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Marion E. "Mike" Alford




AAFA #0004

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 Murfreesboro, TN.

            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 and nephews.

            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 Cemetery.

            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.


AAFA 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.