Alexander James "Alex" Robertson

alexander robertson

April 2, 1982 ~ August 26, 2023

Born in: Orlando, FL
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Alexander James Robertson “Alex”, resident of Asheville, NC, died in the arms of family at Mission Hospital on the morning of August 26th, after succumbing to a prolonged illness.

From a young age, Alex touched those around him with his tender and peaceful heart, sharp mind and wry wit, moral idealism, and devotion to family. A native of Winter Park, FL, Alex spent his early years among Central Florida’s lakes and coastlines, especially New Smyrna Beach, where he discovered a passion for surfing and skateboarding, which would later inspire his professional life.

Alex was a deep thinker, a person who searched for meaning and justice everywhere he went—from his high school semester at the Outdoor Academy in Western North Carolina and his time at Northfield Mount Hermon boarding school in Massachusetts to his college education at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and his semester of study in Munich, Germany.

But Alex’s greatest passion was music and how it could connect us to one another. After college, Alex pursued a second degree in Jazz Performance at the University of North Carolina – Asheville and played in various bands as a jazz and rock guitarist, including Central Florida’s Diocious and Asheville-based East Coast Dirt. Alex also found meaning in sharing his love of music as a volunteer teacher at the Asheville chapter of Guitars 4 Vets, an organization devoted to helping veterans cope with PTSD through music.

A skilled entrepreneur, Alex co-founded the Great Orlando Beer Festival, Central Florida’s first craft beer festival, in 2008, and Western North Carolina’s only indoor skateboarding park, RAD Skatepark, in Asheville’s River Arts District in December 2016. RAD Skatepark continues to be a beloved institution for the skateboarding community in Western North Carolina and a gathering place for skaters of all levels, including local youth through its summer skateboarding camps.

Alex is survived by his former wife, Suzannah Genz, and their children, Lucas and Beau Robertson, of Asheville; his parents, Randy and Pat Robertson, of Winter Park; his sister, Hannah Miller, also of Winter Park (husband Wade and children Sabine and Ethan); and his brother, Graham Robertson, of Washington, D.C. (wife Mercedes Camps). Until the very end, Alex cherished his immediate and extended family, including all his aunts, uncles, and cousins from the Robertson and Schenck families.

Alex will be remembered by all who loved him as a person of gentleness and integrity whose memory will be ever present in the Smoky Mountains and Florida’s beaches, in the music of his favorite artists Phish and Thelonious Monk, and when any of us sit down to play a game of chess or backgammon.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Guitars 4 Vets and the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences to support its research on treatment for the dual diagnoses of addiction and depression.*

A memorial gathering will be held at RAD Skatepark, 37 Foundry Street, on Friday, September 1, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. There will also be a memorial service at All Saints Episcopal Church, 338 E. Lyman Avenue, Winter Park, Florida, on Friday, October 6, at 3:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

*Gifts to Guitars 4 Vets can be made online at the department’s secure, online giving site, https://guitars4vets.org/donate-today/, or by check made payable to Guitars for Vets Processing Center, 13400 Bishops Lane, Suite 120, Brookfield, WI 53005.

Gifts to Johns Hopkins research fund can be made by check payable to “Johns Hopkins University” and mailed to “Fund for John’s Hopkins Medicine” at 550 N. Broadway, Suite 912, Baltimore, MD 21205. Please note on your check that the gift is in memory of Alex Robertson. Gifts can also be made online at the Department’s secure, online giving site: https://secure.jhu.edu/form/psych. Please complete the online giving form to designate gifts in Alex’s memory and choose “Department of Psychiatry Gift Fund” as the designation.

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Guestbook

  1. Thank you for all you did for the Veterans of this country. God bless and God’s speed to you and yours.

  2. 6+ years ago I walked in RAD with 2 little boys, a couple Walmart skateboards and no knowledge of how awesome the AVL skate community was. Alex hooked us up with free boards and old trucks and sent us to Krista at Flipside for everything else. To this day I cherish watching those 2 brothers shred together. Alex and the crew at RAD gave our kids a safe place to be with friends, to learn to fail and practice and overcome fears all while doing something they love. He and that space will be deeply missed but we will forever appreciate what he gave us. I am so sorry for your loss.

  3. I am sitting here on a porch in India thinking back years ago and all the years that I knew Alex. What pushes through the shock the most is his gentle smile. May God give your family strength. Much love.

  4. Alex will always be, to me, the boy with the cutest smile, and Hannah’s little brother. I met Alex years ago (15 years ago?) on the dock at the Robertson’s home in Winter Park. He was full of energy and ready to have fun. I remember him being excited to get out on the water. I am deeply sorry for your loss and I hold you all close to my heart. Alex will be remembered fondly forever.

  5. Alex, although I didn’t know him personally must have been a light in the world when he was in this mortal plane and his spirit will continue to be a light to all he touched. I am very sad to hear of his death, especially for his beautiful parents, Randy and Pat.

  6. Your loving obituary touched me deeply. That beast of addiction and depression took my first husband, a dear and loving father. Your reflections illuminated the loving capacity each of your family members brings forth in the world, shining in what could be dark and difficult times. How we love you, each and all, and grieve with this tragic loss. – Mickey and Ike

  7. peace be with you Alex – and, a special prayer for your family, friends, and the many people who love and miss you dearly

  8. My fondest memory of Alex is at 3 years old when he would come into our classroom full of energy and joy. Keeping up with your entire family all these years has been a gift to me. My heart breaks for you all at this sad time. I am with you in spirit.

  9. I echo the posted sentiments above of our mutual friend, Mickey Griffin. What a life and loss to all of you. With all of you in spirit and love.

  10. May the dark void you now feel become filled with the warm memories and legacy of such a gentle, loving, and giving son.

  11. I remember walking down park avenue, and the street was warmed by most incredible guitar music I’d ever heard. When I walked up to the stage, I found Alex playing his guitar. Somehow I felt really cool in that moment that I knew such a talented musician. Alex was a great friend to my brother and a fixture in many of my most cherished memories and childhood adventures. Sending love and prayers to the entire family.

  12. Our hearts are broken for all of you … what a beautiful and beloved soul Alex was. May the angels guide him to Paradise

  13. I only knew about Alex. It was obvious my loss that we never met,
    May his memory be a blessing for all of you who were close to him.
    May you receive strength and the unconditional love of your time together.

  14. I remember checking out Diocious in Gainesville, FL, on several occasions, and they always rocked the house. Alex was part of the inspiration for me (along with my dear sis) to attend Outdoor Academy, and I live in Asheville now with bliss and gratitude. Stay true, good man.

  15. Alex clearly lived a full and meaningful life. His family and friends must be so proud. He blessed many. May you, his loved ones, be comforted beyond measure.


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