PEORIA - Alexander Philip Biederbeck, 26, of Peoria passed away Friday, July 4, 2014, in Peoria.
He was the beloved son of Christine Borys and Thomas Biederbeck.
Alex was born Aug. 15, 1987, in Peoria. He attended Father Sweeney School, Notre Dame, Richwoods High School, Illinois Central College, the University of Iowa and then the Potomac Institute of Massage Therapy in Washington, D.C.
He was a licensed massage therapist and was deeply devoted to the restorative powers of touch. His hands and kind words were the conduit through which his heart healed the suffering of others.
He was a warm and compassionate man, full of love, and those who knew him found him easy to love in return. The profound empathy he possessed could sometimes be both a blessing and a burden to Alex as he opened his heart to the world, but he kept a strong heart and kind spirit.
Personal nutrition and fitness were among Alex's greatest joys and he was always willing to help others become better through self-transformation. He treasured life in all its forms, especially his Jack Russell terrier, Rex. He had a searching mind and pursued knowledge in many dimensions, particularly the workings of the human body (he was a serious student of anatomy) and ancient history. He was always eager to discuss philosophy or art.
Alex was an informed and enthusiastic reader with a strong interest in classic works of literature, especially those of Greece and Rome. Some of his favorite books were The Iliad and The Odyssey of Homer, the Histories of Thucydides and Herodotus and the works of Dante and Machiavelli. He also enjoyed speculative and fantasy literature, including books by J.R.R. Tolkien and Lewis Carroll, and especially graphic novels or illustrated works.
Alex was someone you could depend on for humor, whether he was quoting Groucho Marx, Caddyshack or Ghostbusters. His favorite films were those of the Marx Brothers, but he also enjoyed movies by Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Sergio Leone and many others. He had a talent for making others smile, and that will be missed most of all.
Alex is survived by his mother, father and brother, Parker Biederbeck, all of Peoria; his grandfather, William Biederbeck of Peoria; three aunts, Cynthia Borys of Silver Spring, Md., Cheryl Borys Dohrman (Warren Dohrman) of Princeton, Ill., and Charmain Borys (Steven Later) of Chicago; and two uncles, Douglas Biederbeck (Jennifer Biederbeck) of San Francisco and Lincoln Biederbeck (Anna-Correlia Biederbeck) of Atlanta. He is also survived by a number of cousins.
A memorial for Alex will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 20, 2014, at Sacred Heart Church on Fulton Street in Peoria. A celebration of Alex's life will follow at 4 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria on Southwest Water Street.
The family has elected cremation; arrangements are being handled by Cumerford-Hurd Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made in the name of Alexander Biederbeck to the Chicago Zoological Society Dolphin Research and Conservation Institute, located at Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL 60513.