Midwest Adman James Alexander Dies at 81

Founded B-to-B Agency With Clients Such as Dow, Steelcase

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Midwest advertising executive James S. Alexander died of heart failure last week in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was 81.

Mr. Alexander was the founder of Alexander Marketing Services, a business-to-business advertising agency with offices in Grand Rapids and Chicago. Among the company's clients during Mr. Alexander's tenure were Dow Chemical and Steelcase.

Born in Grand Rapids, Mr. Alexander received a bachelor's degree in engineering from Purdue University. He went on to serve in the Army during World War II and then started his career by founding a successful model-railroad company with his brother. After selling Alexander Scale Models, Mr. Alexander went on to various jobs before founding Alexander Marketing Services.

Civic leader
Mr. Alexander was also a noted civic leader. He founded the West Michigan chapter of the Business Marketers Association and co-founded the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal, a nonprofit educational institute based in Mecosta, Mich. He also served as director of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, an educational organization in Grand Rapids, and secretary of the Chandler Woods Charter School in Belmont, Mich.

Mr. Alexander married Marianne Helko of Detroit in 1955. After they divorced in 1974, he went on to marry the former Mary Osborne, who died in 2002 after 26 years of marriage. Mr. Alexander is survived by three sons from his first marriage and six grandchildren.
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