MARION E. “MIKE”
1919 FL – 2015 VA
Photo from AAFA files
Norfolk, VA—Monday, 19 January 2015
PORTSMOUTH—Dr. M.E. ‘Mike’ Alford died January 16, 2015.
He was born in Taylor Co., Florida on December
29, 1919, the son of William D. Alford and Jessie McHargue Alford. He received
a B.S. Degree in history and mathematics at Middle Tenn. State Univ. in
He returned to Florida to teach math and history
until he entered the Navy in World War II. After boot camp at the University of
Notre Dame, he was assigned to the Naval Midshipman School at Columbia
University in New York. He graduated from the Diesel Naval Engineering School
at the University of Illinois in 1943. Next stationed aboard the USS Bannock
based in Charleston, SC, he served in a variety of billets, the last assignment
as Executive Officer and Navigator as a LtCdr. He was involved in a number of
military engagements in both the Atlantic and Pacific; the D-Day invasion at
Utah Beach, the invasion of Okinawa and the naval operations at Iwo Jima.
After the war, he earned an M.A. Degree at
George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. He moved to Virginia, working
for Norfolk County as an elementary and high school principal, director of
instruction, and assistant supt. of instruction. He received a doctorate in
educational administration in 1958 from the University of Virginia. In 1960, he
became a professor at Peabody College in Vanderbilt, two years later moving to
Portsmouth, VA as President of Frederick College. Three years later he accepted
the position of Superintendent of schools in Portsmouth, where he remained for
nineteen years before retirement.
In 1984, he was selected as one of the top 100
executive educators in the U.S. and Canada. He was named as one of the three
most distinguished alumni of Middle Tennessee State University in 1986. He was
listed in Who’s Who of the South and Southwest; Who’s Who in American
Education, and the Dictionary of International Biography. He served on the
Board of Trustees of Norfolk State University, Ferrum College, the Salvation
Army Board, was Chairman of the Tidewater Community College Board and
participated in an international field study to the Soviet Union, sponsored by
the American Association of School Administrators. He held membership in the
American Association of School Administrators, Alpha Phi Omega, and Kappa Delta
Phi. He has served as President of the Rotary Club (a Paul Harris Award
recipient), President of the Ruritan Club of Great Bridge, Chairman of the Red
Cross Drive, Salvation Army Board, member of the Virginia Methodist Conference,
men’s Bible class teacher at McKendree Methodist Church in Nashville, TN, men’s
Bible Class teacher and lay leader at Oak Grove Methodist Church in Chesapeake.
He was last a member of St. Andrews Methodist Church in Portsmouth.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Eva
Davis Alford; son, William Andrew Alford, Sr. and wife Elaine; and two
grandchildren, William Andrew Alford, Jr. and Rebecca Luck; and numerous nieces
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday,
Jan. 21, at 11 AM in St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church by the Rev. J.W. Park
and Dr. Dan Phillips Abbott.
Burial will be in Albert G. Horton, Jr. Veterans
The family will receive friends at Sturtevant
Funeral Home, Portsmouth Blvd. Chapel on Tuesday from 5-7 PM. Contributions may
be made to St. Andrew’s UMC. www.SturtevantFuneralHome.com.
NOTES: SSDI records do not yet list his death.
We included the obituaries of his mother, Jessie
E. McHargue Alford; and sister Ouida Lucille Alford Whitehurst in Virginia
Obituaries; and of his brother Carl LaVerne Alford in Florida Obituaries.
His lineage: Marion E. 1919 FL1,
William D. 1893 NC2, William Franklin 1863 NC3, unknown4,
Samuel 1812 SC5.