Dymphna Helena Maria Antonia Alexander-Nijpels, 73, died at her home in Lexington on October 2, 2019, after a short illness.

She was born on February 26, 1946, and, with a twinkle in her eye, expressed it was “exactly nine months after the liberation of her hometown,” Den Helder, in the Netherlands. Dymph was one of eight children born to Herman Johan Joseph Nijpels and Dorothea Hendrika Nijpelsvan Dijck.

As a young woman, Dymph traveled the world, working on the ocean liners of the Holland-America Line, before meeting her American husband, William Wise Alexander. His new position at Crowley Marine Services took them, together with their two children, back to the United States, where they settled in Lexington in 1988.

Soon thereafter, Dymph became the administrative assistant to the Department of Music at Washington and Lee University, a position she held for 25 years until retiring in 2013. She showed her dedication by going the extra mile for both faculty and students alike. And in her spare time, she enjoyed knitting, cooking, and spending time with friends.

After retirement, Dymph knitted, and knitted, and knitted some more. She was passionate about the Wednesday Night Knitting Society (WiNKS), a group of boisterous, loving, caring people who knit together. In memory of her husband, they knitted hats and gloves for the Seamen’s Church Institute. And as a board member of Project Horizon’s “Deck the Halls,” she collected many donations for the annual auction from local knitters, artists, and artisans.

Dymph’s honest, no-bull attitude was a source of strength and inspiration to many. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends. Dymph is preceded in death by her parents and brother Ton. Surviving are her children, Phillip Alexander and wife Susan; Dymphna Alexander Schad, husband Jake, and sons Alexander and Spencer; siblings Maria Miller-Nijpels and son Ralph; Frans Nijpels and wife Wil Nijpels-Kuiper; Herman Nijpels; Gert-Jan Nijpels, wife Roos Nijpels-Esposito, and son Max; José Rust-Nijpels, husband Chris, and son Rogier; and Hélène Minderhoud-Nijpels, husband Arian, and sons Bastiaan, Bram, and Joep.

On Sept. 8, Dymph hosted a “Celebration of Life” party where family and friends raised their glasses, sang songs, and expressed their love and affection for her. She will be remembered as the Dutch woman, who had a big mouth, but a bigger heart. There is a saying, “If people love deeply, there are no goodbyes, only farewells. For we will meet again.”

There will not be a memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Dymph’s favorite charities, Project Horizon (projecthorizon.org) or Hospice (rockbridgeareahospice.org).


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