Dave Alexander, who achieved local legend status for the highway collection of eclectic junk over which he was arrested during a protest against the municipality to remove it, has passed away.
He was 66.
Police notified the family of his passing on Wednesday, after he was found in his trailer in Mission. He may have died Tuesday.
Alexander, a tall, large man with long hair and long white beard, had heart surgery a year ago, although the cause of his death is not yet known, according to family.
“He wasn’t in good health,” said his niece, Sheri Albert.
Alexander lost his battle with the District of Maple Ridge to keep his collection, known as Dave’s World, in January 1998, when after ignoring an order to leave the property, he was carried away by four police officers early in the morning.
A cleaning crew then removed all the debris that the district contended was encroaching on the highway and other land owned by the highways department. The 70-year-old service station building was later demolished.
Alexander and his brother were both arrested during the skirmish and charged with obstructing a police officer, but were both acquitted in April 2000.
Dave Alexander also twice ran for mayor of Maple Ridge and attended Simon Fraser University.
He was a frequent visitor at the Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot and the general store in Ruskin, but in recent years had lived in Hatzic. He had only recently moved to the trailer park in Mission.
Albert said her uncle liked to make an impression.
“That’s why he had the long hair.”
She also said he loved his family.
“He really was a family man. He came to every family dinner – Easter, Christmas, weddings.”
Alexander leaves behind a daughter.
• A Facebook page has been started in his memory.