LuAnn Allen Alexander, the longtime resident of Edinburg, Texas, passed away the day after her 84th birthday on August 23, 2018. She was surrounded by her family and loving caregivers at John Knox Village in Weslaco.
Born in Mission in 1934 to the late Ray and Lucile Allen, LuAnn led an extraordinary life as a teacher, tennis coach, florist, community servant and mentor to thousands. She never took "no" for an answer, especially when she knew that a "yes" could benefit others.
While at Edinburg High School, Luann played tennis and was named Most Athletic Female in her class. In 1951, LuAnn and her doubles partner, LaDonna Yancey, were the only female athletes representing Pan American College at the time. In 1953, the tennis team won a Big State Conference Championship. More than anything, LuAnn loved to win.
Upon graduation, LuAnn joined Edinburg CISD. Over the next 42 years, she taught physical education, health, and driver's education while coaching tennis at the Junior High and High School levels. She became the varsity tennis coach for Edinburg High School in 1987. For the next seven years, all of her teams qualified for the UIL Regional meet. Most importantly to her, many of those players earned athletic scholarships and graduated to become professionals and community leaders in many fields including medicine, law, and government.
During her career as an educator and coach, she was also the regional coordinator for Girl Scouts of America, earned two Masters Degrees and assisted in the family floral business, Allen Floral by Betty. LuAnn was an organizer of United States Tennis Association tournaments such as ZATs and Major Zone events. As a USTA referee and umpire, she helped hundreds of tennis players attain state rankings, making them better prospects for scholarships on the college level.
She retired from Edinburg CISD in 2000. She continued as an organizer in the South Texas Tennis Coaches Association and the Texas Tennis Coaches Association.
Throughout her life, LuAnn was an avid tennis player and enjoyed league and tournament play. Most importantly, she enjoyed the companionship of dear friends she met through the sport of tennis. In her retirement, she broke her hip diving for a forehand volley. No one who knew her was surprised to hear that she won that last point she played.
Her awards and recognitions were numerous. LuAnn was the 1974 Edinburg Daily Review Woman of the Year and 1995 inductee to the Texas Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame. She was a member of the 2011 UT-Pan AM Athletics Hall of Fame and the 2015 Rio Grande Valley Athletic Hall of Fame.
Her legacy lives on today in the LuAnn Alexander Tennis Academy which provides tennis instruction for young players across the Rio Grande Valley.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph L. Alexander and her sister Sheila Ray Allen. She is survived by her loving sister Betty Allen Cox, sister-in-law Sandra Alexander and brother-in-law, Charles Alexander. Her children Sharon Alexander, Ralph L. Alexander Jr. and Cynthia Alexander Dubose along with her husband David DuBose will remember LuAnn with great affection and humor. She is also survived by nieces and nephews: Allen Spelce, Cile Spelce Elley, Cheri Cox Polumbo, Edward Cox, Jr, Carrie Alexander Sheppard, Tara Alexander, Karen Alexander and Joy Alexander Neuman. LuAnn is also survived by cousins Bob, Pat, and Steve Kristek.
Donations to the LuAnn Alexander scholarship fund at UT-RGV are welcome.
To read the full obituary, please click here: https://www.mccalebfuneralhome.com/obituary/269787/Lu-Ann-Alexander