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August 20, 2021
Visitation: Thursday, August 26th 4:00-7:00 p.m. Chesmore Funeral Home of Holliston
Funeral Mass: Friday, August 27th 11:00 a.m. Saint Mary’s Church of Holliston
Livestream of the Mass can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/SaintMarysChurchHollistonLive/
*The family kindly requests that masks be worn during funeral services
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Love, John “Jack” Alexander, 33, of Redwood City, CA died unexpectedly on August 20, 2021 after an accident in Lake Cumberland, Kentucky. He is survived by his wife, Roberta (Saponaro) Love of Redwood City, CA, parents John and Lynne (Johnston) Love of Holliston and South Dennis, MA, older brother Christopher (wife Andrea and sons Amory and Theodore) Love of Newton, and younger sister Alison Love of Boston.
Jack was born on December 12, 1987 in Natick, MA to John and Lynne Love. He spent his early childhood living in Billerica, where he started cultivating such passions as dinosaurs, pirates, and money. He also started to develop his competitive spirit, whether playing soccer and baseball in town or Monopoly and card games at home, more often than not winning against his siblings and all his older cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents.
Jack spent his school years growing up in Holliston, where he continued to expand his list of hobbies. From drumming in the school band to skateboarding and riding scooters with his “scoot crew”; from playing football, lacrosse, and sailing to writing a dating advice column “Ask Dr. Love” in the high school newspaper; from skiing and snowboarding to going into student government and becoming class secretary in high school, Jack gave his all when he pursued interests and faced challenges. His true grit, determination, level head, leadership, and amiability often earned him a spot on the field and success in his broad array of endeavors. He graduated from Holliston High School in 2006, having earned an academic scholarship to Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
In college, Jack found a new world of interests and opportunities to make his mark. When he found out that the sailing team had not been active for some time, he relaunched it, beginning by obtaining university funding, acquiring team gear and recruiting members with social activities. He brought together a new group of friends, even if they could count the number of their competitions on one hand. While Jack made high school excellence look easy, the freedom college gave him to pursue his academic interests allowed Jack to truly shine. He lovingly poured hours of his time into the chemistry laboratory while simultaneously acing electives in his peripheral studies. Naturally, he elected to give up his favorite summer activity of sailing on Cape Cod to perform lab research, including at the University of California Los Angeles and in Trinity’s own labs. Jack even found time to turn the mundane daily requirement of feeding himself into yet another adventure, hosting a weekly “Iron Chef” style cooking competition amongst his lab colleagues. He graduated in 2010 as a presidential scholarship recipient and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Jack attended the University of California, Santa Barbara in pursuit of a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering. He impressed his advisor and colleagues with the balance of his work ethic and his ability to enjoy life outside the lab. He embraced all that the area has to offer, including taking up surfing , windsurfing, and hiking, becoming an amateur wine and tri-tip (a local favorite cut of steak) connoisseur, and realizing his dreams of boat ownership, a feat which took finding a 1970’s Catalina 27 on the internet, driving down to inspect it and make the sale, sailing solo 20 miles up the coast, anchoring it off the main pier in Santa Barbara, and paddling in to shore on an inflatable raft.
His advisor and friends at UCSB describe him this way: “Jack was an exceptional scientist and an enthusiastic, quick-witted young man who was never afraid of a challenge, had infectious positivity, was devoted to his work and his people, and was always eager to help those around him in any way he could.”
After earning his PhD in 2015, Dr. Love moved to Berlin, Germany to continue his academic career with post-doctoral studies at the University of Potsdam. As before, Jack’s warm personality quickly turned colleagues into friends. Within one month of living in a new country, Jack hosted a full Thanksgiving dinner that he cooked entirely himself. He also met the love of his life, Roberta. They danced together in Berlin, spectated in the busy neighborhood park, and jetted around Europe, and then embarked on a six-week-long tour of the United States and Italy, where they were introduced to each other’s family. The couple married in a small beach ceremony in 2018 in Santa Cruz, CA and again at a larger ceremony and celebration in 2019 in Brindisi, Italy.
Over the course of his entire academic career, Jack spoke at numerous conferences all over the world, authored or co-authored 31 articles that have over 2,000 citations, and published 2 patents, with 3 more currently in progress.
In California, he took his skills to the private sector. After brief stints at two solar energy startups, Jack found the right fit as a photovoltaic scientist at Ubiquitous Energy in Redwood City. At home, Jack introduced Roberta to his old California traditions, including a wine club complete with spreadsheets for blind tasting, and starting new traditions such as weekly homemade pizza and camping trips. Together they adopted a Jack Russel terrier mix puppy named Poppyseed “Poppy”, and Jack became her favorite person, probably because he sang to her (everything from the “Parks and Rec” theme song to made-up songs about her butt-shaking).
Jack had an unquenchable thirst for life and always wanted to experience and master all of it. He shared his enthusiasm for new knowledge, skills, and culture with everyone around him, creating communities and bringing people together everywhere he went. All the while, he managed to find time to be an incredible husband, son, brother, grandson, and uncle. In his 33 years, Jack fit in a lifetime of experiences and he will be missed by a great many.
Visiting hours will be held Thursday 8/26/21 from 4-7 pm at Chesmore Funeral Home at 854 Washington Street, Holliston, MA. The funeral will be held Friday at 11am at St. Mary’s Church 708 Washington Street, Holliston, MA. Private burial to follow. The family kindly requests that masks be worn during services.
The UC Santa Barbara Foundation has established a memorial fund in his name, the John A. Love Fellowship Award. This Award will be granted to graduate students in the Departments of Materials and Chemistry & Biochemistry who embody Jack’s well-rounded character.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the John A. Love Fellowship Award. To donate, please include a check made out to UC Santa Barbara Foundation and mail to their office. On the check memo, please write “John A. Love Fellowship Award”.
Office of Development Attn: Bryan Kerner
2221A Cheadle Hall
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6035
All donations are tax deductible. The Tax ID number for the UC Santa Barbara Foundation is 23-7314834.