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What you need to know for 10/19/2017

Union student who died suddenly recalled as confident, dedicated

Union student who died suddenly recalled as confident, dedicated

Alexander Askenazy was a goalie on school's club hockey team
Union student who died suddenly recalled as confident, dedicated
Friends of Union College sophomore Alexander Askenazy during an on-campus memorial Thursday.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

SCHENECTADY — Union College sophomore Roderick Landreth told those gathered at the college's Nott Memorial on Thursday evening that he would keep his remarks on his late friend Alexander Askenazy brief.

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Pictured: Alexander Askenazy. (Via Union College)

To go on longer about Askenazy — a fellow Union sophomore who died Sunday after a medical emergency — could mean his emotions would prevent him from finishing, Landreth said.

"As a friend, Alex was easily the most studious and healthy of all of us," he said near the start of his remarks before emotion caused him to pause. 

"Yup, there I go," Landreth added.

"This health," he continued, "manifested in his confidence in any action he took, the care in which he maintained his body and his dedication to family."

Emotions remained near the surface for many at the filled gathering, as those in attendance remembered the 19-year-old biochemistry major and what he meant to them. 

Askenazy came to the school from New Mexico. He served as a goalie on the school's club hockey team and as president of the fencing club, according to the school.

Landreth spent his freshman year as Askenazy's roommate and recalled how Askenazy stayed in frequent contact with his family, as well as his dedication to his studies and his sports.

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His German professor, Michele Ricci Bell, recalled a prepared student who excelled at his work.

"Alex was bright, diligent and focused," Bell recalled. "He also had a subtle sense of humor."

She recalled just last week when Askenazy revealed with a smirk his hidden Foreigner T-shirt when a German discussion veered toward his favorite music group.

Bell also recounted recollections from others, who recalled Askenazy's curiosity, maturity and work ethic.

Union President Stephen Ainlay addressed Askenazy's parents, who were present for the service. Askenazy, he said, will always be a part of the Union community and, by extension, they will always be, too.

He added he hopes they found comfort in the stories and recollections offered by Askenazy's friends and professors.

Ainlay told of accounts he'd received of Askenazy — that Askenazy was proud to be at Union, that he was not just a good student but an exceptional one. He was loyal and never one to take the easy path.

"We can all be proud of the fact that Alex chose Union," Ainlay said. "I know I am and I am very grateful that he did."

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