A Life Upward and Onward

Born in 1988 in San Francisco, Alden moved with her family to the Seattle area when she was eight years old, leaving behind friends and sunshine on the condition of a promised family dog. Her infectious laugh rang through the halls of St. Thomas School in Medina and University Prep in Seattle, where she graduated with flying colors despite the occasional run-in with the administration. She loved and excelled at soccer, tennis, sailing, softball, yoga, and backpacking, and wrangled her friends and family into everything she did. Before and after Hurricane Katrina, Alden worked on housing restoration projects in New Orleans, and she invented summer adventures for orphaned campers in Sarajevo, Bosnia with the Global Children’s Organization.

In 2010 Alden graduated from Boston University, where she majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, spent a semester in Paris conducting cystic fibrosis research, ran as a bandit in the Boston marathon, and played the crocodile in Peter Pan in her theatrical debut. Prior to her Peace Corps service, she lived in Montpelier and taught English, traveled through Spain, Portugal and Morocco, ran the Paris Marathon legitimately, and spread her incomparable charisma.

Alden surrounded her family and friends with infinite love and enthusiasm, inspiring us all with her never-ending adventures — early-morning runs, sailing in Lake Washington, dancing the tango on a Boston sidewalk, skiing through the trees of Whistler, ice-skating after midnight in Bellevue, and surfing any wave that came her way. Alden always searched for the deeper substance of a person and spent whatever time and energy it took to find it.

While drinking in everything that life could offer, Alden set her sights on lofty goals.  She wanted to cure cancer and envisioned a PhD program in Biochemistry following her Peace Corps service.  She was eager to travel everywhere, learn about other cultures, and improve the lives of people in need, particularly children.  She marshalled her considerable artistic and athletic skills in a way that gave joy to others.  Not wanting to miss anything, she made voluminous lists of what she wanted to accomplish and to learn, including all the great books she intended to read and the places she planned to visit. Despite her nearly limitless energy and drive, she always managed to find humor in everything and regaled friends and family with self-deprecating stories of her misadventures.  Her ability to poke fun at herself enabled her to try new things far out of her comfort zone, knowing that at the very least there would be a good story to tell.  When confronted with family or friends who were out of synch, she rallied those around her, built bridges, and promoted harmony.  Her empathy and affection for people and animals were boundless, even though she had no shortage of sardonic comments about the objects of her affection.

Sailing in Seattle