2017-11-08 / Obituaries

Alexander Newkerk Gastman

Alexander Louis Newkerk Gastman was born July 2, 1985, to Deborah Newkerk and Michael I. Gastman. Alex passed away after complications from a pulmonary embolism on Oct. 19, 2017. He was surrounded by a large group of family and friends who shared their love with him before he passed. He is survived by his wife, Shawna Rosen, and his mother, Deborah Newkerk.

Alex had an extensive education, starting at Elisabeth Morrow, Horace Mann, The Island School, University of California, Santa Cruz and finally Pace Law School. He found his calling in the law, where had a career in employment law representing those who deserved fair wages and pay.

Alex loved life and adventure and traveled much of the world. From Greece on his honeymoon with Shawna, to Antarctica with his Mother, to Australia for his year abroad, Alex saw more of the world than most people in his all too short 32 years of life.

Alex and Shawna met in college and that long friendship became love and they were married on September 8 of this year. It was the happiest day of his life. He had true love and the time they had together was filled with exuberance and joy.

A man of many talents, Alex played violin and later viola with Miss Gold and was part of several orchestras. He learned to scuba dive at 16 and was a master diver with experiences from Aruba to Indonesia. Alex always made time to help others, particularly volunteering as a coach during moot court trials at his alma mater.

He loved Bruce, his Bernese Mountain dog, who will be with him now.

He had a large extended family including Uncle Jack ( Jeanie) Newkerk, Aunt Vicki Newkerk and Aunt Beverly (Scott) Owen. Cousins include Christopher, Courtney, Meghan, Lindsey, Jake, Corey, Melissa, Amy, Patrick, Zachary, Jaclyn and Nina and great cousins Grace, Lucy, Anna, Reese, Adelin, Declan and Audrey. Also, Great Uncle James Newkerk, Great Uncle Richard (Margaret) Doenges, Great Uncle Stephen (Elaine) Doenges and Great Aunt Susan (Rusty) Waring. His maternal Grandmother, Sylvia Newkerk, preceded him only a month ago.

It is clear from the many friends that came to be with Alex during his last days at the hospital, that he made an indelible impact on people all over the world. He created community wherever he went, and he will be deeply missed.

Donations in memory of Alexander Gastman can be made to the New York Presbyterian Hospital Patient Services who took such excellent care of Alex and were so compassionate. Checks may be sent to NYP Greenberg Pavilion Cardiac at 525 East 68th St. P.O. Box 123, New York, NY 10065 or online at (note Alex’s name in Honoree section).

Additionally, to honor of his love of the ocean and the many adventures he had photographing sea life, donations may also be made in his name to SeaLegacy, an organization that supports ocean conservation missions at

Visit to share a condolence with Alex’s family.

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