Alex Vasquez April 09, 1987 – October 6, 2011

Living with Alex was like living in an adventure park. From ramp-jumping on his bike, to sky-diving, rock-climbing, hiking, slack-lining, and, to the dismay of authorities, climbing a tall building just for the view, he lived big. Alex back-packed across the United States, canyoneered in Utah, mountain-climbed in Washington, and was planning a new adventure in Southeast Asia. Wherever he went, he made friends.

Alex also graduated from college with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, was applying for the Peace Corps, mastered more musical instruments than his parents could name, and was even “down for law school.”

We don’t know how Alex died. Alex wasn’t feeling well after recent surgery. Though we don’t know the exact cause of his death, we do know this – Alex is loved beyond measure, for all time.

Without knowing the tragedy ahead, Alex gave his Mom, Dad, and Brother a wonderful life. We traveled together, spent relaxed time together, and shared meals in a way that let us know how happy Alex was with his life, his accomplishments, and his direction.

Alex lived like no other. He was fearless, care-free, and independent.  His many friends were important to him. We will always admire Alex for living for today. We miss him and will love him as long as we walk this earth, and with joy greet him in the here-after.

We welcome your thoughts and remembrances.

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113 thoughts on “Alex Vasquez April 09, 1987 – October 6, 2011

  1. Alex; you were a great guy, one of my best friend’s. We had a lot of good times traveling together, and just hanging out period. That time when you, me, corey, and evan traveled all four of us together plus Gemini all the way to oregon just about and split up and met back up in prineville, or. I will nevet forget you for as long as I live. You taught me a lot of thing’s nobody else could have, you were probably one of the smartest most interesting, and adventerous people I ever met. I was supposed to be meeting you in the bay area in a few days to spend time with you before you went to Thailand. Anyway man, I love you and you will always be apart of my life man.

  2. alex thanx man for all the times you give me rides to shows or helpin me out to get in! ill all ways remember those summers in high school when you cj kevin phill and me would go to the river and b there all day building rope swings or going to and playn paint ball or goinh to shows or just hanging to out n the park. ill never for get that halloween when we all met and started to hang out. that was one of the best halloween ever. you where hiding n the hole we dug to hide n and scaer trick or treaters.i ran up to cj door forgetting the hole we dug the night before and falling n and landing on you. thats was funny good times ill never for get em or any of my falln bothers. i know you and kevo r all ways b with me! i miss are crue so much i wish we all together today

  3. Susan and Bruce–
    I am sorry for your loss, and hope you will call on me if I can help with anything. I only got to meet Alex once, to my memory, and he seemed like a great person — I know his parents thought so. Words fail at a time like this, but you have friends who care, and I am one of them—Pat

  4. Alex will always be forever young to his family and friends. I send my deepest sympathies to everyone who will miss him.

  5. Alex, I never had the honor of knowing you, but based upon your wonderful, giving parents, you had to have been an extraordinary guy. Your life reads like an Indiana Jones adventure, your sense of the world must have been astounding.
    I am so sad for your parents, and the grief they must feel. They have honored your life, and shared it with their friends. That was the greatest gift they could do for those of us who knew you not.
    Rest in peace, and may the universe be one star brighter for your presence.
    Larry Paquette

  6. You were one of the greatest friends I’ve ever been blessed to have, Alex. From the day we met attending Clovis West to our travels this summer into Washington, I looked up to you as a person, a life mentor, and most importantly, a friend. Your theories of philosophy, nature, and those damned quantum physics i could never quite understand, influenced me in ways I could never forget. You were always in on anything we did, and embraced it to the highest extent. You lived in the now, exemplifying yourself in a way that had a profound effect on everyone who knew you. I’ll never forget all of the journeys that, although took some motivation on your part to get us out there, opened up not only the vista at the top up the mountain, but a sense that what we were doing was irreplaceable. Whether it was the San Jaoquin Valley gorge, Tollhouse Rock, “Little Table Mountain” which required crawling through cattle fencing to get to, or simply a walk in Woodward Park, you were always there. And not just in a physical sense; every bit of your being was consumed by what the present moment offered you. I can’t count on two hands how many times I’d call your phone multiple times trying to get a hold of you, and almost every time, at precisely the right moment, you’d randomly show up. Even when you joined us over Memorial Day when we were playing those shows in gold country…we’d lose you for half the day only for you to appear right before show time. I was never sure if you did that on purpose, but whether you were just messing with me or that cosmically connected, it always made me smile.
    This summer was the best I’ve ever had. From stumbling upon you at the gathering, roadtripping to Seattle, Port Townsend, Arlington, and the Olympic rainforest, we had an amazing time. (There are plenty of pictures from this trip as well, which I can send anytime.) You created the “standard” joke, playing a game of horse on Kevin’s grandma’s basketball net, which has become even more of a saying since you left us. We played random street fairs, street corners, bars..anywhere we could; the traveling band from California just trying to get to the next stop. You showed me how easy it is to let go and enjoy life, Alex. I know that wherever you are, you are still doing the same.
    I love and miss you, Alex. You are more than a friend, you are my brother. Never will I scale a mountain, hitchhike the highway, or travel the world without thinking of you. You may be gone, but you never have been, and never will be. Love you man. -Brad

  7. Susan & Bruce,

    Thanks for creating this website. Amazing how we can use technology. Living at such a distance, I think that Linda & I might have met Alex briefly a dozen or so years ago when we visited over-night on our way to Yosemite. Your comments in our blogs & e-mail correspondence caught us up a little on his activities and interest in bluegrass music. Sorry, that I will not have the chance to take him to some real Appalachian community jams. Keep us up on the latest.
    Oscar & Linda

  8. Bruce and Susan: I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t know what else to do but pray for you and your family.

    rick louviere

  9. Hi Susan, Bruce, and Victor,

    When I looked at the pictures, I realized that Alex had grown up a whole lot since I last saw him. He was probably in high school then. What I do remember is his smile and the sparkle in his eyes. It sounds like he was an unconventional kid, that thrived in an unconventional life… the kind we all dream about living at times. May your tears flow as freely as your laughter as you share precious memories with one another.

    Thanks for giving us a greater window into Alex’s life and passions.

    Dave

  10. Dear Bruce and Susan,

    I sent you an email as soon as I opened it but then I went to this blog and felt I needed to say something here. I cannot express how sorry I am for the loss of Alex. My heart goes out to all of you. You shared with me that Alex was your adventurous child who always lived his life to the fullest each and every day and there are not many of us who can say that. How proud you must be to have such an incredible son.

    Maggi

    • Thanks, Maggi – We miss him already, as you can imagine. (but we’re still planning on Las Vegas this springtime with you and the Colombian crew)
      Love, Susan

  11. Al,

    Although I haven’t known you for very long, I felt that we bonded since your visits home while your parents were off making the world better with their presence in the Peace Corp. I’ve felt the same desire to explore the world, but you really explored, which I’ve always envied that amazing quality of yours. We bonded over music, the arts, and some philosophy.

    Although a little peculiar, I seemed to have adopted your habit of leaving the kitchen cabinets open and forgetting to shut them. It drives Vic nuts, but I find a little humor when I catch myself almost forgetting to shut them closed.

    I especially enjoyed watching documentaries with you a few weekends ago. You made a pot of coffee for the both of us as we conversed of how this older photographer was “pimp” riding his bicycle to all the major celebrity events, taking photos of professionals, and the love he had for fashion. We debated over whether we wanted to do what we loved and starve or live comfortably while not enjoying what we do for a living for 30-40 years of our lives. You showed me some pictures of yourself exploring the world and we swapped youtube videos that we believed each other SHOULD definitely watch. We got on the topic of sky diving. I looked up a few places while you called them to see what their rates were. You asked me if I wanted to go check out the Madera sky diving ground, and I gladly accepted your invitation for the next weekend. We were also planning on a day that I would be able to join you for a difficult climb at the indoor rock climbing place. I loved the fact that I was getting along with the love of my life’s little brother.

    Although we weren’t able to do those things together as we planned, I promise that I will climb that rock thingie in your name. It only feels right. And when I get enough courage to actually jump out of a plane that high off the ground… that’s for you too. But I’m gonna have to work up to that.

    You were a great guy and very positively uplifting. I feel that everyone should learn a little something from you. You took the opportunity to explore the world, embraced everyone into your life and made them feel good about themselves. I’m definitely going to miss our conversations and you enlightening me with a thought or something adventurous you’ve done. You’ve left a print in my life and you’ll always be remembered Al.

    I can’t even being to imagine what your family is going through and it breaks my heart that I can’t do much to take that pain away. If it were possible, I wish I could hug them all and be able to absorb the grief that lies heavy in their hearts. Times like these, I wish magic were real and I was a great sorcerer. A little out there and silly, but it’s true.

    Just know that whatever the Vasquez family needs, I hope they know that I’m a phone call or email message away.

    <3, Shana

    • Dear Shana – Alex adored you, and was so happy you are in Victor’s life. As far as magic goes, I believe. If Bruce and I hadn’t come home early from Ukraine, we would not have experienced the wonderful year we had, all of us, together – some kind of sorcery, for sure. Much love – Susan

  12. Alex was my nephew and it breaks my heart to realize that I will never have the joy of seeing him grow to start a career and family. I also mourn for the great nieces and nephews I will never know. Alex was strong of spirit and sharp of mind. And though we lived on different coasts, I lived vicariously through his adventures. I know the angels shed a tear for the loved ones that Alex left behind. But I’m confident that they rejoice in the imagination and energy he brings to them. God bless my nephew, Alex, and may the Lord keep him close.

    Uncle Harry

    • Thank you, Harry. I remember Alex on the swing behind your house when he was little, telling me how much he liked it there – the beginning of his zest for travel. Love to the Virginia Vasquez clan

    • Aunt Helen,
      It is great to hear from three generations on this website for Alex. Living on the East Coast, I have usually been away from these events, and mainly heard summaries of them after the fact. I’m glad that you (and my parents) have been able to join in with this technology. Alex’s death prompted me to look up some other information in my files. Along with those items, I came across letters that your mother (Grandma Violet, to me) wrote to me years ago when I began wandering about the country to Seattle and then NYC. It is good to keep in touch.
      Oscar

      • To Alex from Grandma Helen, March 11, 2013. It’s a Monday here. Today I cried again. I keep so many memories and when I come across them something especially sad enters my heart. I miss your Grandpa so much and hope you are there tellling him that your Grandma needs help with your arms around this lonely heart. You were so little when you played together, but maybe now you will both understand each other better. I will think of you every year and pretend what you would be doing here on earth with us.
        Words help. Thank you. Love from Grandma Helen

  13. I hadn’t seen Alex in probably 15 years. I remember still him as a cute kid with freckles when he was working out at the karate club. However, there were so many stories Bruce told about him as he was growing up, that I formed a pretty good idea about what a special soul he was. What a catastrophe it is to lose him. I can only imagine the devastation you are feeling right now.

    Bruce Whitsitt

  14. Alex,
    I was just getting to know you at MetalMark, but I feel fortunate to have met you at all. I wish I could tell you how I appreciated your smile every time you walked into the gym. We’re gonna miss you man. I’m gonna miss your “Fresno State Cow Tipping Team” shirt.
    Heather

  15. Bruce and Susan–
    The web link was just forwarded to me. I am speechless. I am praying for your family and hoping for your hearts to find peace. It is unfathomable to think of losing a child; just know so many people are thinking of you. We know how very proud you are of both your boys, and rightly so. I didn’t know Alex, but he obviously lived a wonderful life and planned to live it to the fullest. You were great parents to him. It showed!

    Sheryl Holder

  16. Alex, my dearest,

    My first love, you are so, so special to me. You were closer to me than anyone has been. I can honestly say I’ve thought about you every single day since the day we met. You were so refreshingly unique and creative. You’re one of the greatest artists that has ever lived. And boy, did you live! I admired your sense of adventure and was envious of your freedom. You could never bore me, always kept me on my toes wondering what you were going to do next and I wanted to be a part of it. I have so many wonderful memories of you to cherish forever. Sneaking out in the middle of the night. Tickle fights. Zelda. Taking java and ace out for walks. Finding that baby kitten in the bushes. You sweet animal lover. The story of the duck stealing your keys and wallet. Beating you at battle ship. Beating you at chess. Rock climbing. Putting together bike parts. Riding those bikes. Going out. Staying in. Waking you out of your slumber. And the best of all, staring at you until you would crack a big fat smile. I remember a time when we were hanging out in Scarlet’s front yard and we got drive-by egged. It was more funny than anything else. Later that night, we both tried to ride your road bike at the same time, we crashed and broke your foot. That was probably my fault and I’m sorry. I loved your feet. I loved painting all over your feet. I love you. Everything was better with you by my side and you would always be there. I wish I could give you a hug and tell you how much you mean to me but I know that words will never do justice. Thank you so much for being such a great friend. You will always have a place in my heart.

    Sienna

    • Sienna – Alex thought you were the perfect girl. He told us in those very words. Please stay in touch – call whenever you need to, stop by on your visits home. Much love – Susan

  17. Susan and Bruce,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Although I did not know Alex in person, I feel like I knew him through the stories and pictures you shared here in Ukraine. My prayers go out to your family at this time when both wonderful memories and sadness co-mingle.

    The “other” Susan

  18. You were a hell of a climber and you always brought a positive atmosphere to metalmark. There is certainly going to be a void in the bouldering
    rallying circles… I was so looking forward to hitting up the needles in a few weeks… Although i didn’t know you for very long, i knew that you and i had very similar ideas, and would’ve thoroughly enjoyed having discussions… You’re sorely missed, and you’re on everyones mind. Thanks for inspiring me to keep living life passionately, and i hope i have as much success at humboldt as you did. Life is fragile, and your passing has left me with a stern reminder to savor every moment, and hold on to the good times. my days at metalmark with you and the rest of the community have been the best days of my life, and i wont soon forget them

    • Thank you, Benjamin. The picture of Alex and his dad on a boulder was taken while he looked out to the Needles. Wonderful sight. Warmly, Alex’s Mom

  19. Alex,
    I didn’t have the privilege of knowing you for long but in the short amount of time that i did you left a lasting impression on my life. You helped me start to figure out how i wanted to live life with out me even realizing it. You taught me how to lead climb and I was so very blessed to share my first outdoor climbing experience with you. I will always remember that sunset up at fresno dome and the stars on the way out in the brightest way. So thank you and I’m gonna miss you man.
    Craig

  20. Alex~
    I never met you, but through your mother I heard many great things about you and your brother. I remember seeing that glow on her face each time she talked about you. As I opened this website and read all of things that you accomplished it made me realize how much you loved and enjoyed life. I could also tell you touched many peoples lives. You will for sure be missed! May God comfort your family as they learn how to live their lives without you. ~ Love, Sonia

  21. Dear Susan, Bruce and Victor,

    I finally found this beautiful tribute to Alex. Although I never met Alex, I’m sure he was instilled with the loving, giving spirit of his parents. I hope you knew how much your family loved you and how much joy you gave in return. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time and we wish you all the love and peace we can give. With sympathy, Kerry and Dale.

  22. i’ve dealt with deaths so far in my life. family, friends. for you alex it hurt my heart like i’ve never felt before. it’s such a loss to everyone you knew, and to everyone life was going to introduce you to. i believe with all my being that you are in a place, so grand and amazing. climbing, singing, dancing, laughing. everyone of us has our time, and when my time comes, i will see you and greet you with open arms, alex, i miss you.. everyone misses you. love you always. carlos.

    whoever made this, this is awsome. thank you for putting this up.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Carlos. The online memorial was Alex’s brother, Victor’s, idea. He, his dad, and me (mom) put together the words and pictures. Check out the ‘adventure’ tab on the top of the page for more photos from friends.

  23. Vasquez Family: I am deeply sorry for your loss and are keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Bruce….what a lovely tribute to your son. With heartfelt sympathy, Marci

  24. My Dear Friend Alex,

    You were, and will continue to be in the hearts of many, an incredible human being. You were definitely an inspiration to me. I remember you when we first met, a shy and smug teenager who secretly believed he was invincible. The shy smug Alex would later transform into an outgoing magnanimous individual, but the invincibility would always remain. You were daring and always ready for a thrill.

    When we first met you played paintball and wanted to play pranks reminiscent of the then popular Jackass. The pranks we played put the school in an uproar a few times! Yes! Clovis West definitely needed Alex Vasquez to push their stiff unforgiving buttons! I remember your art teacher unable to handle your artistic brilliance. You were working on a masterpiece sculpture for months. I would come into your class sometimes and see how it was coming along. Then one day in a distempered unsatisfied whim, you cast the sculpture to the floor, shattering it in a million pieces. Everyone wondered what happened. You responded simply, “it wasn’t working out”.

    You were your own brand of genius able to accomplish anything when you put your mind to it. From art and music to rock climbing and slack lining nothing was out of your reach and expertise. We had countless conversations exploring the depths of our minds. Sometimes you would even drive to my house late at night and all we would do was sit in your car, listen to music, and converse, eagerly searching each others minds for answers to questions that have forever boggled mankind. These early searches for truth later drove you to pursue a philosophy degree. You were always up for a challenge, whether mental or physical, and I always marveled at your ability to challenge others. You could get into heated debates with people you just met and part ways with a firm handshake and smile.

    I could always count on you. No matter the circumstances, you would pull through. You were an incredible friend, willing to stop what you were doing to help me or someone else out. Loving others was easy for you and you quickly made friends from all walks of life. I didn’t need to talk to you all the time to know you were there for me and never far away. We communicated at a level that didn’t always need words. You were the kind of friend I thought I would know my whole life.

    Some random memories: tray surfing, pink floyd, led zeppelin, metal shows, long drives, midnight radiation, trying to wake you up, yosemite, camping (when we didn’t know how), streaking, playing with a caterpillar, art hop, woodward park, the river, following streams in the sierras, jamming, sky harbor, three rainbow gatherings, philosophical conversations, spore, juggling in wyoming, little ceasers, the cute squirrel, “just pop it in the microwave babe!”, through the teeth whistle, raves, your birthday on the ocean cliff, wandering through our minds, wandering through fresno, losing flip flops, and drinking from a briefcase.

    You were, and in my memories will always be, a beautiful person. Your laugh and smile could light up the darkest room while your words were uplifting and heartfelt. I could say a million good things about you but should probably say what really matters: I will always remember you. I will always love you. You will continue to inspire me and influence me as I go through my life. You haven’t died, you’ve changed form and part of that form will always be next to me. When I’m in a beautiful place, I will pause and think about you. I will do things, like rock climb, just because you loved to. And above all, THANK YOU. Thank you for being in my life and being my friend. The past 10 years could not have been as fun and meaningful without you. You’re irreplaceable and the world could use a lot more Alex Vasquez in it.

    Forever Your Friend,
    Philip Wright

    • Dear, dear Philip – I have already read your words over and over and over. They bring me comfort and tears. Please write a book one day. Love, Susan

  25. Dear Bruce, Susan and Victor,
    After your loving thoughts shared of Alex, I feel like I knew him, and that his love and spirit are with you, in you, forever. You will remain in our thoughts and prayers, and as parents, understand the gravity of your loss – but also the joy in celebrating such a life. No one will ever understand why such a soul is taken so young, but we can take comfort in the faith and knowledge his spirit and energy has moved onward and is in a powerful place.
    Peace,
    Tom Brown

  26. Alex,

    You will remain forever young in our hearts and minds. I don’t know what the appropriate thing to say is in these moments, but I will try. I have been looking through dozens of pictures of the moments we shared together growing up. I forgot what a cute, chubby baby you were. Always smiling wide-eyed and loving to explore. I remember our camping trip around 1990 with our dads and Victor. We were only kids and had our entire lives ahead of us and I am proud of what you were able to accomplish with yours.

    It is almost an impluse to dwell on this as a terrible tragedy that I could never have imagined could occur in our family. But, we must remember to not dwell on what you could have been and reflect on what you were. You were always the most adventurous, care free person in the family. You saw much more in 24 years that many of us will see in our entire lives. We were all better for having you in our midst.

    The Christmas days we were able to share as a family now seem all too brief, but we will always remember them fondly. You grew up before our eyes and though I regret not seeing you more, I am grateful for the time we had. We are not entitled to anything on this earth, and my parents and I feel extremely blessed to have known you.

    I find great comfort in knowing that you have been reunited with the grandfather neither of us had the privledge of meeting and that you are now warming him with your presence. I hope you both clear a path for the rest of us who will eventually follow your footsteps.

    I am looking forward to seeing you again, whenever that time is meant to come. May you keep us close in your heart, you will forever be in mine.

    Love you cousin, Nikki

    • Thank you so much, Nikki. Your words are a comfort and a reminder of good times that we will need to continue. Much Love, Aunt Susan, Uncle Bruce and Victor

  27. Alex, it may have been awhile since we last spoke, but I thought of you and your free spirit often. You were such a great guy and an amazing friend to my brother Corey. You will be missed tremendously, but your adventure only begins a new chapter from here on out. You live on in our thoughts and our hearts, Alex. We love and miss you.
    — Lauren Budke

  28. Susan and Bruce,

    My heaert is heavy with grief for your family. I can only imagine what it is like to lose a son. I met your boys when they were younger, in concert with safety academies we were doing, and Bruce has kept me posted on what the boys were doing through the years. I marveled at all of the accomplishments noted in this tribute for Alex. You raised a wonderful, talented, very loved young man. Know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers and from afar I am hugging you close.
    Alice Bogert

  29. Bruce and Susan: We received your e-mail with profound sorrow. Reading what you posted about Alex was one of the saddest things we have had to do. Our deepest and heart felt sympathy goes out to the both of you.

    We are torn on calling immediately or waiting until you have been able to process your sorrow. Having said that, we will call tomorrow the 13th. If you do not feel like talking just say so and we will understand.

    We are here for you in any way that we can be of help. We love you, Bob and Sheryl

  30. My brother and girlfriend have been jealous of the way and frequency I talk of you, our travels and kinship. I have thought of you everyday since we bonded, as you are a symbol of freedom for me, and crave further adventure and life with you. I collected my experiences up here, between phone calls, and for your maximum satisfaction condensed the stories next I rang. Summers were our playground, and those to come improv through continents… a swing. I’ll keep the rhythm, for the passions and the visions we shared, brah, and for the fun.

  31. Alex…

    I’ll always cherish the memories of High School and the few times I saw you after. You always greeted me with a hug. I’m so glad I was one of the lucky ones to have met you. I always knew you were into traveling, but I never could have imagined the adventures you took. I’ve always wanted to do the things you have done, but have always been one of those guys too scared to step out of the box. Because of you, I have decided not to let fear hold me back from taking that first step. I’m glad to see people saw in you what I saw; greatness.

    I plan on taking a nature hike in your memory. I hope you’re there with me.

  32. The short time we shared together was more than enough to know that you were an exceptional, inspiring human being. I wish we had more of it. My deepest condolences to your family and friends. May we all live life as thoroughly as you. Crush in peace brotha.

  33. Vasquez Family: I did not have the opportunity to meet Alex, but I can see that he was loved so by family and friends–and led an adventurous, exciting life! Susan- my thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for creating this page and allowing me to celebrate Alex’ life.

    Marisa

  34. Dear Susan,
    It has taken me some time to respond, as from one mother to another, this tragic news is unimaginable. From sharing our parenting stories over the years and reading the many wonderful stories shared in tribute of your son, I feel as though I got to know Alex and the great spirit in which he lived his life – full of adventure, spontaneity, and love. Please know that your work family is thinking of you and keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Blessings, Michelle

  35. Bruce and Susan,
    We are heartbroken over this news. We will keep Alex and your family in our prayers. Thinking of you all, and praying for peace and comfort.

    The Ertola Family

  36. Dear Susan and Bruce,
    Our hearts go out to you!!! We have not known you for very long, but Peace Corps has a way of bringing people together and we both feel like we have known you for a long time.

    We did not have the privledge of knowing Alex, but we know you, his parents, and you are two of the world’s best people. I am at a loss for words, but please know that we are thinking of you every day and are here if you need us.

    Love from
    Ellie and Larry

  37. Alex and I met in high school. We ended up with a few classes together. In both of those classes and talked and joked around non-stop. He was extremely funny and was a very nice person. I was very saddened when I heard the news. He will be missed by many I’m sure. -Brandon Miller

  38. Bruce and Susan
    So very sorry to hear of your loss. When a parent dies, the family and friends mourn. When a child dies, the whole world mourns. I guess we mourn the loss of what that child could have done and who they could have been. It almost seems that Alex knew his time on this earth was going to be short and he tried to get all he could out of the time he had.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Charlie Varnon

  39. Alex, you were the bravest diver on the team. It never mattered if Therese said you weren’t ready for it, you threw it anyways and landed it… usually. Even when you smacked you came up with a smile. Every time I think of you I see a ninety pound kid with paintball welts, standing on the 10 meter telling me they didn’t hurt as bad as they looked. When I saw you later at REI we talked about skydiving and that you were planning on getting your cert. Having read the posts of your friends I can see that you grew into an amazing man. Nobody is a lead climber without having the absolute trust of his friends below. I wish I had had a chance to know you as an adult, but I am honored to have known you for the brief period that I did.

    Victor and Family, thank you for putting this website together. I know many people who will be happy to see how Alex lived his life. My heart goes out to you all for your loss.

    -Brandi Miller

  40. Please know Scotty and I are so sad to hear of your loss. We also know how much you all loved and admired Alex. Our live to your family.

  41. Bruce and Family,

    I just heard about your son Alex today. I am so sorry for what has happened. Just by reading all the above comments…. he was something special. My thoughts and prayers are with you all….

    Marna

  42. My Dearest Alex, I can clearly remember the day your grandma Toni, your uncle Harry and I drove down to Bakersfield to meet you for the first time. There we stood, the 3 of us, next to your father, as we all stared at your through the hospital baby nursery window.

    I used to love so much to come to visit you and your brother Victor when your guys were little. I got such a kick out of sitting next to you on the floor when you were an infant. You had the strongest and deepest laugh I have ever heard coming out of a baby. I can sometime still hear your sweet baby chuckle in my heart when the pain of losing you becomes too hard to accept.

    I think of you 24/7. I fall asleep at night with you in my thoughts, but I think the hardest part of the day for me is when I wake up in the morning. Those first few moments after my mind isn’t clear then I remember that you are gone, then my heart brakes all over again.

    I want to thank you so much for giving me the greatest gift anyone has ever given me! The gift I have wanted and search for my entire life! You have given me the belief and faith in a higher power! I know now that there is so much more to us and to life than we can see and touch or even comprehend. I am now able to move forward with the knowledge and love in my heart knowing that someday our souls will be reunited. Without this belief, I would truly be lost. So, Sweetheart, I will carry you deep in my heart until I see you again. Say “Hi” to Ace for me!! I love you so much!! Uncle Jym

  43. Bruce and Susan-
    I was stunned to hear of your loss. Truly a parent’s nightmare. I am so sorry.
    Susan- I worked with Bruce for years and can remember hearing Bruce recount hysterical stories about both your kids. But his Alex stories were “special.” We would sit in our office and listen to Bruce tell funny stories about Alex when he was little, then as he got older, the stories turned into these adventure episodes. He did so many things young people don’t do anymore- like truly experience life outside of the world of tv and video games.

    Again, I’m so sorry and hope the good memories ease some of the pain.

    Laurie McAnulty

  44. I’m so sorry for your loss. The world lost an amazing guy. I’d climb with Alex a lot and I also studied philosophy at Humboldt with him. He was very smart and always so positive. I remember running into someone at the climbing gym who mentioned meeting Alex for the first time. The climber walked up to me and said that he knew Alex was a genuinely great person right when they started talking/ climbing and that he looked forward to hanging out with him more. Alex is and will always be that genuinely great person.

    Laurel

  45. Susan, Bruce and Victor
    It was an honor to get to know Alex in chapters. From my first Christmas with the Vasquez clan with Uncle Jym dressed as Santa Claus, to later years seeing a growing handsome young man. What I liked and respected about Alex was his individualism. He is this shining star which I believe is now residing in the universe. Take care and hold him dear.

    Paul Lucero

  46. Alex is by far the most artistic, free spirited, all in all great person I grew up with to have the honor of calling a true friend. It hurts my heart to know that I will never be able to share a crazy awesome experience with him again. . . but I know I will be seeing him soon beyond the struggles of this earth, because he will be climbing the highest summits heaven has to offer 😦
    Rest in Peace Brother I love you and will stand with you anytime

  47. Alex you taught me to play paintball. You started a sport I love to this day and always had a passion for being an excellent player. You’re one of the most hilarious and light hearted people I’ve met and I’ll certainly miss that.

    It’s been a few years since we talked but I’ll never forget the times we had playing and laughing.

    Love and Peace my friend
    -Saul

  48. Bruce and Susan,I just heard and I wanted to reach out to you in sympathy. I can’t imagine how hard this has been for you…your son was a vibrant young man from the description given and looks a bit like my oldest Sam. May the memories of his life and the joy he brought you comfort you in the years Ro come. Bless you

    Ed Lesser
    Fair Lawn
    NJ

  49. Dear Bruce, Susan & Victor, my heart goes out to you. In reading the wonderful stories about Alex, it’s plain to see that he lived a life of adventure, passion, laughter & love. You taught him well. The world has lost an exceptional young man. My deepest sympathy. Love to you

  50. I’m missing you so much. Where have you gone??? Life without you has been lonely. What kind of destiny is this?? 😦 I know that our souls find each other in another life.
    I’ll love you forever, Alex.

    • Losses often inspire creation. Thanks (to the band) for sharing your inspiration with those of us who are following Alex’s site. While listening, I felt transported back to those days when I was probably Alex’s age, which by this reference I shall disclose was 30 years ago. Your piece reminded me of attending two Pat Matheny concerts, first in Seattle and later in Berkley. Thanks again.
      Oscar

  51. miss you alex, i wish i could of saw you one last time before you left. there is some much i wish i could talk you about. you will live on for ever with all of your friends and family that won’t for get about you and the way touch all our lives. may you live in everything for ever. ill see you again one day.

  52. One full year has gone by and it still feels like yesterday you left us. I miss you buddy. I still think about the day I met you on Halloween night back in high school. We had so many good times together and I’ll have those memories forever.

  53. I went to senior formal with Alex. We had got all dressed up to go to prom also. But his side burns were too long and they didn’t let us in. Alex was such a beautiful, unique, intelligent, and open minded individual. He was always very adventurous. He was thoughtful and funny. I miss him very much. It’s hard for me to even believe that he is gone. I am grateful to of had the time that I did with Alex.

  54. Alex was a student in two of my classes at HSU — I teach in the department of philosophy and Alex, as you know, graduated as one of our majors. Alex was quiet in class. I did not really have an opportunity to get to know Alex until he became interested in an exchange program I developed with the Czech Republic. Alex was interested in going mainly to be close to his parents — Susan and Bruce — who at that time were in Ukraine.

    I have read through the comments posted and want to add that the one thing that struck me about Alex the most was how much he loved his family. Alex’s maturity became most obvious to me in realizing that he couldn’t care less if his peers thought it a bit unusual to be so close to one’s folks. He was so happy and proud to have you as parents and Victor as his brother. I am sorry it took so long for me to finally reach out, and even sorrier that he is not still in your good company.

    • Mary – Thank you so much for your kind words. We continue to miss Alex every day, and are sorry that the world will have to do without his wonderful self. I well remember his interest in your program in the Czech Republic. He was very grateful for the education he received at Humboldt, and very proud that he graduated. Thank you, again, for remembering Alex. Susan

  55. Alex
    I find myself sitting here trying to type up thoughts, and constantly erasing them. Even after three years its hard to believe I wont get to have our random catch up talks, we wont share Captain crunch again, or have overly scientific conversations about the cheetohs theory being invalid due to the alligator hypothesis. When we met at kastner for the dive team, I was new to California, but instantly you and George became two of my closest friends. We shared many experiences through high school, diving, you trying to teach me the art of clay (Godzilla still rains over little Tokyo thank you very much), going to shows, adventuring the streets of Fresno at night, and so many more that I cant put them all into a sentence no matter how many comma’s I use. I miss hearing of all the adventures you went on when I was in school in Bakersfield, the people you met, the new activity you were mastering at the time. Im sorry it took me so long just to jot down these little things, just couldn’t seem to the memories justice. You always seem to waltz into my thoughts, and I can’t help but laugh at all the amazing times we shared. So thank you.

    Susan and Bruce
    Im so sorry for your loss, Alex was truly a blessing to everyone he came into contact with. I still can’t express the loss I feel even after having drifted apart as we grew older. Thank you for bringing Alex into the world, it just couldn’t keep him for very long.

    Sean

  56. Alex,

    I remember being on the diving team with you for four years during high school. You had so much courage to do almost anything. Literally anything! I remember when we were all just messing around on the boards you wanted to see how many flips you could do as close to the sidewalk as possible!!! You almost hit the sidewalk mid third flip over. Then I remember one time you ran off the 7 meter as fast as you could, without hesitation, to flop down below on a reverse flip. your nuts. I remember you and Sean taking turns holding each others chest up against a wall til one of yous blacked out for a second. Shake my head. I almost let you guys do it on me…but I chickened. I’m pretty sure you guys then did it to Connor next. I couldn’t wait to come to practice afterschool to see what shenanigans you and Sean would creat that day. You were easily Teresa’s most difficult kid on the team. Coming late because of last minute Panda Express runs before practice, attempting the scariest dares from the tallest platforms, and just goofin to the extreme every time. You are hilarious. Usually that would be my role easily, but you had me beat. Never a dull moment around you. You always went to the fullest! That’s what I remember.

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