THE founder of Carterton's first bank and community volunteer for almost 40 years, David Alexander, has died aged 87.

Mr Alexander was the bank manager who set up Midland Bank in the town - now HSBC - in 1975.

Less than two weeks after his death last month, it was announced the bank would be closing and his widow Muriel said the only saving grace was he didn't live to hear the news.

The father-of-two was also involved with voluntary organisation the Witney Lions Club for the best part of 40 years as welfare chairman and held other committee roles.

His wife Muriel described him as a 'loyal, honest and trustworthy man who was great fun to be with'.

David Alexander was born on September 3, 1929 with his twin brother John, in Thurcaston near Leicester to parents George, a yarn agent and Nell Alexander.

He grew up in the village before the family moved into the city when he was six and he went to the local primary school and then City Boys' School - a grammar school in Leicester.

After leaving school he briefly joined a firm of accountants before being called up for National Service with the Royal Marines.

His commando training took him on board the King George V battleship where he sat on a grenade which partially exploded.

Despite feeling dizzy and having very little feeling in his 'nether regions' his instructor told him to get on with it.

Mr Alexander returned to accounting but realised it wasn't the job for him and joined the Midland Bank aged 21 as a clerk in Welwyn Garden City.

His banking career took him to Newark, Nottinghamshire, Coalville, Leicester, Nuneaton, Bewdley in Worcestershire and Tilehurst.

He met his wife Muriel at a hotel in Leicester in 1960 through their mutual love of ballroom dancing.

The couple married in the city three years later and had a son, Rupert, in 1965 and a daughter Rachel a year later.

In July 1975 he opened the first bank in Carterton and the family moved to Witney in October that year.

The local bank manager being a highly respected member of the community, David became close friends with many of his customers.

Shortly after his retirement in 1989 - after 39 years of service - customers wrote letters complaining of his departure.

During his retirement the couple enjoyed trips on the Orient Express, flights on Concorde and Tiger Moth aircraft.

For their silver wedding anniversary in 1988 Muriel organised a four day cruise to Norway - to compensate for the fact that David had originally thought he would see the world after joining the Royal Marines.

His role with the Witney Lions Club began in 1977 and was still an active member in the month before his death.

He died on January 12 at Witney Community Hospital and is survived by his wife Muriel, his son Rupert, his daughter Rachel, and two granddaughters.