Death and Appreciation
In October of 1929, Annie Alexander planned to take her adopted son, Robert Alexander, to a local fair. At the time, she had a pneumonia patient who had been under her care. In her typical fashion, Dr. Annie stayed with the patient with pneumonia. She made her way home on October 10th and asked her housekeeper, Ona Pope, to send for her niece. Dr. Annie realized that she herself had contracted pneumonia. Remembering that her lungs had been damaged by tuberculosis, she must have known that her prognosis was not good.
Unbeknownst to her, Robert had been taken from school to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with polio. For five days, both patients were in separate hospitals, neither one knowing of the other’s condition. It would take months before Robert Alexander recovered, but Annie, the only mother he had ever known, succumbed after five days of illness on October 15th. Her service was held at First Presbyterian Church. The Charlotte Observer ran a prominent news article on her passing as well as an editorial praising her contributions to the city. Numerous friends and family attended and mourned the loss of this woman who gave tirelessly for others.
Annie Lowrie Alexander, 1864-1929
"Dr. Annie" was buried in Elmwood Cemetery. In her will, made shortly before her death, it is clear that she was as smart in finances as she was medicine. All of her nieces, nephews, brothers, and son were well provided for and a trustee and guardian had been arranged for Robert’s care.
The 1930 census showed her former household in good condition thanks to her forethought. Ona Pope, her long-time housekeeper, was listed as the owner of the house on 410 N. Tryon St., and Robert Alexander, 13, lived there as her ward. Among the lodgers is one Leora Perry, a woman whose profession is given as "Physician."