Alex was born in Sibu Malaysia and spent his early childhood in Kuching. He attended secondary school in England, and then attended the University of Texas in Austin. He then moved to Virginia Beach and finished his degree at ODU.
Let’s take this moment to honor our beloved Alex Then. He transitioned into nonphysical form on Thursday May, 4, 2023 at home. Elari was by his side stroking the back of his head when his soul left his physical body. What an honor.
Alex is one of the most loving souls I’ve ever known. He was committed to personal excellence and generous beyond words; no one was considered a stranger. It was rare for a day to pass, when someone he’d never met would gravitate toward him, and tell him part of their life story. This was true, even during his medical visits over these past several months, or when we’d be hosting a Christmas tree lighting, community gathering, or haunted Halloween cave for friends, neighborhood children and their parents, or when we’d be at the beach with community friends. Everyone who wanted to be, could be part of the fun. He literally lit up every space he entered, and throughout his life, he made it his mission to be a catalyst and master teacher of personal transformation. He embodied what he taught as a Life Coach. His life partner Elari, perhaps more than anyone, can attest to that.
Over the years, he facilitated liberating transformation, and healing for thousands of people, not only in his work, but it was who he was in every area of his life. People would discover profound freedom in their interactions with him. He helped thousands of people build relationships with themselves and others that were based on loving wisdom and the freedom that only comes with personal responsibility, as in 100%, okay I created this; what is my role here, and who is it I want to be … that type of responsibility. And his ability to bring humor into our shared and individual human journeys brought love and laughter into countless lives. Over the years, I’ve seen thousands of people enter our home struggling with some part of their human journey … only to leave a short time later, feeling, not only wiser, but delighted to be alive and divinely human, as we all are.
And here’s something I was also blessed to witness, time and time again, and so very rare in a culture that tends to make responsibility mean blame and finger pointing. I can say that in all of our conversations and shared moments over the years — I never once, not once, heard him blame anyone for anything. How rare is that? He made higher self-responsibility, love, and wisdom his loving priorities. He is one of the most generous and welcoming beings I have ever met, and he was always the first person to reach out and help someone. He considered everyone his family. He was a longterm member of Unity Renaissance in Chesapeake Virginia, where he previously served as a prayer chaplain, a welcome team lead, and is a past member of the Unity mens group and a past board member. He has also been an active member and volunteer for the Landmark community in Philadelphia, Washington DC and the Hampton Roads area.
He was also a Texas Longhorn and Dallas Cowboys fan, loved to go on roadtrips with Elari and family, and treasured his time with family having fun, celebrating, and creating holiday traditions old and new, and bringing joy throughout his life and those he knew.
He was preceded in his journey into nonphysical form by his beloved father Anthony Then, his grandfather John Tai and Grandma Juliana and his brother-in-law Sebastien Goang.
Remaining in physical form are: his beloved Life Partner, Elari Onawa, his 3 beautiful daughters, Jade Then and her partner Keegan Fiero, Shanitae Then, and Aliyah Then, a beloved stepdaughter, Dawn Phalen and her partner Matthew Atkins, his stepson Grayson Collins, and his wife Tanya. He is also survived by his friend and ex-wife Angela LaFond and her husband Ray, and his sisters and their spouses Gertrude Then, Agnes Then and Lai Hua Lee, Martina Then and Gan Kim San, and Bibiana Then and her husband Tony Wang, his brothers John Then, Frederick Then and Jennifer Thong and his mother, Bernadine Tai Then.
Many of you have reached out through text messages, emails, and social messages to ask how you can contribute. For those of you who are called to make a contribution to his memorial or medical fund, you can do that here. And thank you to all of you who have already reached out and shared your love and generosity in so many beautiful ways. It is truly appreciated.
On behalf of Alex, Elari and the entire family, we love you, and appreciate having you as part of our lives. Thank you for sharing these special blessed moments with us.
A Celebration of Alex’s Life will be held at 10:00am on Saturday, May 13, at Altmeyer Funeral Home Southside Chapel.
Condolences may be left at www.altmeyerfh.com.