January 2019

OUR CLASSMATE Bruce McAlexander’s sister CHARLA passed away peacefully at home on January 1, 2019The funeral will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 10, at Pikes Peak Christian Church located at 4955 Bradley Road (about four blocks East of Main Street and Bradley Road) in Security. Founded in 1956, the church met in a small house on Morningside Drive and later built its first facility on land purchased on Aspen drive. In 2001 the church moved to the Bradley Road location, where it has been located to this day.

 

Born January 25, 1951, in Kansas, Charla McAlexander and her family moved to Security in 1956 when she was five years oldShe was raised in Security in the 1950s and the 1960s until she graduated from Widefield High School (WHS) in 1969. Although Bruce was the biological big brother of Charla, I was one of a few guys who had a big brother connection to Charla. She always was the little sister I would have liked to have when I was growing up in Security. I am the youngest of eight children, so I never knew what it was like to have younger siblings.

 

Charla was always fond of telling the story when she and I were in our teen years (she was 13, I was 16) when she wanted to learn how to kissTelling me that kissing was boring with boys her ageshe wanted to know if there was more to kissing than two people pecking their puckered lips. When I replied that kissing definitely could be more sensual than puckered lipsshe asked if I could show her what that was likeAfter our two-minute kissshe said she would never forget that technique and vowed to never again use the simple puckered-lips version used by boys her ageBy the time Charla and her classmate Joe Vallone (son of the Vallone Bakery owners in Security) began going steadyCharla taught him the kissing technique she learned from me. If I was running for public office in modern times, my candidacy probably would be destroyed if Charla disclosed the kissing technique she learned from me when we were teenagers in Security.

 

Charla married Larry Phair with whom they had two children, Lance Phair and Crystal (Crissy) Phair. She remarried in later years to Eric Bogren.

 

A few days before Charla died, I shared with Bruce a brief dream that I had a week beforeIn the dream, Charla and I were among several strangers walking around inside a brightly-lit cave when Charla walked up to a ledge far above the rest of us and she began waving to the rest of us who were standing on the cave’s dirt floor. Given that Charla was confined to a wheelchair the last eight months of her life, it was a bit strange that she was walking in my dream and she walked up to a ledge that was far above the rest of us. While dream analysts would have something to say about the symbolism of the bizarre dream, in retrospect it was Charla waving goodbye to me.

 

On the same day that Charla recently passed away on New Year’s Daylongtime family friend Sheryl Salmon Pyle (WHS Class of 1965) wrote the following:

My sister Darla and Charla were friends their whole life and I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not know the McAlexander family. TodayCharla went to meet her mom and dad and her BFF (Best Friend Forever) Darla in Heaven. Charla suffered greatly the past year as cancer returned to her body. Soon after she saw Darla for the last time, she lost her ability to walk and her husband and family did everything in their power to make the end of her life sweet. Please pray for this family as they have lost this beautiful woman. We have shed quite a few tears the past few months and some more today.”

 

Charlas husband Eric Bogren recently wrote: “Charla fought a long hard battle trying to beat a horrific cancer cell. Her treatments in Mexico did give her several more months to enjoy family and friends. If you recall, [in April 2018] the oncologist gave her only one month to liveI want to thank all of you for all the prayers for Charla. She is now at home with the Lord.”

 

In addition to being survived by her husband Eric, Charla is survived by her adult children Lance Phair and Crystal Phair Enriquez, her brother Bruce, her sister Claudiaand several grandchildren.

 

Please join me in extending condolences to the McAlexander family. For people who are unable to attend the funeral, condolences can be extended via email to our class website OR this email box and we will transmit them to the family. If you want to send an actual card via postal mail, address it to:

McAlexander

801 Hallam Ave.

Colorado Springs CO 80911

 

Please be sure to check our class website periodically for updates about the funeral. To access our class website, go to:

www.1966whs.com

 

Attached in JPEG format is a photo of Charla from the photo collection of family friend Sheryl Salmon Pyle.

 

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OUR LONGTIME TEACHER ALMA ADAMS passed away on December 23, 2018, in Colorado Springs. Known to many of us as Mrs. Adams when we were at WHS in the 1960sAlma Harris was born in March 1932 in Kansas and became Adams through marriage in 1954 when she was 22. In 1960 she and her family moved to Security, where Mrs. Adams lived the past 58 yearsThe teacher who taught English classes to many of us, Mrs. Adams continued her teaching career at WHS clear up to 1995 at which time she retired. After retirement, gardening and cats became her passions and she traveled to Europe and many parts of the U.S. She was preceded in death by her husband Van, who passed away in 1986. Mrs. Adams is survived by her son Todd and her daughter Holly, who was Mrs. Adams caregiver at the Adams family home in SecurityShe is also survived by her sister Hazel Skinner, brother Harvey Harrisgrandchildren as well as several nieces and nephewsMrs. Adams was interred next to her husband Van at Shrine of Remembrance in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 

As someone whose first language was SpanishI learned English at public school in Colorado Springs before moving to Security with my stepdad and Spanish-speaking mother circa 1957It was not until high school with Mrs. Adams that I truly learned the intricate details of the English languageand it was only from her that I was fully able to hone English speaking and writing skills.

 

At the time of our 45-year class reunion in 2011, our classmates Bruce McAlexander and Barbara Billingsley Massarano paid a visit to Mrs. Adams at the Adams family home in Security.

 

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Respectfully submitted,

 

Donnie Martinez

Known at WHS by stepfather’s surname Collier

Martinez is my birth certificate and legal surname

 

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