Alexandra Johanna Greathouse, affectionately known as Alex, was born on June 5, 1989 in the sleepy town of Anacortes, Washington, set just north of Seattle. From a young age, it was clear Alex’s dreams and aspirations would carry her far beyond that tiny town with her bright personality and contagious smile. Today her story is one told by many, each with a different pulse but all ending with the same resounding message: Alex drove us to be better people, laugh more, dream courageously, live fabulously, and to do it all without regrets.
While Alex’s time here with us was cut devastatingly short, her legacy shines on within her beloved friends and family. In January of 2015, Alex found out she had oral cancer with the official diagnosis that February of Squamous Cell Carcinoma. After a long and tireless battle with the cancer, Alex passed surrounded by family and loved ones in her adopted home of Boston, Massachusetts on May 3, 2016.
Alex left behind a unique mark on each of us, just like each relationship was with her. That is the kind of sister, daughter, niece, friend, classmate, and colleague Alex was, not one relationship shared the same uniformity because of her love for others individually and collectively.
Below is a collection of stories that represent Alex from all parts of her life:
Anacortes High School
In high school, Alex graced the halls with a friendly smile and warm heart, often laughing, singing, or shouting with friends. Whether it was Homecoming week or just your average Wednesday (where we’d always wear pink), she was in good spirits. Alex spent her time in all of the extra curricular activities — from sports, including soccer and track, to educational endeavors like AP classes and DECA, the business and marketing club (where she earned a place in the national tournament). Outside of school she attended events with red solo cups and held a plethora of part-time jobs. Over our high school years Alex not only worked at Ship Harbor Inn, her family’s hotel, but at the local bakery by the ferry (Cheesecake Cafe), the best pizza place in town (Village Pizza), and as a cleaner, at the one and only Anacortes Yacht Charters.
Alex was an active participant in spirit days and homecoming challenges, especially the likes of float building and dance competitions. She attended all of the dances, from tolo to formal extravaganzas, including senior prom her freshman year. When Alex wasn’t working, she was around her friends and family, making each and every persons day better. Small town life left a lot of room for red solo cup events (sometimes themed), parking lot meet ups, youth group, exploring the parks and woods, Sunday scrambles with a pound of bacon, and a lot of driving around doing nothing. Alex loved to travel and explore, whether it was one of the islands, Seattle or somewhere new entirely. She loved visits to her Uncle Chris in SF.
We started independently traveling too, there were visits to St. Louis to see a friend who moved, DECA conferences in Florida, and more. In high school, we listened to a lot of country music and Alex could really sing it well. She had taken voice lessons for years, Alex even sometimes wrote and sang her own songs to her close confidants. Alex not only excelled in the fun, she was an academic. She signed herself up for the advanced classes, like honors English and AP history. So when it came time to start looking at college, it was no surprise that Alex looked far and wide. One memorable winter day, she stumbled upon Boston University’s (BU) application, and with out much time to spare she decided BU had potential for her post-high school life. Within weeks or maybe it was months, she received her acceptance letter and started preparing for college. With consistent good grades, more frequent games of beer pong to prep for college parties and visits to the mall to start her East Coast wardrobe - she was the only girl at our a high school with a DVF wrap dress. Just like that, Alex was ready to start her new life in Boston and the Anacortes crew had one last full summer together to make as many memories as possible.
From driving around Washington Park to summer country concerts to tie dye parties in the driveway, we continued to grow closer to Alex. We knew the bond of Anacortes would glue us all together, no matter what, even after we dispersed.
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