Patricia Miller Alexander Nielsen

Published 11:59 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Patricia Miller Alexander Nielsen passed away at her home on Monday, June 10th, 2024, after a brief and courageous battle with cancer. Throughout her illness, she was comforted by a large community of family and friends who provided love, care, and encouragement throughout. She showed great strength and continued to show her grit and tenacity until the very end.

Patsy was born February 28th, 1939, the second child of the late Robert Oliver Alexander and his wife, Margarett Elizabeth Matthews, of Glasgow, Kentucky.

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From an early age, Patsy wanted to be involved in everything. She was a graduate of Glasgow High School where she excelled in numerous activities and developed lifelong leadership skills. The second of five Alexander siblings to attend Transylvania University, Patsy was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity Dream Girl, and Miss Transylvania. In the years following her graduation from Transylvania in 1961, her alma mater remained a consistent part of her life. In 1999, she was inducted into the Transylvania University Athletic Hall of Fame. She was also an active member of the Transylvania Women’s Club.

In 1961, Patsy enrolled at Indiana University where she earned a Master’s degree in Education and began her teaching career. In addition to her time in the classroom, Patsy served as a coach, a referee, a camp counselor, and an untiring mentor for countless young people – all activities that continued throughout her life.

Patsy proudly served on the Women’s Sports Committee at the 1963 NCAA National Convention, advocating for intercollegiate programs for women which lead to Title IX, to ensure that women have equal opportunities in sports in educational institutions receiving federal funds.

Patsy married her college sweetheart, Christian K. Nielsen, Jr., on August 22, 1965. The newlyweds settled in Great Neck, New York. During their time in New York, Patsy and Chris began their family with the births of their daughter, Andrea, and son, Erik.

Pat served the Jessamine County School System for more than 30 years. She served as a teacher and later Assistant Principal at Jessamine County High School and West Jessamine High School as well as Director at the Independent High School. After retirement, she continued to be a familiar face as a substitute teacher and was an active part of the Retired Teachers Association and as a member of the Jessamine County Education Foundation.

Pat was an integral part of Habitat for Humanity in building houses for those in need. An active member of the Rotary Club of Nicholasville, Pat embodied Rotary International’s motto of “Service Above Self.”

Following in the footsteps of her ancestors, Pat was a lifelong adherent of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), first in her formative years at First Christian Church of Glasgow. When she and Chris moved their family to Lexington, the couple became members of Crestwood Christian Church. Pat served in dozens of leadership roles and was an eager participant in numerous mission trips, youth and service activities.

Survivors include her daughter, Andrea Elizabeth Nielsen (Peter Menner), and her son, Erik Nielsen (Courtney Brown); two granddaughters, Lillie Nielsen and Kinley Nielsen; and step-grandchildren Bailey Menner, Emma Larimore, Maddie Larimore and Felix Menner; and a step great grandchild, Evie Hamm. She is also survived by her sisters, Pryntha Alexander Hardenbergh and Anna Alexander Wilson (Bobby Day) of Nicholasville; two sisters-in-law, Zara Alexander of Glasgow and Joan Chapman of Georgia; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to her parents, Pat was preceded in death by her husband, Chris in 2008; her brother, Robert M. “Buddy” Alexander; her sister Judy Belle Alexander Stokes; and her foster brother, Robert “Bobby” Chapman.

Friends and family are invited for visitation on Saturday, June 29, 2024, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Crestwood Christian Church, 1882 Bellefonte Drive in Lexington. A Celebration of Life service will begin at 2 p.m. followed by a reception, all at the church.

In lieu of flowers, suggested expressions of sympathy include contributions close to Pat’s heart: the Eswatini Food Program at or mailed to Global Ministries, PO Box 1986, Indianapolis IN 46206; the Rotary Club of Nicholasville Scholarship Program, mailed to 100 John Sutherland Dr, #1B, Nicholasville KY 40356; Habitat for Humanity, mailed to 317 N Main St, Nicholasville KY 40356; or the Jessamine County Education Foundation, mailed to PO Box 844, Nicholasville KY 40356.