an excerpt from Alex's obituary: "For 14 glorious years, Alex Pak lived and on Saturday, August 13th 2011, Alex left us.
He was born on October 23, 1996 in Renton WA, into a loving family. He was the only boy in a house of four girls. He was called many things in his life, Little Man, Alex man, Panda man, The “Prince”, and the “Caboose”. But his real name had been chosen many years before he was born. Alex’s parents were still dating when a little old man approached them and said, “You are such a cute couple. If you ever have a boy, you should name him Alexander. It’s a good name and has served me well, all these many years.” Alex’s paternal grandmother bestowed the name Xie Hong long before Alex joined the family. With each pregnancy Alexander Xie Hong was always the boy’s name and his parents would scramble to name each new girl who came along. It was 12 years before Alex would claim his name.
In 1998 the family moved to Missoula where Alex would spend the rest of his life. He attended school at Chief Charlo Elementary and Meadow Hill Middle School. He was preparing to enter high school in a couple of weeks. He would have attended Sentinel with his many friends.
Alex was not a joiner, but a free spirit who liked to pursue his own passions. He loved to collect pandas, skateboard, ride his bike and mostly he loved to play his guitars. He was self taught and exceptionally talented. He would play those guitars until the rafters rattled and we begged him to turn down the amp. Alex spent this summer playing his guitar at the Farmer’s Market and Out-to-Lunch. Alex called his guitars his “kids”. He loved them and we fondly remember the very first time he saw his first guitar. His dad brought it home after work, late one night and Alex could not have been more excited. They sat on the couch together and his dad taught him some cords. From that moment on he would play, morning, noon and night.
It seemed that everything came quickly and easily for Alex. He learned to ride a unicycle in minutes; he could juggle without even thinking about it, if he heard a song he could pick out the notes and cords and play it. He was a wonder to us all. One day, at age 4, he asked his mom to teach him to ride his bike without training wheels. She did the standard “hold the seat and run along” bit. Alex instantly saw the flaw in this plan and asked his mom to go in the house for a minute. When she came out just 10 minutes later he was whizzing around in the street on two wheels. Before the day was over he had taught two other neighbor kids to ride their bikes. Alex knew his own mind and heart and was fiercely independent. He wasn’t afraid to go against the grain or make a wave. He spoke his own truth without a care for what was popular opinion. He had the wicked sense of humor and would use it at will.
Alex, we love you with every ounce of our being and will miss you forever. You brought us so much joy and happiness with your silly antics and wise cracks. There are not enough words to tell you how much we love you and miss you. Our hearts are shattered but we know that you are safe with those who left before you. We will see you again one day.
We want to express our sincerest thanks to all the people who tried so hard to bring Alex back to us. We are grateful for all the love and support that we have received from our friends, family and our community. We could not travel this road alone. We are humbled by all that we have received."
I posted a query on Ancestry.com's message forum asking for help locating information on several ancestors who all lived in the same community. Yesterday I opened my messages to find this:
"From "The Helena Daily Independent," published at Helena, Montana on Saturday, April 13, 1935:
MARXER ESTATE PROBATED IN COURT.
Great Falls, Apr. 12. -- The will of the late Katharina Marxer, who died January 5 last, was Wednesday admitted to probate in district court following a hearing before Judge W. Neigs. George Marxer of Eden, a son, was named executor of the estate.
The estate has a value of about $13,050, consisting of 1,600 acres of land valued at $10,000, 60 head of cattle valued at $1,500, 7 head of horses valued at $400, farm machinery with a value of $250 and other personal property valued at $900. The heirs are several children and grandchildren. I was able to find the above article from a paid database, Newspaper Archives. I was unable to find any other articles in reference to the other names you listed. I hope you find the above article of use. I am not related." The submitter of this info is known only as volunteerMT. I'm very thankful for people like volunteerMT who take time from their busy lives to help others.
The Joseph Marxer Homestead
Thankful Thursday – Create a post that expresses gratitude for a person (past or present), resource, family history tool or anything connected to you or your and family history that has had a positive impact on your life. This prompt has been suggested by Carolyn Murphy of Family Tree Gal and has been in use by Mary Warren of Mary’s Musings for the past year.
Nothing gets me motivated like a field trip. Yesterday I drove to Great Falls with my husband and spent some time traipsing through cemeteries. My cousin Molly and her daughter Grace joined me on this excursion. First we went to Mt Olivet and drove around and around and then got out and walked up and down and hither and yon. We did finally find Joseph and Katherine Marxer, who, by the way, should have been at Calvary Cemetery via their death certificates. How the heck did that snafoo happen not once but twice? (updated 25 Oct 2011) Dad informed me that the Marxers were moved to Mount Olivet when Calvery Cemetery was closed, years ago.
I felt certain that Grandpa and Grandma Borgreen should have been close by, but we drove and walked all over and just couldn't find them. So then we headed to Highland Cemetery, just down the road. It was much larger than I had anticipated and packed FULL of stones. We drove a bit and walked alot and came away empty handed. So we headed out to lunch and had a wonderful time chatting and eating. Then I took Molly and Grace home and realized that I had some spare time before picking up my husband. So I went back to Mt. Olivet for another try. I was drawn to the back lane along the fence and as I drove through the gate I said aloud "Grandma, I'm back. I need some help. Can you show me where you are?" I drove to the Marxer stone, which is large and hard to miss. I parked and got out to walk the rows. I walked up and down and back again and suddenly, three rows in and directly across from where I parked was Carl T. Borgreen and Ellen E. Borgreen. The stone were set into the grass and so easy to miss if you weren't paying close attention. I found other relatives and took pictures of their stones, but these were the prize of the day. I have more stones to find...another day.
A couple of funnies from the trip. Molly and I were walking the rows when suddenly she says "Why can't everyone die in alphabetical order?" I'm sure the fact that her last name starts with B and mine with P escaped her attention. The second funny was as we barreled down the dusty road to cemetery #2 on our list, Molly's cell phone rang. She answered and her caller asked "What are you doing?" After a nervous moment of silence Molly says "Cemetery Hopping". I heard some excitement on the other end of the line to which Molly responded, "No, not for me!" That girl always cracks me up. Motivation Monday – do you have a set of genealogy-related goals you want to tackle? Do you have tips on getting motivated? Whether you want to lend advice or you need advice, participate in Motivation Monday at your blog and tell us what’s on your genealogical plate. This is an ongoing series created by Dionne Kurti at Finding Josephine.