Friends mourn the loss of Alex Stebbins

Family and friends gather at the front campus rock Monday night to remember junior Alexander Stebbins, who died Dec. 26. Stebbins was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon.

Julie Sickel

Those who knew Alexander Stebbins, junior hospitality management major, knew him as a Creed-loving jokester who always knew how to make people smile.

“He’s probably the funniest person I’ve ever met in my entire life, and everyone you talk to will tell you that,” said Lauren Zak, a junior pre-fashion design and merchandising major and long-time friend of Stebbins.

Stebbins died Dec. 26. The cause of his death is unclear. Family members, friends and Kent State faculty held a candlelight vigil for Stebbins on Monday evening by the rock on front campus.

Stebbins was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon since his freshman year. Dave Woods, head of member education and former Tau Kappa Epsilon president, said Stebbins’s personality allowed him to fit in well with his fraternity brothers.

“He just made everyone happy. It’s easy to have fun around him,” Woods said. “He was really accepting of pretty much everyone, which kind of goes along with what our fraternity is all about. He was really special to us.”

Friends described Stebbins, or “Stubs,” as he was sometimes called, as a “jovial” person who knew how to have fun with life.

“Alex never took anything or himself too seriously,” said Jordan Falk, a senior nursing major and close friend of Stebbins’s at Tau Kappa Epsilon. “I don’t have any bad memories of Alex. Every memory I have of Alex was always him doing something funny or entertaining everybody. I never really saw him sad or angry or let-down by anything.”

Zak said Stebbins couldn’t resist a good prank, like “soup-canning” cars — pouring cans of creamy soup on top of cars — but he could be “serious when you needed him to be.”

“He was a really great friend. He would do anything for anyone,” Zak said. “He was one of the very first people I called when something was wrong or when something exciting happened. He got me through a lot.”

Last year, when Falk’s car wouldn’t start, Stebbins acted as his chauffer and drove him to all his classes. “No questions asked, he just said ‘yeah, no problem.’ He didn’t complain or anything,” Falk said.

Stebbins was known as a music lover whose favorite band was Creed. In high school he was a member of the Hudson High School marching band, jazz band and drum line.

After Stebbins’s wake, friends and family members gathered at the Tau Kappa Epsilon house for an “Alex Stebbins Playlist Night.”

“He’d always air drum to Creed,” Zak said. “I can still see him doing that in my head.”

Woods described one occasion where Stebbins memorized an entire song by Andrea Bocelli and sang it “at the top of his lungs” on the porch of the Tau Kappa Epsilon house.

“All our neighbors came out to see it,” Woods said. “He was just that kind of guy.”

Contact Julie Sickel at [email protected].