Alex Edward Booth
Alex Edward Booth
  • September 21, 1925 - August 17, 2017
  • Stuart, Florida

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Dr. Alex E. Booth, Jr., of Stuart, Florida, died in his home with his adoring wife, Katherine, by his side on August 17, 2017. He was 93 years old. He is coming home to be laid to rest in the town of his birth, Kenova, West Virginia.

Dr. Booth is preceded in death by a wife, Permele Francis Booth, and survived by his beloved wife, Katherine Sawyer Booth and her two daughters.

Alex was born September 21, 1925, in Kenova, West Virginia, the only child of Alex Sr., and Roxanna Booth. As valedictorian of Kentucky Military Institute, Alex received a prestigious appointment to become a West Point Cadet at only 17 years old. After transferring to the University of Chicago in 1945, he learned of his father's debilitating illness. Alex left the University of Chicago, after only one year, during which time he completed what would ordinarily be a four year degree track. Alex received a Ph.B. from the University of Chicago, graduating in 1946 with honors and all A's.

Alex was only 20 years old when he came home to run the family coal business. By the time he turned 25, he had built a multimillion dollar corporation, serving as President of the Booth Coal Company and the Wise County Coal Corporation. Recognizing the importance of education to lift people out of poverty, Alex established the Booth Scholars program, providing countless young people in Kenova with college preparatory classes, personal computers, and the opportunity to travel abroad. Many of the Booth Scholars now serve in the most honorable professions because of Alex's loving generosity. He provided over 7000 people in West Virginia and Florida with scholarships to nursing school. Celebrating his generosity, Marshall University, Davis and Elkins College, and Pikeville College have buildings named in his honor. Alex received an honorary Doctoral Degree from Davis and Elkins College in 1993. Passionate about raising the quality of life for the elderly in West Virginia, Alex built fourteen nursing homes, beginning with the Roxanna Booth Manner, in honor of his mother.

Alex was a devoted trustee of the Huntington Museum of Art. Laboring alongside the renowned German architect, Walter Gropius, Alex worked to build an art Museum which rivals the finest of such in America's largest cities. In honor of his friend the architect, Alex funded the establishment of the Walter Gropius Master Artist Workshop series. The Huntington Museum of Art treasures many of the finest examples of modern art donated by Alex Booth.

Alex's great passion in life was to support the growing Church in Sub-Saharan Africa. Having made numerous expeditions to Africa, Alex believed that the African Church needed to develop her own leadership from within, rather than continuing to depend upon American missionaries to fill the leadership void. Developing partnerships with protestant denominational leaders in eleven different African nations, Alex supplied them with the financial resources needed to develop excellent leadership. The Booth Leadership Initiative was established by Alex as the vehicle through he focused his passion for the African Church. Since the establishment of BLI 40 years ago, Alex has funded theological education for over 15,000 African pastors, as well as the construction of over 20,000 churches. His generosity has reached millions of people with the love of Jesus Christ, and will for years to come.

Alex was a faithful husband who dearly loved his wife, and over the course of their marriage, Alex and Katherine traveled the world celebrating their glorious love for one another. When Alex breathed his last, he met Jesus, Whom he had served all of his life, and he heard his Master say, "Well done, well done, My good and faithful servant."

A reception and visitation will be held on Friday, August 25 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Huntington Museum of Art. The funeral will be held on Saturday, August 26 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Kenova. A graveside service will immediately follow at Ridgelawn Memorial Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Booth Leadership Initiative of the Outreach Foundation, 381 Riverside Drive, Suite 110, Franklin, Tennessee, 37064.