Mary Margaret (Susan) Alexander, architect and advocate for the disabled, died at Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, MD, on April 29, 2021, from complications of pneumonia and leukemia.
Sue was born on December 8, 1944, in Seattle, WA, to Mary Margaret Fox and William Henry Witt. She attended Washington, DC area schools, including Westbrook Elementary, BCC High School and National Cathedral School, as well as attending schools in the countries to which her father was assigned during his diplomatic career – Copenhagen, Denmark, Helsinki, Finland, Reykjavik, Iceland, and Cape Town, Republic of South Africa.
A talented artist, Sue studied architecture at Cape Town University. There she met and married a fellow architecture student, Douglas Alexander, a native of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia). Sue and Doug relocated to the Washington, DC area after Doug received a degree in Urban Planning from Harvard University.
After finishing her architecture degree at Catholic University, Sue began working for Washington area firms. Most of her work was done for Vlastomil Koubek, a Czech-born architect who designed and built more than 100 structures in the Washington, DC area. Sue’s most significant work for Koubek was designing the interior of the new Federal headquarters of the US Postal Service (1973), which is located near the National Mall.
Sue left full-time professional work to care for her family. After her daughter was diagnosed with special needs, she devoted much of her time to working for the rights of the disabled, especially young people. She became a member of the Arc of Montgomery County, which provided programs and living situations for the handicapped. She was a tireless fundraiser and often travelled to Annapolis to lobby and to testify for funding. One of her last acts was to secure the COVID vaccination for her daughter.
Sue is survived by Douglas, her husband of 53 years, her daughters Gillian and Heather, grandson Cyrus Alexander, and sisters Priscilla Witt, Dr. Charlotte Witt, and Virginia Witt.
In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, the family asks that a donation be made in Sue’s name to The Arc of Montgomery County Interland3.donorperfect.net/WebLink.aspx?name=E1648248&id=47
A memorial service may take place later in the year, after travel restrictions are lifted.
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