Former synchronized swimmer, enjoyed flower arranging

Published in the August 17, 2017 edition

Alexander,Polly_webHEBRON, NH – Polly Robinson Hanson Alexander age 92 died August 10. Born Polly Robinson Hanson on April 18, 1925 in Boston, to Albert and Beth Hanson, she was the oldest of three children graduating from Portsmouth High School, Portsmouth, NH in 1943 and the Chandler Secretarial School while living with her Grandmother, Eva Hamlin. She attended Michigan State College studying journalism and was on the varsity synchronized swim team. Polly paid her way through college by working multiple jobs including the Quincy Patriot Ledger and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and she saved on transportation by hitchhiking between Lansing, MI and Wollaston, MA much to the shock of her family and the truck drivers providing rides. She went on to receive an MS in Library Science from Boston University and for many years was the librarian at the Coolidge Junior High School in Reading, MA. 

Polly met her husband, Lee Marshall Alexander, on a blind date in Quincy MA. They were married February 19, 1949 in Quincy, MA. Throughout their 68 years of marriage they lived and worked in a number of places including Quincy MA, Brunswick ME, Tariffville CT, North Reading MA, Toronto, Canada and retired to Hebron NH in 1985.

Polly was an avid bridge player who graciously credited her winning streaks to good cards rather than her amazing skill. She made many friends over the years who shared her love of the game. Polly also enjoyed flowers and in her retirement she created a small business called Polly’s Pickin’s both cultivating and creating beautiful flower arrangements.

Polly and Lee had four children; Brooke Alexander ( Robert Brown) of Arlington Virginia, Lynne Alexander (Christian Bratina) of Litchfield CT, Glenn Alexander ( Kerry Pugh Alexander) of Harvard MA and Reed Alexander (Doris Jurisson) of Cambridge MA. In addition to Lee and her four children she is survived by her younger brother Roger W. T. Hanson (Peggy); 9 grand children – Kevin, Eric and Tyler Brown; Ilija, Julian and Margaux Bratina; Ruth Turner and Jane Alexanderr and Olivia Alexander, and 2 great grandchildren Vera Turner and Eleanor Brown and a cousin Deborah Kreitner. She was preceded in death by her sister Judith Hutton. Polly was a kind and generous person who will be dearly missed. A celebration of her life will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, August 27, at the Union Congregational Church in Hebron, NH.

The Mayhew Funeral Home and Meredith Bay Crematorium are assisting the family with arrangements. To view Polly’s online book of memories go to;