Year of Birth: 1981
Passed Away: February 14th, 2023

Heart-centric, eccentric, and exceptional father, husband, son, and friend Alex Coombes has left us with his final riddle. Alex passed away in his sleep on Valentine’s Day at the age of 41, leaving his cherished family and devoted friends in shared grief. He was wholly unique in his capacity for knowledge, humour, and kindness and the world has lost a brilliant and incomparable man.

Alex Coombes was born in August 1981 and spent his childhood in North Vancouver. Switching to Downtown’s ‘City School’ in his teen years proved pivotal, and he credited the program with focusing his quirky and energetic intellect. He met Caitlin in 2004 while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at UBC Geography, and the two were instantly and inseparably lovestruck. After a year-long sojourn in Beijing, Alex completed his Bachelor of Law at the University of Alberta in 2009, and true to form pursued tax law as he viewed it as the most challenging legal field. Alex embraced the mental game over the material gains of law. An accomplished lawyer, he became legal counsel for the Government of B.C. in 2021. He distinguished himself early in his career, but eventually eschewed the long hours of private practice to spend more time with his family and volunteering to better his community. Quality time with his sons was his highest resolve and greatest joy. Alex also committed himself to volunteer duties in the community, including Pro Bono legal work, Board Member and Coach with the Port Moody Soccer Club, and sitting on Port Moody’s Heritage Commission and Transportation Committee. He worked tenaciously to protect children’s well-being, successfully campaigning to have traffic calming devices placed in front of the local elementary school and advocating for children whose family homes were being demolished. A committed and passionate citizen, he was just getting started in his quest to enhance public life.

Alex was a gifted polymath with boundless curiosity and creativity. From Pyongyang to Port Moody, punk rock to public service, he delighted in wholly throwing himself into the arena. It was impossible not to share in his sense of wonder when in his company. His commitment to learning was matched by a moral sense of action, to be in the constant practice of personal growth and improving conditions for family, friends, community, and beyond. It was this combination of intellect, empathy, and ethical purpose that endeared him to all who knew him. A brilliant wordsmith in letters and oration, he had an uncanny ability to fold complex concepts into hilarious anecdotes. Alex ran up mountains, his mind was oceanic, and his heart was like the sun. Whether embracing the many subcultures of his youth, or his increasingly active roles in community work and local politics in recent times, his transformation as a family man and engaged citizen was always undergirded by a resolve to defend the vulnerable and create a sense of belonging for all. Already vastly accomplished, we can only imagine what incredible impacts he would have made with more time.

Alex is survived by his wife beloved Caitlin; His sons Wyatt and Theo; His mother Carolyn and stepfather Blaine; loyal beasts Henry and Evil Meow Meow. His nieces Ellie, Esmae and Reya. Nephew Wesley. Mother-in-law Sheren and father-in-law Richard (Faye). Brothers-in-law Eric (Anna) and Paul (Melissa). Uncles Tom, Chris and Mike. Cousins Nick, Grace, Sean, Kaitlin, and Laura. Lifelong friend Alasdair. And a cadre of extended family, friends, and colleagues who transcend all lifeworlds in society.

Recently predeceased by his cousin Todd.
In lieu of flowers, Alex’s family is accepting donations to help them through this tumultuous time.

Celebration to honour Alex on Sunday, April 2 at 3:00 pm at (UBC) Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre, 6163 University Blvd, Vancouver. Doors open at 2:15 pm.

Helpful information about the venue and parking:

Alexander Coombes
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Marilyn Stone
Marilyn Stone
1 year ago

Dear Caitlin.
My deepest condolences to you and your boys on the death of your dear husband Alex. My thoughts and prayers are with you for strength
and comfort during this very difficult time.. Leanne ( I am her mum) and Maurice are devastated with losing such a good friend.
God’s blessings to you, Wyatt and Theo.
Marilyn Stone

Kyla Knowles
Kyla Knowles
1 year ago

What a beautiful obituary. It captures all that shone within Alex. The dude was literally impossible to dislike.

cory sterling
cory sterling
1 year ago

I just learned of this today and am so incredibly saddened. I was an articling student at Dentons where Alex worked as an Associate. Despite the power dynamic in our relationship, Alex was always super nice and funny with me. When I left the firm, we kept in touch and he always did everything he could to help me, even though he didn’t need to. He was an incredibly funny and intelligent person and was truly unique. He was a good person with a love for life and a different perspective of looking at things, always. I appreciate him and I am sorry for your loss and I am sending my love.

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