The staff and volunteers of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois are deeply saddened to share the loss of a dear friend and valued colleague. Yvette Alexander-Maxie, Regional External Relations Manager for Chicago & Northern Illinois, passed away this morning following a prolonged illness. She leaves behind an incredible legacy. Yvette joined the American Red Cross as a volunteer in 1992 and as an employee in 1999. For the next 20 years, she provided leadership throughout the Red Cross which included roles in Disaster Cycle Services, International Services, Services to Armed Forces, Youth Services, and Volunteer Services.
Since 2013, Yvette directed our work with external partners and led many aspects of disaster relief including numerous large-scale operations and multi-agency resource centers. Yvette was widely recognized for her leadership in mobilizing partners to support our clients and was also the current Chair of the Northeast Illinois COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster). Yvette was proud to be a member of the Red Cross family. Her work in the disaster community was much more than a job to her. It was where her purpose and passion collided into action. Today is a sad day, not just for the Red Cross, but for the entire disaster community. Yvette was an icon who advocated passionately for our clients and volunteers. In the emergency management and non-profit community, Yvette was a respected leader due to her expertise, strength of character, and ability to unify others. Numerous leaders followed her because they believed in her. Her integrity, vision, and compassion were extraordinary and inspire all who knew her.
To know Yvette was an honor, and to work with her a privilege. Her presence would light up a room. Her glow, smile and charisma were special. When she spoke, people listened. Yvette had a wonderfully mischievous sense of humor that brought levity to even the most challenging moments. Yvette was also incredibly generous with her time and philanthropy. In addition to her work with the Red Cross, she was a frequent donor to Save the Children, UNICEF, the United Way, ASPCA, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, veteran groups, and many local charities. Take a step inside her home and you would be surrounded by pictures of children she sponsored and letters from organizations thanking her for her generosity.
Yvette’s unwillingness to compromise our standards and refusal to be mediocre, drove us to excellence. Even in her final months, she gave her all to the mission of the Red Cross. Yvette’s time with us was cut tragically short. Yet, Yvette would want all to carry on the noble mission that she dedicated her life to.
Yvette was a mentor, an advocate, and a source of strength to so many of us when we needed it most. Her sharp wit and pearls of wisdom have made us all laugh and gave us many insights for both our professional and personal lives. Yvette’s spirit is intertwined in all we do, and when we install a smoke alarm, respond to a fire, or support a major disaster, we will continue to honor her legacy and she’ll be there – celebrating our work and reminding us to do our very best for our clients, partners, and each other. If we listen closely, we may even hear her say ‘I’m with you on that.’
Thank you for the many years of service. We will miss you, Yvette!
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 1460 W 78th St, Chicago
Internment immediately following Services
Mt Olive Cemetery
115th St & Fairfield Ave, Chicago
A. A. Raynor Funeral Home
318 E 71st St, Chicago, IL 60619
Celebration of Life Information
Date: Thursday, December 12, 2019
Location: Rauner Center; 2200 W Harrison, Chicago
Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Written by Chicago & Northern Illinois Regional Disaster Officer Adam Runkle