Robert E. Alexander, former chief of the Occupational Radiation Protection Branch of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, died Feb. 12 at Fairfax Nursing Center. He was 85.

He died after a stroke, said his stepson, Michael Childers.

Mr. Alexander retired from the NRC in 1984 after 15 years of service. He then operated a private consultancy to the nuclear industry, the Alexander Corp., for 20 years out of his home in Fairfax County.

Robert Earl Alexander was born in Amarillo, Tex. He graduated in 1954 from Howard Payne University in Texas. He came to Washington in 1967 and worked for NASA before joining the NRC.

His first marriage, to Joyce Bowles, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Diane Kensic Alexander of Fairfax County; three children from his first marriage, Diane Becker of Cedar Park, Tex., Debbie Moran of Bradenton, Fla., and Mike Alexander of Brandywine, Md.; three stepchildren; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. A son from his first marriage, Harry Alexander, died in 1989.

— Bart Barnes