Alexander James "Alex" Robertson
April 2, 1982 ~ August 26, 2023
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.