Au Sable fly fishing guide, judge, war hero, conservationist, chef George W. (“Heap”) Alexander III, 69, died February 23, in an Ann Arbor hospital where he’d been a patient for around five weeks. It was the first time he’d ever spent a night in a hospital.
[Read North Woods Call editor Glen Sheppard’s tribute,
in The RIVERWAATCH – Issue #34.]
Though George served the Anglers of the Au Sable as director for only six years (five of which were as vice president), he contributed vastly to the organization’s underpinnings. For many years, George used his negotiating powers and knowledge of people to further the Anglers causes in a variety of forums, both official and casual. Always seeming to be on the go, George could be counted onto get the tactical business of the organization done, and done well—especially during the busy season when president Rusty Gates was keeping Gates Au Sable Lodge at full tilt.
Along with Bernie Fowler, George founded what we call The Rapid Response Tree Recovery Project. The pair would be ready at a moment’s notice to respond to a fallen tree in one of the Au Sable’s three branches, recovering the tree for residual use as trout cover or bank stabilization. This project, which kept the two on the run for the better part of seven years, won them the Riverkeepers of the Year for 1997. George was a regular contributor to The RIVERWATCH.
For all that he was to the river, for all that he was to those who were close and dear to him, for all those that he touched in his unique way, George Alexander will be sorely missed as a sportsman, conservationist and friend.
[Read Dick Daane’s tribute to his great friend,
George W. (“Heap”) Alexander III: A Personal Memoir,
in The Riverwatch – Issue #34.]