The Association voted at the 2001 business meeting to open the Ashley Alexander Music Fund in order to honor Mr. Alexander and to support the future of the music program in Shidler Public Schools.
Ashley Alexander was born November 20, 1912 in Bladen, Nebraska, and came to Perry, Oklahoma with his parents in a covered wagon at the age of 2. Ashley grew up in the Perry area, attending the country schools and helping his parents on the farm. His early love was the piano, and at age 5, he started taking lessons. Since he had no piano at home, he drew the keys on cardboard boxes to practice.
Ashley attended college at Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa, and graduated from Central State University at Edmond where he was named Distinguished Former Student in 1973. His teaching years began at Willow Creek country school near Perry. Later, he was band director, teacher, and principal at Billings, band director at Marshall, Shidler/Webb City and Pawnee.
In 1957, he went to Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, where he became Director of Student Entertainers, managing many performances throughout the country and USO overseas tours for the military. Ashley remained active until his death on March 29, 2002, playing the piano at nursing homes and service organizations.
Mr. Alexander was the music teacher at Shidler and Webb City from 1940-1945. Mr. Alexander had a deep love for music and was a kind-hearted teacher that cared about each student he worked with. Mr. Alexander continued his music career after teaching by starting a non-profit corporation, the Ashley Alexander Association, in 1975, with his wife, Beverly. This Association enabled Mr. Alexander and his family to perform musically worldwide at nursing homes and other facilities in hopes of lifting spirits through the joy of music and ministry for 27 years. The Association is proud to have Alumni and former teachers like Mr. Alexander. He positively touched the lives of people both young and old.
When the Association contacted Mr. Alexander for his permission to open this fund he was elated and honored.
The Ashley Alexander Memorial Music Fund was officially opened and dedicated at the Association’s annual Business Meeting in 2002. Special thanks to all that contributed to this fund. Guidelines have been established for the use of these monies and the Association is prepared to disburse amounts for items as they are requested by the Shidler School music program. Please keep in mind that the continuation of this fund depends solely on your support. Because of our alumni, students will be able to “Carry on!!!” with the gift of music during their schooling.