Alexander Charles Then

September 26, 1961 - May 4, 2023

09/26/1961 - 05/04/2023

Past Services

Celebration of Life
Saturday May 13, 2023
10:00 am
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Southside Chapel
5033 Rouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 422-4000 | Directions

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

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Janio primo
9 months ago

Hey beautiful soul, we miss you
Our father I thought u were eternal
That u would c me getting old
And I would c u getting bald👩‍🦲
Tears now is d only words left for my heart
But your legacy will forever b engraved in my soul
Can’t believe I’m here to say goodbye
But I’m grateful for you were such a light in my life
Meeting u was awkward but
Loving you was special and fast
Our conversations our jokes kkkk
I will miss all that I miss all that
And I never did get a hug from you
Your life is a celebration
Your legacy forever an inspiration
I hope heaven still takes call
For I got say goodbye to you in a prayer
I hope you hear my voice
And that we get to say goodbye in my dream
Love you
forever my mentor and my father

9 months ago


Elaine Simpson
9 months ago

My heartfelt condolences go out especially to Elari and Alex’s family. I was fortunate enough to ride with Alex, DJ & Kim when we drove to Baltimore together to take the Landmark ILP course. I greatly benefited from our time together and his insightful words of wisdom, patience & understanding. I knew him pre-Elari and was so happy for him when they found each other. I was also the recipient of Alex’s generosity. About 3 months after moving into my home a windstorm knocked a section of fencing down. Alex got friends together and instead of fixing the one panel that blew over they replaced the whole back fence so all the panels would match! His loving nonjudgemental way of being will always inspire me.

Sam Akompong
9 months ago

Alex, my good buddy and my fellow Lightworker, what a powerful soul ! What a difference you made in my life !

From Unity Renaissance where I first met you, through our Landmark days; the road trips, the deep conversations, the moments of profound realization … through the dealing with Life’s challenges … and of course, the fun times. The fun that characterized your fruitful life. I remember and cherish them all.

You have only changed form. You will always be with us, in heart and in mind, though you journey through realms of Light. Rest in perfect power, my friend !

  • Sam
Be The Christ Temple/Animal Manger Rescue Davis
9 months ago

Dearest Elari and family members of Alex,
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your beloved, Alex. He was a wonderful spiritual man and kind to everyone. He personally helped me one day at Unity Renaissance when I was in need, and I will never forget it. He was a bright, shining light and I’m sure he continues to do and be so now in the afterlife and beyond.
Sending immense love, light, and prayers for peace and healing now, and Great Gratitude to be a friend of Alex‘s always.
Always Being Love and Gratitude,
Rev. Keith Davis Klemstine

Lisa Smith
9 months ago

I am saddened to hear of Alex’s passing and Elari’s (and his family’s) loss of such a special, dear soul. I didn’t even know he was ill. I believe his soul form is in a new, joyful place, however, and creating new adventures there and beyond! I’m grateful for having known him for the time I did.
Disappointed that I will not be able to make the service, as I am registered for a 5K on Saturday. I see on this page that there is possibly a livestream of the service, so I hope I can find it to view from there.

Jennifer OBrien
9 months ago

I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of Alexander. May he rest in peace.

Charles Tudor
9 months ago

Alex was the perpetual smile that welcomed everyone. A peaceful soul. He will be missed.

Joleen and Lee Pennypacker
9 months ago

We are so saddened to hear of Alex’s passing. He was a beautiful presence at our church, and Lee really enjoyed serving with him on the board. We are holding you all in prayer. ❤️

9 months ago

What a great photo of Alex! This completely depicts his love of life, his strength, and his Superman Spirit!🙏🏽🌈
My deepest condolences to beautiful Elari and all your families.
With Love and GraceLight Blessings,
Andrea Marie