Obituary: Alexander Victor Patenaude
Courtesy Moriarty Funeral Home
Alexander Victor Patenaude died on Aug. 26, 2017.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 2 p.m., at the Montclair Women’s Club, 82 Union St.
Alexander Victor Patenaude was born as Viktor Sergei Schevchenko in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 11, 1997. He came to this country at the age of 10 months. A lifelong charmer, at his orphanage Alex wooed his adoptive parents by blowing air kisses, perhaps in an effort to distract them from his facial eczema. This charismatic and affectionate behavior was an instinctive part of Alex, enabling him to make friends wherever he went with his quiet smile and his genuine interest in their lives.
Alex lived for most of his life in Montclair, and spent the majority of that time passionately rooting for professional sports teams from Boston. He owned no clothing that did not have a Patriots, Celtics or Red Sox logo. His idea of “the perfect man” was Tom Brady.
Alex was very proud of his hair, and as a young boy he insisted that people were always asking him if they could touch it, because it looked so silky, so he allowed them to pet him. He lived a lifetime free of bad hair days (omitting an unfortunate “hi-top fade” period).
Alex overcame his somewhat limited physical prowess and eventually developed a reliable jump shot through dogged persistence at his driveway hoop, often accompanied by his siblings and father, and later his buddies.
He had a genuine love for processed foods and kept a running shopping list which shrank to nothing when he learned the outing was to Whole Foods. He believed organic food was the devil’s work and, to his mother’s constant dismay, focused on the four main food groups: Hot Pockets, Kraft Mac and Cheese, Doritos and Coca-Cola.
Alex was smart and sharp, and in middle school developed a keen interest in current events. Even when he was away from home, Alex would send his parents texts at all hours asking if they had heard the latest news, ready to discuss it regardless of the time of day (or night). He was a different learner, because of his severe dyslexia: Alex was a listener. He learned best that way and never missed a class.
Alex lived life most fully when he was with his family and friends, and his kind and curious nature was infectious — all benefited when Alex was on his game, quietly laughing, listening. His ADHD melted away when engaged in conversation, because Alex cared deeply about everyone he was close to. And he attracted an amazing group of friends.
Although he lived his life in Montclair, Alex’s thoughts were never far from his birthplace. As a teenager and, later a young man, Alex had a great interest in his homeland. His room was filled with Ukrainian flags and his cellphone homescreen, hallowed ground for millennials, always displayed a coat of arms or some version of Ukraine’s blue-and-yellow motif.
Alex also loved kids and was the popular cousin, showering the little ones with attention and carrying them on his back. He was their Pied Piper.
His kindness and emotional intelligence was legendary. Even in elementary school, if he saw someone being picked on, he wouldn’t tolerate it, at the real risk of being beaten up by the bullies for stepping in.In recent years, he began to develop a goal of helping others — perhaps as a high school guidance counselor. Unfortunately, he did not have time to take many active steps in that direction.
His loving kindness, sense of humor, and big heart will be sorely missed by his parents, Judy Hoffstein and Joel Patenaude; and his siblings, David Patenaude and Sophie Patenaude, as well as his extended family and many friends.
Condolences may be left on Alex's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/alex.patenaude.33?ref=br_tf