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Alyssa Anne Apostolakis, 21, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, March 18, 2015 in Asheville, North Carolina. Alyssa was born February 13, 1994 and grew up in Medina.
She attended St. Francis Xavier School and was a 2012 graduate of Auldern High School. She was a student in Asheville, North Carolina at Warren Wilson College and AB Tech and was affectionately known as “AP”. Alyssa had a beautiful and captivating smile that spread her genuine sunshine to all. She was quick to laugh and love and had a gentle soul that she freely shared with others.
Alyssa embraced people with her warmth, vibrancy, courage, positive outlook and hilarious sense of humor. She touched many lives in her short years and taught many people how to love themselves and others.
As a young woman, she loved music (especially the Grateful Dead), art and photography, snowboarding, the outdoors; both sea and mountains, animals and McDonald’s. She was a talented artist and loved drawing and painting and gifted many of her creations to friends and family. Her greatest joy was spending time and traveling with her family and friends with whom she shared her love immensely.
She was preceded in death by her dear grandparents, Richard and Jay Heidman, and Jo Malone.
Alyssa is survived by her adoring parents, Lea Anne Heidman and Brian Malone; sister, Nicole; brother, Carter; niece, Lilly, and her grandmother, Char Malone.
Throughout her life, she was surrounded by a loving and supportive family, extended family and many, many close and encouraging friends. Alyssa’s sweet spirit, sparkling eyes and infectious smile and boisterous laugh will live on in our hearts forever. Alyssa, also known by her family as “Wyssa” will be greatly missed and always loved.
“I Will Take You Home (Little Girl Lost)” by Grateful Dead
“Wherever we go, there will be birds to cheer you
Flower to color in the fields around.
Wherever we go, I’ll be right here near you
You can’t get lost when you’re always found.”
These pictures represent the last time we saw Alyssa, which was in Stowe Vermont. We always took a ski vacation with her every winter. She loved to snowboard. We also celebrated her 21st birthday since it was the week before. I gave her a charm bracelet filled with every place she had ever skied. When she looked closely at the Vermont charm, it was inscribed on the back: “We love you Alyssa”. She read it and cried. This made me cry also.
We had three wonderful nights and days together. She skied and swam with her brother every day. She usually quit skiing in the afternoon and she went to lunch with dad and I each day while Carter was still in ski school. At night we went to dinner and hung out in the lounge area of the hotel. It was there that she would show us funny memes and she encouraged Carter to buy his first “girlfriend” a hot chocolate, which he did and ran away red-faced and rapidly.
When we went to dinner, she was always overwhelmed by the menu. I always would help her decide what to order. The pictures here are from our last night together in a restaurant that was a restored old barn. She was fully engaged in conversation as we asked her about life questions and her favorite things…food, people, love, memories, places etc. It was a very special evening and I wanted something to remember it by. I bought a photograph of an old barn from the restaurant wall. She and I both loved it and I was going to surprise her with it in March for her first “big girl” room in her new apartment when we would see her next. It arrived two days after she passed and it now hangs in Carter’s room.
On the way home in the taxi, she sat up front with the cab driver and spoke about music. I was so impressed at how much she knew and how beautifully the two of them conversed. The next morning she had to leave early to catch a flight. She hugged us and told us how very much she loved us. That was my last hug.