Doris Ruth Alexander, 91, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at Westminster Presbyterian Church with Nick Garner, Associate Pastor, officiating. Burial will be at Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Doris was born December 15, 1928 to the late Ida P. Kreger Holmesly and James E. Holmesly. Doris received a Bachelor of Science degree from West Texas State University (now WTAMU) and a Master of Fine Arts from Texas Tech University.
For over 40 years, Doris’ passion for the arts garnered numerous awards and firsts for Amarillo and the surrounding communities. Her career and community involvement intertwined leadership and beauty. She founded and owned Las Pampas Fine Art Gallery in Pampa. In 1995, Doris was appointed by then Governor George W. Bush to a six-year term as Vice Chair to the Texas Commission; for the Arts. Doris designed and implemented the popular auto license plate ” State of the Arts” as a fundraising initiative to raise money for the Texas Cultural Endowment Fund. She and Laura Bush traveled the state marketing the plates for scholarships and endowments. These sales brought over 2.5 million dollars to the fund allowing for a wide recognition of young talent. In 2002, she served as President of Center City of Amarillo and Chair of Hoof Prints of the American Quarter Horse Association. This was her concept from the beginning after recognizing the importance of the AQHA headquarters in Amarillo. Doris was vice chairman of the board of Texas Legacies and twice named “Distinguished Volunteer” by the Golden Nail awards committee. She was also named the Distinguished Volunteer by the Women’s Forum in 2000. After a wide-reaching career touching all areas of the arts, a Professorship in Art was awarded to Mrs. Alexander by WTAMU. Doris was named the 2004 Amarillo Globe News Woman of the Year based on her years of passion and inspiration for the arts along with her outstanding leadership. She served as the Texas Tech University System’s arts committee chair for all campuses, selecting quality artwork for the School of Medicine and Allied Health building as well as the public art selections. She was also chosen as one of twenty women celebrated in the book, ‘Art of West Texas Women’ published in 2010.
Doris and her late husband, R. T. Alexander were formerly active in Hereford breeding on their historic Hemphill County ranch. She actively served as state president of the Texas Hereford Breeders Auxiliary, establishing a permanent art collection for the Fort Worth headquarters. In 2008, as a longtime supporter of the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, Mrs. Alexander developed “The Rider on the Rim Trail Ride” to raise funds to support their mission to preserve, record and recreate the story of the Texas Panhandle through the symphonic drama “TEXAS’ in Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
Doris is survived by two children, Grant R. Johnson and his wife Judith and Laura Johnson Smith, three grandchildren, Katie Johnson, Maggie Johnson, and T. K. Farris; one brother, Sterlin Holmesly; three nieces, Kay Neslage and husband Tom, Patty Black, Ann Thomas; one nephew, Joel Bookout; and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. on March 6, 2020.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Amarillo Museum of Art, WTAMU Fine Arts, The Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation or your favorite charity.