BANGS — Several Bangs residents say they not only lost a friend, the community also lost one of its most civic-minded residents when former Mayor C.B. Alexander died Sunday in an Abilene hospital.
His funeral will be held at 10 a.m. today at Bangs First Baptist Church.
“He was a good friend and an outstanding neighbor,” Donnie Findley of Thrift Mart Foods said Tuesday. “It’s going to be tough without him.”
Findley said he has known Alexander, who was 64, since before either of them started school in Bangs; They grew up to become neighbors one door down — for 37 years.
“He was a real good person, someone who cared for his family and his community,” Findley said. “He was a civic-minded person, and he certainly will be missed. And everything I can say about him goes for Lenora (his wife), too.”
Alexander worked for Sears for 25 years, and served as Bangs mayor from 1993 to 2005. During his terms in office, lighting was added at Bangs City Park, citywide cleanup programs were instituted and grants were obtained to upgrade the city’s water and sewage systems.
Most recently, he was instrumental in attracting Dollar General to build a store in east Bangs, friends said.
“I think he did the city a big service,” council member Marisa Craddock said. “I think 12 years is a long time to be mayor anywhere. It’s a honor. He must have had the trust of a lot of people. He will missed by many.”
“C.B. was a good man,” Jimmie Ellis of Ellis & Son Feed said. “He really cared for the community, and he loved the City of Bangs.”
Alexander was appointed to the school board of the Bangs Independent School District at a time when the board was expanding its members. Interim Superintendent B.J. Rankin was principal at the junior high school then.
“C.B. had a good, commonsense approach to his decision-making,” Rankin said Tuesday. “He kept the kids first in every decision he made.”
Rankin said Lenora Alexander had worked as a teacher’s aide at Bangs school, and that now, both their daughters — Melissa Calaway and Cillena Guthrie — are teachers there.
“We all understood it was a quick-acting illness when they found out about it four or five months ago,” Rankin said. “It is quite a loss.”
Alexander was a charter member of the Bangs Mayfest Committee, the community’s signature festival each spring. He also had served as training officer for the Bangs Volunteer Fire Department
Mark Bessent, Bangs city attorney, said, “He was just a really nice guy. It’s a shame that’s he’s gone. I think he was mayor for 12 years. Obviously, he had some bumpy times. He probably had a pretty good idea to keep things unified and help the city.”
Council member Rick Gravell said that while he and Alexander disagreed on lots of things, “I respected him for what he did for the community. He did a lot of good stuff.”
Findley said Alexander was the type of person who would mow the their yards while neighbors were on vacation, and he often came over to help him with projects around the Findley house.
“I’m not a carpenter, and sometimes I’d show him something I was working on, and he’d say, ‘I don’t like the way that looks. Let’s try this.’ I guess half the stuff at our house is something C.B. had a hand in. He was very talented. I watched his kids grow up, and both of them worked at the (Thrift Mart) store — Melissa working longer, from high school through college.”
Findley added that even though Alexander was always willing to help the community, he wasn’t expecting a pat on the back.
“He didn’t look for the glory,” Findley said. “He was just that type of guy.”