BRAHAM --Marquise Alexander. The Penn State University, Altoona freshman who was secretary of the Residence Halls Assoc., secretary of Phi Sigma Kappa's Altoona chapter, and was pursuing undergraduate studies in bio-medical engineering, tragically passed away on Friday, March 14. The 18 year-old had been approved to be a Resident Assistant in the Penn State dorms next fall, and was planning to change his major to physical therapy because he "wanted to help people." Helping people is a character-trait Marquise exhibited throughout his short life. He was always in service to others. He worked as a camp counselor at Sensational Kids in Queens, N.Y. during the summer of 2013, and really took pleasure in working and playing with "his" children. He volunteered at Winthrop University Hospital during his junior and senior years at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, N.Y., working in the orthopedic and neuroscience departments, attending to the daily needs of the patients. Marquise also signed up for the S.M.A.R.T program at Kellenberg, assisting elementary school children with their class lessons and homework, but also taking time out to play with the kids –especially basketball. Marquise was also among a group of students who participated in the C.R.O.S.S. program – students committed to living their lives like Christ. As a junior high student at Our Lady of the Snows school in Floral Park, N.Y., Marquise volunteered to help seniors at the Parker Jewish Geriatric Institute. He played board games with them and they exchanged stories about their lives. After the premature death of an OLS student, Marquise was among a group of former students who spent years volunteering at Ronald McDonald House as "Friend's of Jacob."
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Marquise's love of God was literally born in the stars. He made his world debut on Easter Sunday, 1995 in New Hyde Park, N.Y. as the first-born child of Richard and Marie-Yves Braham. His strong connection to God lasted throughout his life, from pre-K at St. John's Lutheran School in Glendale, Queens, to elementary school at Our Lady of the Snows, to his acceptance at Kellenberg, where he was on the honor roll. He was very active in sports in elementary school, where he played on the basketball, soccer and swim teams, and in high school, where he ran varsity track & field. After graduation, Marquise enrolled at Penn State's Altoona campus, where he received a partial academic scholarship. The well-liked freshman was very active in campus life in addition to his full-time academic schedule. Marquise died while home on spring break the day before he was due to return to school. He leaves behind his parents, Richard and Marie-Yves, younger siblings, Selene and Sebastien, a grand-father, Maurice, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
A wake will be held Thursday and Friday, 2-5pm and 7-9pm at the Park Funeral Chapel in Garden City Park, Long Island. His funeral mass is 10am Saturday, March 29 at Our Lady of the Snows Church in Floral Park, Queens.
Published on NYTimes.com from Mar. 26 to Mar. 27, 2014