Abe Alongi, 41, passed away suddenly from this world on December 20, 2019, from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident in Palmer, Alaska. Abe was a man of light, love, and amazing creativity. He shone the brightest when he was able to share his creativity and love with his friends and family, whether he was playing music, traversing steep slopes through fresh powder, cooking extraordinary meals and hosting dinner parties, talking late into the night about the deeper intricacies of life, or reveling in the sunset over the ocean. The natural world enthralled him.
From the lush tropics and beaches of his oceanside casa in Nicaragua to the majesty and awe-inspiring world of Alaska’s mountains and glaciers and forests, he was most at home in the outdoors. He used his artistic photographer’s eye to capture the beauty of God’s creation. He appreciated that beauty. He pursued it. Born and raised in the Kansas City area, Abe heard the call of the mountains in his early twenties and headed West to Whitefish, Montana. After two summers spent working in Alaska he moved to Girdwood, and soon opened his professional photography studio, Abe Alongi Images, in Anchorage. He embraced Alaska wholeheartedly, from the backcountry slopes of Valdez, Hatcher, and Turnagain Pass, to Homer, Kodiak, and Denali, whose peaks he toured in a small plane with his Dad
From his early days on Ski Patrol in Missouri and the many teenage ski trips to Colorado with his brother to his years as a seasoned backcountry skier, snowboarder, and snow sledder in AK, Abe was taken with snow-covered mountains. Seriously so. Music, another creative passion, came naturally to Abe. From his childhood days learning Suzuki violin by ear, he honed his musical giftings. He loved getting together with friends to jam on bass, drums, guitar, fiddle, or recorder — whether in his studio, jam shed, or around a campfire. He could even make an out-of-tune banjo sound good! He played professionally as well, with the Alaska bands Incoming, Far Fetched, Braided River, and others. Homeschooled from the age of 5, he became a lifelong learner, educating himself on a wide range of subjects of interest, including health and nutrition, organic gardening, photography, building, remodeling, exercise, physiology, aquaponics, sustainability, and the mysteries of the Universe.
Abe was a reader and a seeker of knowledge and Truth. His love of adventure and new places and learning sent him traveling over the years to Russia, Thailand, Europe, Hawaii, Chile, Argentina, and lastly, Nicaragua, where he became an integral part of the community of Playa Gigante on the west coast. Abe envisioned and built his sustainable, earthen home on a jungled hillside in Gigante – a beautiful artistic treetop design that was his sunset- over-the-Pacific observatory. He spent a good part of each year there in the last decade, surfing, making music, exploring the country, photographing the tropical beauty, and befriending locals, as well as visitors from around the world. Wherever he was, Abe made friends. And he was a true friend to others as true as they come.
In 2011 he moved to the Palmer-Fishhook area to be close to Hatcher Pass and his much-loved circle of friends – his large Alaskan family. He opened his heart to them and was Uncle Abe to so many of his friends’ children. He was a caretaker, as he always made sure to see to the needs of his friends above his own. He had a wise and generous spirit and practiced authentically sharing pieces of his heart and soul. Abe was a bright light with a large mind. Yet a humble man, kind and compassionate. He will forever be remembered for his easy-going nature, wry and witty humor, animated conversations, and resolve to live a life in harmony with the earth and one’s self. Abes early passing is mourned by his many friends in Alaska and Nicaragua, the two places he called home, and by his loving family – his parents Ted and Suzanne Alongi, his brother Isaac and sister-in-law Sandra, all residing in the Kansas City area, and his many aunts, uncles and cousins scattered across the country.
We loved him deeply. Abe lived his life doing what he loved. He dreamed wildly and lived his dreams. With determination and persistence, he moved his visions from concepts to concrete reality. He radiated the joy and excitement of life while he was here – and he lives on through the many he loved, who have been inspired, challenged, and enriched by his life and example. We are thankful for the years we had with Abe. He was one of a kind. Our lives are forever changed by his early leaving. May his passing bring a heightened awareness of the gift that life is.