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Alexandra Pye '48

Alexandra (Alix) Pye passed away peacefully April 9, 2017 at West Seattle’s Providence Mt. St. Vincent, her home since 2009.
A native of Faribault, Minnesota, the family’s early connection to Seattle and her passion for the outdoors brought her westward in 1953. She sank roots in Alki, where she lived an active community life for 45 years. The Alki News Bulletin reported, “Survey the crowd in some civic event in West Seattle and chances are you’ll spot Alexandra Pye. Whether at Greater Harbor 2000, at Alki Community Council meetings, or sweeping leaves off the Schmitz Park Bridge sidewalk, the ubiquitous Ms. Pye seems to be there.”
 A graduate of Antioch College and the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work, she began her career working with the aging as the second director of Seattle’s Hamilton House. Her first overseas adventure, in 1957, was to Germany as recreation support to the U.S. Army’s Special Services. In 1959 she returned to work with developmentally-disabled residents at Seattle’s Fircrest School.
Curiosity and independence drove Alix. Raised Episcopalian, she also studied world religions. “I went to every church I could,” she said, “to figure out what I really believed.” Travels to 18 diverse countries, including a two-year Peace Corps assignment in Fiji at age 55, widened, yet confirmed, her perspective about people, “We have the same needs – food, shelter, clothing, and connection.”
Her most comfortable home was the outdoors. She reveled in hiking, climbing, backpacking, and skiing with the Mountaineers or with friends. Years of activism centered on protecting and providing natural areas and community green spaces. She belonged to the Alki Community Council, and when the Port sought expansion in the neighborhood, she fought for shoreline public access, later for an addition to Me-Kwa-Mooks Park. Her long connection with the League of Women Voters honored her family's activism in woman’s suffrage. Before elections, Alix walked the Alki Beach area, later the halls of Providence, registering or reminding people to vote. In 2000, she chaired the League of Women Voters’ comprehensive report, “Keeping the Green in Seattle.”
In quieter moments, she loved entertaining friends, attending music and theater events, and gardening. She studied botany in her 70s, was a certified UCCE Master Gardener, tutored local school children, and became a skilled seamstress.
Alix is survived by niece Kathryn Pye, nephew Robert Pye, and several grand-nieces and a grand-nephew. A mass and reception will be held in the Providence Mt. St. Vincent Chapel May 18, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County 1620 18th Ave, Suite 101 Seattle, WA 98122 or Providence Mt. St. Vincent Inter-generational Learning Center 4831 35th Ave. SW Seattle, WA 98126.