Avid outdoorsman Jeffrey Cheng remembered in Anchorage
Family and friends gathered in Anchorage to honor and say goodbye to father, pilot and outdoor enthusiast Jeffrey Cheng.
Cheng was killed in an avalanche near Moose Pass on March 10.
Friday evening they held a memorial at the Aviation Museum, a place that symbolized his love to fly.
His father, Jim Cheng, said Jeff was an aviator, teacher, adventurer, a mountaineer, an artist, an inventor, a devoted husband and a new father.
Jeff and his wife Emily Mosites met in Seattle and moved to Alaska in 2016. In 2018, they welcomed their baby boy Cedar.
After hearing the news last weekend, Mosites said she was shocked and left heartbroken.
"He was so careful when he flew or when he skied," Mosites said. "But no amount of training can temper the cruelty of randomness and no level of experience can prevent the mountains from taking you away."
When talking about Jeff, she said he means so many things to her.
"I've been trying to come up with what to say over the past few days, but even if I talked for the rest of my life, I would never say enough. Words will never be enough to represent your complexity and fullness," Mosites said. "His most common form of communication was through a joke, either memorized or one he just made up on the spot, and he told me that he loved me every day."
Friends say he lived life to the fullest and took to like like one big adventure.
"Jeff was not only a telemarker on the mountains, he was one in the actual world," Carson Guy said. "Jeff constantly overcame the obvious weights and the misgivings of life in order to accomplish beautiful turns of perfection."
Some would say he was born to excel.
"It goes without saying that Jeff was good at everything," Ryan Moon said.
He could out climb, out ski and out smart the best of them, Moon said. Others remembered him as personable and trustworthy.
"I could trust Jeff to keep me safe because always knew what he was doing," Pavel Rakhlin said.
Everyone at Friday's memorial said he was living his dream being surrounded by family and many friends.
"Jeff grew up to live out the adult version of a 5-year-old child's dream," Zachary Gibson said. "Our time and thoughts of him, with him, with his subtle lisp and warm embrace, are deeply cherished."
Family members say Jeff will always be remembered.
"That soft breeze that you feel is Jeff reminding us to pause, reflect and become a softer and kinder person and make this a better world," said Morrie Scherrens, Jeff's uncle.
The family has put together a scholarship fund in Jeff's name with the purpose of helping a wider diversity of people become pilots. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the fund.
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