Alexander was born on May 7, 1920, to parents Wlodzimiez and Zina Maller in Eastern Poland in the City of Kamieniec Podolski. Alexander after a long and fulfilling life passed away peacefully at home in Sacramento, California on December 7, 2020, at the age of 100 years.
Beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Alexander is survived by sons Andrew and Stephen, daughter Margaret, daughter-in-law Alfreda, son-in-law Stanley and granddaughters Clara and Helen. Alexander was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years Anna, daughter-in-law Yvonne and grandson Christopher.
During World War II as the Eastern Front moved westward across Poland, Alexander was drafted into the Polish Army. Since he was proficient in English he was assigned to a field telecommunications unit, at first as an operator and then as an instructor (all telecommunications equipment used by the Polish and Soviet Armies, at the time, was made in the USA and the operation manuals were in English). In late 1945, upon demobilization from the army Alexander found his parents and settled with them in Western Poland in the City of Szczecin and started his long search for his sweetheart Anna with whom he lost contact when the war started in September 1939.
After the war as institutions of higher learning started to function again, Alexander at the urging of his father enrolled in the Szczecin branch of the Poznan Business Academy in the fall of 1947. At about the same time he finally located his long lost love and they were married on August 20, 1948, in Szczecin. In June 1950, Alexander passed his final business school exams and graduated with a business degree from what was now renamed the Higher School of Business in Szczecin. Alexander realized, in communist Poland, a business degree held no real value and enrolled in the Szczecin School of Engineering in the fall of 1950. He took his final engineering school exams on February 8, 1954, and was granted a degree in Civil Engineering on February 25, 1954. Alexander immediately started an engineering masters program at the Szczecin Polytechnic University. He passed his masters program final exams on December 18, 1956, submitted his masters thesis in May 1957 and was granted a masters degree in Civil Engineering on June 6, 1957.
During his years of study, Alexander also worked as a layout designer for the City Architect’s Office rebuilding the war damaged city. Upon obtaining his first engineering degree Alexander started work in an engineering position at the State Building Design Office in Szczecin. He was quite a busy and ambitious man studying full time, working and raising a family all at the same time. But after surviving a vicious six year war, he always said he needed to make up for the lost years. Alexander also found time in 1961 to author and publish with one of his former university professors a 1,372 page technical book of Engineering Tables related to the heat exchange of boilers, pumps and engines.
In early 1962, seeking a better life Alexander immigrated to the United States with his wife and three young children and settled in Berkeley, California where his aunt’s family lived. Alexander immediately found work as a drafting technician at the Aladdin Heating Company in San Leandro, California. He was found to be a very competent and diligent worker and within one month was promoted into a designer’s position with a commensurate increase in pay. The company owner found out Alexander had no car and that it took him three hours and three bus transfers to get to work from Berkeley to San Leandro. The company owner, who lived in San Francisco, started stopping by in Berkeley and picking up Alexander before work and dropping him off after work.
Soon Alexander found out that the state of California was recruiting engineers to work on the California Water Project to build dams and canals to convey water from Northern to Southern California. Alexander took and passed the State’s Junior Engineer exam and in October 1962 was hired as a Junior Mechanical Engineer by the California Department of Water Resources in the Mechanical Design Branch. The new job turned out to be located in Sacramento and not wanting to interrupt his kids’ schooling for the second time in one year Alexander decided to move to Sacramento on his own and left his children and wife to finish out the school year in Berkeley. In the meantime Alexander commuted every weekend between Sacramento and Berkeley by Greyhound bus. Also, Alexander used the time to search and find a house for his family in Sacramento. When the school year ended Alexander moved his family to Sacramento in June 1963 to the home he found on 3rd Avenue in which he lived for the next 57 years till the day he passed away.
Alexander moved rapidly up the ranks at the Department of Water Resources. Within one year of being hired as a Junior Mechanical Engineer he was promoted to an Assistant Mechanical Engineer position. When he qualified for and passed the state of California Professional Mechanical Engineer license exam he was promoted to an Associate Mechanical Engineer position. Alexander was the lead mechanical design engineer on some of the most challenging and critical mechanical elements of the California Water Project. He designed the pumps and penstocks at Oroville Dam, Clifton Court Forebay, San Luis Reservoir and the Edmonston Pumping Plant. In 1973 when the California Water Project was completed the Department of Water Resources design branch went through a large reduction in force and Alexander transferred to the Department’s Electrical Utilities Branch where he took on the position of an Associate Electrical Utilities Engineer and worked on securing and improving the electrical power supply to the pumps and pumping plants he designed while in the mechanical branch. When he qualified for and passed the state of California Professional Electrical Engineer license exam he was promoted to a Senior Electrical Engineer position.
Some years later Alexander transferred to the Department’s Operations and Maintenance Branch where he qualified for and passed the state of California Professional Civil Engineer license exam. Thus Alexander achieved professional licensor in the three main engineering fields; mechanical, electrical and civil a feat accomplished by a very small handful of engineers. Later on Alexander returned to the Department’s Mechanical Design Branch as a Senior Mechanical Engineer from where he retired after 25 years of state service in May 18, 1987, shortly after his 67th birthday.
After retirement Alexander dedicated himself to some of his favorite activities; reading (he had a collection of over 2,000 books split evenly between Polish and English language books), remodeling his house, recording programs on cassette and VCR tapes (and as technology changed he moved on to CD-R and DVD-R discs) and his greatest joy playing with his grandkids and attending their school and after school functions. When Anna retired in 1989 they traveled the world visiting Europe, Africa, Australia, China, Mexico, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, the Holy Land and many other interesting places. Alexander and Anna shared a mutual enjoyment of travel and imparted that gift to their children and grandchildren.
Alexander was a longtime member of the Polish American Club of Greater Sacramento. Alexander donated many hours of service to the Club and enjoyed many celebrations and cultural activities with his family at the Polish Club. Alexander was especially proud when his granddaughters, Clara and Helen, would sing in Polish at various Polish Club festivities. Alexander was proud of his Polish roots and imparted his love for his cultural heritage to his children and grandchildren.
Alexander left his family and those who knew him many gifts. Alexander left his gifts of the love of reading and always learning new things. Alexander shared his appreciation for music, poetry and song and his love of travel and adventure. Alexander was an example of what hard work and determination can accomplish. He was always reading and no amount of books could satisfy his thirst. Alexander would take the time to help his children with their homework, no matter how late the hour or how tired he was after work. And there was always music playing in the house, or he was singing, or he was reciting poetry by heart. Alexander loved to watch historical and scientific movies, as well as listen to opera and watch Disney musicals with his grandchildren. And he loved to walk. Every workday, rain or shine, the neighbors would see Alexander walking to and from work. After retirement, Alexander and Anna would pack hand made lunches and take their grandchildren in strollers for day-long walk adventures.
Alexander and Anna promised to always be there for one another, and their life together was a true shining example of love and devotion. When Anna fell ill in early 2002 Alexander dedicated himself to care and watch over her until the day she passed away at home in February 2017. At that point, Alexander only had one more goal to accomplish in life and that is to reach 100 years of age which he did on May 7, 2020.
Alexander left us his gifts of time and moments shared together. A part of Alexander lives on in all of us that knew him.
Viewing will be held at Calvary Cemetery Chapel 7101 Verner Ave, Citrus Heights, CA 95621 on Saturday, August 14, 2021, starting at 10:00 AM followed by a funeral mass at the Chapel at 11:00 AM. Internment will follow immediately after Mass at the Cemetery.
Flowers can be delivered to Calvary Cemetery 7101 Verner Ave, Citrus Heights, CA 95621.