In Memorium: Almetto Howey Alexander
Mrs. Almetto Beatrice Howey Alexander was a native of Lancaster County, SC, the 6th of nine children. Almetto moved to Charlotte, NC to live with relatives so that she could complete her elementary and secondary education, graduating from Second Ward High School in 1943. After an education in Charlotte at Morgan and Band Beauty College and working as a beautician for several years, she returned to school at Johnson C. Smith University where she earned the bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 1957. During her tenure at JCSU, she made lifelong friendships with three older students who like herself had families and were educators - Mattie Greene, Ire Stephens and Laura Wingate. They later became known as the “Four Jewels”. Almetto was the last surviving “Jewel”. A life-long learner, she furthered her studies at A&T University in Greensboro, New York University in New York City and at UNC Chapel Hill. For over 27 years, Almetto inspired, nurtured, and educated children of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County.
Almetto and James Alexander were married in Reno, Nevada in 1944. To this union were born three children, James Jr., Harriett Elizabeth, and Edmond Coleman (deceased). Being the loving, caring and giving couple they were, they didn’t hesitate to open and shared their home with a niece, Maxine Martin.
Almetto was actively involved throughout her adult life in civic, community, church and political activities that served others and enriched the community. She was a Life and Golden Heritage member of the NAACP, active with the National Conference of Negro Women and National Women of Achievers, Inc., a proud member of the Delta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and an active member of JCSU’s Alumni Association. She was the founder, driving force and first president of the Northwood Estates Neighborhood Association, a member of the Black Community Caucus and the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club. She was appointed by Governor Hunt to serve on the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission.
She and Jimmy were members of First Baptist Church West for many years, where they were involved with numerous committees and organizations. Together they founded the Golden Age Club, a social activity group for the seniors of the church, that continues to serve after more than 32 years. Almetto continued her stewardship at First Fellowship Ministries of Charlotte before moving to Palm Coast, Florida where she continued worship at Mount Calvary Baptist Church before her passing.
Almetto organized a committee which became a faithful and committed group, later evolving into the Almetto Howey Alexander Labyrinth Foundation, Inc. which created, developed and implemented her dream of presenting a walkable labyrinth in the Northwest corridor of Charlotte which in 2011 unveiled the Almetto Howey Alexander Labyrinth in partnership with the McCrorey Branch YMCA.
Almetto Howey Alexander, Founder, was appointed to the North Carolina Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, and received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. award from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee for her active involvement in civil rights. She also received a Certificate of Achievement for the "I Have a Dream" National Youth Assembly.
A graduate of Johnson C. Smith University (with additional diplomas from Morgan Beauty School and Second Ward high School), Mrs. Alexander taught elementary education for twenty-five years, at several schools, retiring from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System. She has worked tirelessly in service to her community and to her church. She is a Life Member and Golden Heritage member of the NAACP, and listed in Charlotte's NAACP Hall of Fame. She is a Life Member of the National Council of Negro Women, received the Woman of the Year award in the Delta Zeta Chapter Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc, and has been a volunteer tour guide for the Henrietta Marie Slave Ship project / exhibit at Spirit Square, also in Charlotte. Mrs. Alexander also received Las Amigas, Inc.'s Unsung Hero Award; Nations Ford Elementary's "Training Our Youth" award; a Certificate of Recognition for her efforts to improve community housing from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and the National Women of Achievement President's Award for her volunteer achievements.