Even in death, Lt. Ken Alexander looked to serve others.
The Placentia lieutenant and decorated Army veteran died Sunday night at age 48 after suffering a major heart attack last week.
In a final act of selflessness, Alexander donated his organs — his kidneys were to go to Santa Ana Cpl. Steve Ahearn, who is in desperate need of a transplant.
Ahearn, 51, is on the wait-list for a new kidney after suffering renal failure three years ago.
“The Alexander family found some solace in the fact a fellow law enforcement officer may be saved by Alexander’s sacrifice,” a statement from the Placentia Police Department reads.
Doctors learned late Sunday night the kidneys were too damaged from Alexander’s heart attack to donate.
“It was a wonderful attempt, and a wonderful gesture,” Ahearn said. “I’m so grateful they tried.”
Alexander’s 26-year law enforcement career was full of wonderful gestures.
Known as “Kenny” to his friends and family, Alexander was described as a man with a gregarious personality and infectious smile.
“Alexander endeared himself to countless people within the law enforcement profession and the community he served,” the statement said.
The lieutenant started his law enforcement career with the Tustin Police Department in 1988, and later that same year worked with the Los Angeles Housing Authority Police.
Alexander served with the housing authority until 1998, and was then hired as an officer with the Placentia Police Department.
He was also a longtime DARE and North County SWAT officer.
Alexander was promoted to sergeant in 2006 and lieutenant in 2012.
He received the Medal of Valor, law enforcement’s highest honor, in 1996 while with the Los Angeles Housing Authority, and was awarded the Placentia Police Distinguished Service Medal in 2002.
Alexander was also a decorated Army veteran, having served two tours of duty in Iraq and one tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was honored with the Bronze Star for his service.
Alexander is survived by his wife Michelle; mother, Carol; brothers Ben and Paul; sister, Robin; sons Byron, Sean, and Tyler; stepson, Jonah, and countless extended family members, including his law enforcement family.
Alexander’s body was taken from St. Jude Medical Center to McAulay and Wallace Mortuary in Fullerton in a solemn procession on Monday.
Members of the Placentia Police Department and law enforcement officers from across Orange County participated in the procession to honor Alexander.
A memorial service is pending.