was a member of Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) for the past twenty years, and was instrumental in inviting scores of others to join. She loved people and always looked for the good in each of them. Alexis lived a full life, much of which she shared in her book The Artistry of Life, and her second book The Artistry of Motherhood. She also co-authored with her daughter a children’s book titled From Boston To Chicago that is now used in a reading program in Chicago public schools. She lived an extraordinary life. Most of all she loved her family and instilled strong values and lessons of wisdom that will serve them well. She lives on in them.
Alexis is survived by her husband, Joe, brother John Alexander, daughter Helen and husband Kurt, sons Wirt Meng, Larry, and Wayne, grandson Holt, mother-in-law Isabelle Johnson, sisters-in-law Katie Fleming, Mary Harper, and Edna Carey, brothers-in-law Charles Johnson and Kim Mosely, a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews, and many amazing friends.
Public Viewing: 1:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Friday, December 30, 2022 at Lea Funeral Home, 2500 Poole Road, Raleigh, NC.
Funeral Service: 2:00 PM, Saturday, December 31, 2022 at Pleasant Grove Christian Church, 1528 Davis Dr, Cary, NC 27519
Visitation: 1:30 PM - 2:00 PM, preceding the funeral service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Tennis for Life as an expression of sympathy. Alexis founded Tennis for Life, a breast cancer support group, in North Carolina. Donations can be made here - https://form.jotform.com/223597119182966
For more information on Tennis for Life and Alexis’ impact there, please visit their website.