Prison and RAF chaplain, Piper Alpha priest, Peterhead councillor and Aberdeen and Orkney canon, the Rev James Douglas Alexander has died at 94.
The Moray-born minister, who served Aberdeen Diocese for 45 years, was following the family tradition in engineering until an encounter with God on his wedding day changed his life forever.
The third of four children, he was born in 1927 in Lossiemouth.
But a job move for his father just before the outbreak of the Second World War saw him exchange Scotland for London’s East End docks.
By 14, he had entered the construction industry.
As a teenager, he fell in love with secretary Moreen Morriss at a youth club. On July 16 1949, both aged 22, the pair married.
The union lasted 58 years until Moreen died in 2007.
But it was the preparation for their nuptials that changed their lives – after 14 years in engineering, Mr Alexander left to serve the church.
On December 21 1958, aged 31, he was ordained as an Anglican deacon and he took up his first post in Scunthorpe where second daughter Rachael, sadly now deceased, was born.
It was here he first began chaplaincy work, serving nearby RAF bases.
In 1969 the family moved to Peterhead, starting
45 years in the Scottish Episcopal Church in Aberdeen Diocese.
In 1976 he accepted what would become a 20-year post at St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Aberdeen.
Mr Alexander led services well into his 80s, but it was caring for those in times of tragedy that left a profound mark on the minister.
In 1988, when 167 men lost their lives in the Piper Alpha disaster, he was the Anglican Church respondent. St Mary’s Church was open 24/7 for families to pray and mourn.
Mr Alexander is survived by daughters Helen and Kathryn, grandchildren Ruth and Callum, and great-grandchildren Damon and Bailley.
Daughter Helen added: “He died very peacefully, his life’s work done.”