College Mourns the Death of Professor

Dr. Alex Moore (1980-2012)

Dr. Alex Moore (1980-2012)

Alex Moore, who joined the Westmont faculty in 2011 as assistant professor of kinesiology, died May 9 from complications following surgery. Moore was 31. His wife, Kirsten, survives him; the couple met at Westmont in 2005 when she became the college’s head women’s basketball coach. They got married in 2008, and their first child is due in July.

“The Westmont community has been devastated by the news, and we lift our thoughts and prayers for Alex, Kirsten and their families,” says President Gayle D. Beebe.

Westmont’s prescheduled Faculty/Staff Appreciation Brunch and awards ceremony turned into a time of prayer and reflection May 9 in Murchison Gym.

“Alex was a bright light — he had a winsome humility,” Beebe says. “He played a unique and distinct role in our kinesiology department and was one reason why the major is so highly regarded.”

Moore, a Wheaton College alumnus, was an adjunct instructor at Westmont for both the kinesiology and biology departments from 2004-06. He taught a wide range of classes, including anatomy, tennis, physiology, biochemistry lab and Fit for Life, a freshman wellness class.

Moore then accepted a fellowship to study at the University of Missouri, which has one of the best microcirculatory programs in the country. He left Westmont not knowing if a job would be open when he returned. While in Missouri, he earned his doctorate in biomedical sciences.

He returned to Westmont in fall 2010 as a sabbatical replacement in the biology department, teaching physiology, genetics and cell biology. He began the tenure-track position in fall 2011 in the kinesiology department, teaching physiology, biomechanics and a research course. His research specialized in microcirculation, focusing on hair-sized arteries and the regulation of blood flow to tissue.

“His love for knowledge, athletics and, most of all, his personal faith gave him an exceptional ability to contribute,” says Glenn Town, chair of the kinesiology department. “He was a bridge builder, seeking to bring people and projects together without pushing his own agenda. His engaging personality made it a delight for faculty and students to interact with him daily. Alex loved teaching and being a mentor. He had a gift for making complicated concepts understandable. Alex had a passion for bringing students into his line of research. He welcomed that responsibility and couldn’t wait to get started. He was at the threshold of providing our department what we need in our next step: hands-on research. He was highly respected in micro-vascular research, already being asked to contribute to the field at a young age.

“I shared with Alex a love for cycling and had the privilege of serving as his cross country coach when he was an undergraduate student at Wheaton. For two consecutive years, Alex was team captain and voted by his teammates “Most Respected.”


  1. Cary Karr says

    Our deepest had heartfelt sympaty to the Moore family. We are deeply saddened by their loss.

    -Cary, Annie, and Krissy Karr

  2. Michalle Wolski Pombrio says

    I am very sad to hear this news. I had the privilege of working with Alex for a year at Westmont, and would agree that he was a “bright light.” My deepest sympathies for his family and all of our friends at Westmont mourning his death together. May God’s peace and strength be with you all. Love.

  3. Benford Mafuvadze says

    I am very sad to hear this news. I had the privilege of taking classes with Alex at the University of Missouri. Alex was one of the most cheerful person I have ever met in my life. As an international student Alex’s humility and humor always brought a smile to my face both in and out of classes. He was selfless and was an inspiration to me. May his soul rest in peace. I have his family in my prayers.

  4. Leary Family says

    We are deeply saddened to hear this news. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

  5. Kevin W. Hughes says

    I am a friend of Alex in St. Louis, and connected to his family here. This community and his parents church join the Westmont community in grieving his passing. We are so thankful that those of you in Santa Barbara will be the hands and feet of Christ in Kirsten’s life along with the families. At times like this we survive on the Lord’s love provided through His people.

  6. Elena Yee says

    My prayers are with Kirsten and her family as they grieve the loss of Alex in their lives. I’ll appreciate the conversations that Alex and I had about diversity in our workplace and for the Kingdom of God.

    Kirsten, my heart breaks for you and praying diligently for God’s comfort for you.

  7. I’m stunned by Alex’s death. Alex was a former student of mine at Wheaton College. I remember his love for learning and being able to impart that knowledge to others. Alex also loved life, laughter, and most of all Jesus.

  8. Kwan Family says

    There are truly no words to express the shock and sadness at the passing of such a wonderful person and source of inspiration to all that knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kirsten, the family, and the Westmont community.

  9. Harold and Lynne Laughlin says

    I (Harold) am one of the faculty at the University of Missouri who worked with Alex during his doctoral studies. I found him to be a stimulating colleague with whom to discuss physiology or religion. I deeply enjoyed the monthly talks with Alex while he was a student here. We often talked about his research, my research and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and Alex’s deep love for Kirsten. What a wonder couple they are. Alex and Kirsten were key members of a Tuesday night bible study group. It was great to see how they loved the Lord. Lynne and I are confident that Alex is with Jesus now and that his new body is beautiful and strong. I already miss Alex but I look forward to seeing him again in the future.

    Kirsten if there is anything those of us in Columbia (who know and love you) we can do to help you, please let us know. For now know we are praying for you and your family. Harold and Lynne Laughlin. I (Harold) will always be thankful for the chance to come to know Alex and you. I am thank to call you my friends, and for the brief time I spend with you.
    Harold and Lynne

  10. Lou Ann Muehleisen says

    There are not words to express the sorrow and sadness for Kristen and the Moore family in the loss of Alex. He was an amazing individual, blessing and encouraging many in his years of life. I grieve and pray with you all.

  11. Liz and Ryan Jorden says

    We are so saddened by this news and are grieving with Kirsten, the Moore family and the entire Westmont community. It was our honor to know Alex and for Ryan to serve at Westmont alongside both Alex and Kirsten. Our prayers are with you all.

  12. Sara Uhlman Thomas says

    My heart is heavy for Kirsten and the Moore family. It was blessing to know and learn from Alex during his time at Westmont. It was such a blessing watching his committment to the Lord. l continue to pray that the Peace of the Lord will surpass all understanding.

  13. Curt & Erlyne Whiteman (Doc and Mrs “Doc” as we are known in the athletic circles) send our prayers, deepest sympathy for this loss to the Moore family. Our hearts go out to you, Kirsten.

  14. I had the privilege of getting to know Alex when he was at Mizzou earning his doctorate in biomedical sciences. We got the news today and are totally devastated by the loss of such a wonderful personality. He spoke often and lovingly, and longingly for the time when he would be back living and working full time next to his wife, whom he adored. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends. Words cannot express …………..

  15. Pat, Jean and Maddy Page says

    Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss…our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Pat, Jean and Maddy Page

  16. Sean & Lori Nakamoto says

    Our prayers and thoughts for Kirsten and baby Moore and the entire family…may God’s peace and comfort be with them in this loss as they greive. God bless us all.

  17. Glenda Gaye Reyes says

    There are no words to express the sorrow I feel for Kirsten, Baby Moore, and Alex’s family. You are being prayed for here in Colorado. At this difficult time, we are reminded to “Be still and know that I am God.” I know the loving arms of Jesus hold Kirsten and baby ever so close. Glenda Gaye Reyes

  18. Sarah Ledbetter says

    I’m shocked and deeply saddened to hear this news. I worked next door to Alex at Westmont in 2005. He was very bright and talented, and it comes as no surprise to me that he was so successful in his academic career. He was also just a great person, and I really enjoyed working with him. My heart goes out to Kirsten and to Alex’s family and friends as you mourn this loss.

  19. Kristen,

    So very, sorry! My heart breaks for you. May the God of all comfort keep you. Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. My Fathers, house has many rooms, if that were not so would i have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also maybe where I am. John 14:1-3.

    Chris Mccutchan AIA staff Cal 2000-2002.

  20. Matt Laye says

    As a fellow graduate student that overlapped with Alex at Missouri I can say that it was an absolute pleasure knowing him even though we only overlapped a couple of years. He was an exceptional person on so many levels and will be deeply missed. My thoughts, sympathy, and sorrow are with the Moore family and Kristen.

  21. David Moore says

    Our small community is shaken. We grieve with and pray for the family.

  22. Mary and Don Nagel says

    Words cannot possibly express how shocked and sad we are for the entire Moore family. We are praying for God’s peace to touch all of you at this incredibly difficult time. Sending you so much love and many prayers.

  23. Marsha and Ken Christopher says

    We are both brokenhearted over this and our thoughts and prayers are with both families. May God be with you, comfort you, and you feel his presence. We love you!!! Ken and Marsha

  24. Curt and Stephanie Mayse says

    Our deepest sympathy to both families. Our hearts are saddened by this tragic loss of such a young man so dedicated to so many. Our prayers are with you all. May you feel God’s comfort during this difficult time.

    Matthew 5:4. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

  25. Shawn Bender says

    I met Alex when he started graduate school at Mizzou and had the pleasure to develop a strong professional and personal relationship with him. I am brokenhearted by his passing and grieve with Kirsten and his family. Alex was a tremendous person who had a deep influence on my life and my walk with the Lord. I’ve struggled since I received news of his passing with how to put his impact and example for me into words. In short, Alex was a rock of humility, love and grace – quick to listen and slow to speak. He was thoughtful, thorough and wise with his science and in his personal life. This was most evident in his relationship with Kirsten which I had the pleasure of watching bloom over many trips from Missouri to California. It’s probably no coincidence that, at the time, I was also in a long distance relationship that led to marriage. Alex loved Kirsten deeply and his love for her has been an inspiration for me to love my wife more deeply, thoughtfully and sacrificially. I love you Alex. You are and will continue to be missed. Can’t wait to be with you again someday.

  26. my prayers and thoughts are definitely with you coach#12

  27. my thoughts and prayers are withyou and the family. coach #12, doc

  28. my thoughts and prayers are with you. coach# 12, doc

  29. Harold and Gay Mayse says

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during these difficult days. Alex was such a wonderful presence to so many as witness by all the kind words expressed. He is will be greatly missed. Know that you are all loved and prayed for often. We wish you comfort only God can give.

  30. Jeff Jasperse says

    I am a professor at Pepperdine who interacted with Alex a few times, especially in the last year. We had a Missouri pedigree and teaching, research and faith interests in common. He visited me at Pepperdine a couple times and we had discussed some collaborative research projects. We also enjoyed conversations about how to engage students in discussions regarding the relationship between science and Christian faith. Alex was humble, thoughtful, intelligent, and someone who genuinely showed the love of Christ in his life. My prayers are with Kirsten and with her and Alex’s families.

  31. Keri Ehrhardt Lucas says

    Dear Moore family,

    I’m stunned and so deeply saddened to hear this news. Alex was such a great guy and I remember fondly many conversations we had during our high school and college days. May you experience God’s peace as you grieve.

  32. Joel Dillon says

    Alex was my cross country and track captain for two years at Wheaton. He invested so much in me and many others, and was incredibly welcoming to us younger runners. I couldn’t be more grateful for him than I am, and my heart breaks for his wife and child to be.

  33. Ellen Dykas says

    Jo, Rich, Kirstin, Erin and Adrienne,
    have been praying for all of you…and so saddened too by this news. Alex was a dear younger brother…and a godly man!

  34. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Alex has made such an impact on ALL of our lives. He is greatly missed. God has an angel with Him in heaven.


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