Alexander Joseph Kelemen, Jr. passed away September 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Washington. Known as “Alex” or “Al” to family and friends, he leaves a legacy of kindness, passion, and service to his family, community, and nation.
Alex was born June 5, 1948 in New York City to Alexander Kelemen Sr., and Lucille Pardee. He graduated from Ithaca Senior High School in 1966. Alex moved to the Seattle area after serving in the United States Navy as a Fire Control Technician. He served on both the USS Guadalcanal, and the USS Wahkiakum County, and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. Alex was honorably discharged in 1972.
Upon arriving in the Pacific Northwest, Alex embarked on a career at The Boeing Company, focusing on experimental electronics technologies. Working closely with cutting-edge defense initiatives, Alex supported key projects ranging from Boeing’s PHM (Patrol Hydrofoil, Missile) program, in support of the Navy, to the Interim Upper Stage, which helped launch satellites from the Space Shuttle. Alex retired from The Boeing Company in 2006.
Alex maintained numerous personal interests in technology, computers, and electronics, always seeking to be the earliest adopter of the newest products. He taught himself computer language coding, and frequently built custom-made computers that he generously provided to family and friends.
Above all, Alex’s lifelong passion was family. Tending closely to his brothers and sister, some who would follow him West, and their children, Alex was a frequent, influential, and welcomed presence in their homes. He provided pragmatic, valuable advice and companionship to adults and high-energy, silly, and highly memorable experiences for children. Beyond being the “fun uncle”, Alex challenged kids to think critically, to embrace curiosity in the sciences, and to see every day as an opportunity to learn more.
Preceded by his parents, and his brother Jack Kelemen, Alex is survived by his brothers Peter, William, and Matthew, his sister Susan, six nieces, four great-nieces, and five great-nephews.
Donations, in lieu of flowers, can be made to the Woodland Park Zoo, in Seattle Washington, in support of the children’s education program.