Ethan Alyea Anderson (April 30, 2000 – January 2, 2021). We are incredibly blessed to have had Ethan’s beautiful soul grace our lives – a wonderful son, brother, grandson, nephew, and friend. Ethan touched and changed the lives of many. He pushed us all towards adventure and fun, brought us joy every day, and was always actively doing or planning something new for friends or family. While way too short, Ethan lived his life to the fullest and hardly ever compromised. Ethan manifested determination, stamina, and perseverance, and never ever sat still. Ethan is a kind, compassionate, curious, witty, intelligent soul.
Ethan is an athlete with a great sense of adventure and zest for living life to the fullest. He began swimming competitively in the summer when he was five, competed year-round with Eastern Express Swim Team for almost 10 years, and progressed all the way to Division 1 NCAA competition, specializing in distance freestyle and butterfly for the University of Delaware. As much as he excelled in his individual events, it was his teammates, the friendships, and the team-based relays that he cherished the most.
Ethan spent his summers at the Hopewell Valley Golf Club where he later worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor. He shared his love of the sport with younger children. He served as a great mentor, showing kids how to be disciplined to excel athletically, but more importantly how to have fun. On his breaks, he was likely to be found pulling kids around the pool on kickboards or rafts, playing sharks and minnows, trying dare devil dives, or just hanging out laughing with or pranking all those around.
Since a young age, Ethan has also loved skateboarding, an interest that he had revived during the past few months. After a 12-hour flight to Shanghai, his first stop was an extreme skatepark. He was always aiming for the next challenging trick and enthusiastically demonstrated his accomplishments. He filled the driveway and garage with skateboard ramps that he built with his father and funded with gifts, allowances, and early entrepreneurial ventures.
Etan (his DJ name - not a typo) loved music. One of his newest hobbies was creating song mixes and serving as a DJ for social events. He also played the piano – primarily by ear, which we found amazing.
Ethan is proud to be from New Jersey – central Jersey - and spent quality time with friends and family on Long Beach Island, dabbling in surfing, skim boarding, boogie boarding, and wave play. As a family, we travelled internationally including Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and Australia. Ethan always encouraged us to try non-typical adventures – a mountain bike ride through Tuscany, a visit to the Olympic pool in Beijing, clubbing and working out at a cool gym in Sydney, and snorkeling the great barrier reef, where Ethan was always the last one back to the boat.
Ethan was born in New York, NY, but lived in Hopewell, NJ since he was 2. He grew up surrounded by the loving community of Nassau Presbyterian Church. He attended Hopewell Elementary School, the Chapin, School, and graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School in 2018. He was a 3rd year business major at the University of Delaware.
Ethan is survived by his parents, Sara Alyea and T.J. Anderson, his sisters, Lindsey and Caroline Anderson, his grandmother, Retha Alyea, his aunts Meghan and Margaret Anderson, and his many, many friends. Although our hearts our incredibly sad right now and we all miss Ethan more than we can say, we know that Ethan wants us all to enjoy our lives, recall his fun and funny adventures, and proceed with full hearts because we have the blessing of having him as part of our lives.
Due to COVID-19, services are limited to immediate family, but they will be live streamed on Saturday, January 16th at 10 am from www.nassauchurch.org. Ethan will be laid to rest during a private burial in the Princeton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Ethan’s honor to the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation, https://www.hvef.org/how-to-help/donate.html so that Ethan’s memory can help other children in his community.