Donald Z. Alexander

   Donald Z. Alexander (Don), son of the late Alexander Zivich and Victoria Havran was born on September 26, 1936, in East Chicago, Indiana where he lived until he graduated from Roosevelt High School. Don enjoyed summers at the family lake house with many first cousins, including Bernardine  “Bunny” Baum, and the late Pete Baum.

  Don attended Indiana University where he earned a degree in business management and was a proud member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, acquiring the nickname “DAZ”. Don loved acting and performed in the Jordan River Review. Following graduation in 1958, Don joined the U.S. Navy serving our country in the Vietnam War. During his time in the Navy, Don was aboard the ships the USS Toledo, USS Fort Marion and the USS Ponchatoula, and ultimately achieved the rank of Lieutenant.

   In December 1962, Don met Joan Velis (Jody) and her five-year-old son Tom and asked her to marry him the day he met her. She made him wait one year before she said yes, and they were married on December 21, 1963, at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago. Don always bragged that he got a “two-for” – a wife and a son all at once.

  While stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, Don and Jody were blessed with a daughter, Vanessa, in 1965. Don and Jody were among a small group of founders of the first Orthodox church on Oahu. Upon Don’s honorable discharge in 1968, the family moved to the mainland, took the surname “Alexander”, and built a home in Elmhurst, where Don lived until he fell asleep in the Lord just four months after Jody, his bride of 60 years. In this life, Don was always late; Jody waited for him all the time, but four months was the longest.

   Out of the Navy, Don was hired as a salesman for IBM. Year after year he was recognized for selling the most Correcting Selectric typewriters, earning the IBM Hundred Percent Club award. In 1976, Don earned an MBA from Roosevelt University before leaving IBM to become a stockbroker and financial advisor. In 1984, Don founded Don Alexander Investments, Inc. and provided personal service to his clients until he retired at the end of 2016. His firm earned the prestigious recognition of being named a Five Star Wealth Manager.

  In 1991, Tom married Stacey Smid; and in 1996, Vanessa married Jim Clohessy. The family continued to grow when Don became a pappou with the birth of his grandson, James (who called him “Poo”), and granddaughter, Joanna. Don loved to spend time with family, and his favorite thing to do was swim in his pool with his grandchildren. He taught them to swim and delighted in competing in swimming races with them. The prize was an olive from his vodka martini!

   Don was a member and past president of the Elmhurst Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, and proudly wore his Vietnam Veteran cap every day, everywhere, and his American flag pin on his lapel. Don was a founding board member and secretary of the Elmhurst Art Museum for nearly 20 years and served as an Elmhurst Fire and Police Commissioner.

   Don was a proud second-generation Hoosier and was a lifetime member of the Indiana University Alumni Association. Don was delighted when Vanessa graduated from IU and was ecstatic when his granddaughter Joanna told him in January that she was accepted to IU and would be attending in the fall.

   Having been baptized and raised in a devout Catholic home, Don embraced the Orthodox faith and was chrismated at Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church by Father William Chiganos, of blessed memory. Don and Joan were members of the couples ministry, Synaxis, and were blessed to take two pilgrimages to the Holy Land. It was a great honor for Don to be a godfather, when Tom’s best friend and Don’s vice president, Don Singleton was chrismated in the Orthodox faith in 1995. Don and Don enjoyed breakfast weekly to the very end.

    Don and Jody suffered the tragic loss of their son, Tom, in 2019.

    Don is survived by his daughter Vanessa Clohessy (Jim), his grandchildren James and Joanna Clohessy, his daughter-in-law Stacey, his sister-in-law Esther Velis, his godson Don Singleton, and many loving cousins.

   Visitation was on Wednesday, May 22, followed by the funeral service at Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, 2501 S. Wolf Rd., Westchester, IL. Interment at Chapel Hill Gardens West Cemetery, Oakbrook Terrace, IL.

    For info. Elmhurst Community Funeral Home – THE AHLGRIM CHAPEL (630) 834-3515 or