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  #1  
Old 11-18-2013, 11:54 AM
ppilotmike's Avatar
ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,013
Default R.I.P. Alex Cuellar (VAF Make-a-Wish)

I'm sad to report that Alex Cuellar passed away on Saturday, November 9th, ending his battle with cancer. For those of you who don't remember, Alex and his dad received a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip to Airventure 2012, which was made possible by the incredible generosity of the VAF community. Past threads below:

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ad.php?t=85196
http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...light=VAF+make
http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ad.php?t=89298

This past Saturday, his family held a memorial service to celebrate Alex's life. The service was incredibly positive, with various family members and friends reading speeches they had prepared celebrating Alex’s life. There was laughter, tears and much togetherness. Alex’s Civil Air Patrol squadron, after ceremoniously retrieving the colors, led the group outside to a large garden area, in silence. Thanks to the efforts of the Rocky Mountain Renegades, our local RV aerobatic formation group, a missing man formation flyover was conducted in Alex's honor. Even though Alex wasn't active military, his father is, and he was an active Civil Air Patrol Squadron member working towards becoming an Air Force cadet (his dream).

Time on target was 2:30pm. Smoke on, the formation came in from the south. Immediately above the crowd, with all engines purring, “Alex” pulled up vertically, banked and rolled westward, towards the Rocky Mountains, while the rest continued northward. Eventually, the smoke trail died out, but “Alex” continued westward until completely out of sight. It was beautiful and well received by the approximate 200 people in attendance. Many were active or retired military or Civil Air Patrol cadets.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngt47...ETW22dEIKumWOA

The next day, Alex’s family took some of his ashes to the trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park where Alex, his father and his grandfather had gone backpacking to celebrate him becoming a man. They said their goodbyes there. He was a good kid and will be missed by many, including me.
https://plus.google.com/photos/11378...09018215688676
Thank you VAF, for making Alex's last year his best year.

Mike
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EAA Chapter 301 www.eaa301.org
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F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
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Last edited by ppilotmike : 11-18-2013 at 12:09 PM. Reason: Inserted Picture
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2013, 01:06 PM
RV7Guy's Avatar
RV7Guy RV7Guy is offline
 
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Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 3,000
Default Deeply saddened:(

Thank Mike for the information. I'm saddened beyond words. I had the pleasure of sitting with Alex and his dad at the Van's banquet in 2012. This was so memorable and he was truly inspirational.

Alex, spread those wings and keep all of us safe from above. You are missed.
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2013, 01:40 PM
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Pmerems Pmerems is offline
 
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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Default Missing Man

Mike,

Thanks for all your help with the missing man formation. I wish I could have attended. I looked through the photos from Airventure 2012 and Alex was so happy and filled with life. No words can express the loss.

I am so glad I had a small part in making his dreams come true.
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Paul Merems (EAA Tech Counselor, EAA Sheetmetal Workshop Instructor/Volunteer 18 yrs)
ExperimentalAero-HANGAR BANNERS
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RV-7A (Flying since 2010)/RV-4 (sold 1990)
Tucson, Arizona 85749
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  #4  
Old 11-18-2013, 02:41 PM
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Jerry Fischer Jerry Fischer is offline
 
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Location: Winder Ga
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Default Alex

Blue Skies & Tailwinds...
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  #5  
Old 11-18-2013, 03:26 PM
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cjensen cjensen is offline
 
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Location: Milwaukee, WI area
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Default

Oh my gosh...so sad. His AV12 adventure is something I was so proud to have been able to help with.

Tailwinds Alex.
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  #6  
Old 11-18-2013, 03:37 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
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Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
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Default

Thank you Mike for making the flyby happen today. I wish I could have been there. Thank you to the pilots that did the missing man formation. Alex was a great kid that I enjoyed meeting. Make sure his parents know how much all of us respected him and his fight for life.

God Speed Alex.
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2013, 04:44 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
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Default Thanks Rock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwoodrv9 View Post
Make sure his parents know how much all of us respected him and his fight for life.

God Speed Alex.
He really was a fighter. Here's a couple stories told during his funeral service:

- Originally the cancer showed up in the form of a brain tumor and rendered his left eye temporarily unusable. After beating the cancer back, he regained his sight in that eye. When the cancer returned elsewhere in his body and he went back to fighting, it eventually rendered his right eye unusable (permanently). Alex's comment at that time was "Hey, at least I've got another eye."
- When watching a story about Mike Tyson, and shortly after, getting a sharpie-marker face tattoo similar to the one Mike Tyson has, Alex said, "Mike Tyson never had to battle Cancer... what a wuss!"
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EAA Chapter 301 www.eaa301.org
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
http://www.mykitlog.com/users/index....ig&project=803
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKCyX2FXrlw

Last edited by ppilotmike : 11-18-2013 at 04:45 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #8  
Old 11-18-2013, 05:38 PM
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LettersFromFlyoverCountry LettersFromFlyoverCountry is offline
 
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Default

Here's the interview I did with Alex, his dad, Mike, and Paul at EAA Radio in 2012.

also, it would be nice if just this once, VAF would let expletives be posted. Because, man, I've got a lot of them I want to write. :*(
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St. Paul, MN.
Blog: Letters From Flyover Country
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Last edited by LettersFromFlyoverCountry : 11-18-2013 at 05:58 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2013, 06:15 PM
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LettersFromFlyoverCountry LettersFromFlyoverCountry is offline
 
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Default

Also, can you provide an address for the family? I'd like to send a card.
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Bob Collins
St. Paul, MN.
Blog: Letters From Flyover Country
RV-12iS Powerplant kit
N612EF Builder log (EAA Builder log)
Last article: "Gonna Finish This Sucker" (Kitplanes)
Waiting for the avionics kit (backordered: chip shortage)
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  #10  
Old 11-19-2013, 08:03 AM
Chuck Hagerty Chuck Hagerty is offline
 
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Location: Lynchburg, VA
Posts: 105
Default Good idea.

Good suggestion on the address Bob. I never met Alex or his family, but this type of sadness is universal and I'm sure many of us would like to send condolences to the family.
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First flight 1-29-13
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