Putting people at ease was so effortless for Alex Jacob Cohn it seemed a birthright.
‘‘Alex was born with a great sense of humor,’’ said his mother, Carol Kaplan. ‘‘From the time he was pretty young we have so many pictures of him fooling around with his brother, laughing at jokes that you wouldn’t think a baby that age would get.’’
A competitive freestyle skier who put more emphasis on the skiing than the competition, Mr. Cohn was on the threshold of adulthood and college when he died of viral encephalitis Monday in Newton-Wellesley Hospital. He was 18 and had lived with his family in Weston while attending his senior year at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill. He had been accepted to Connecticut College by early decision.
‘‘He was a wonderful kid, really,’’ said his father, Rick Cohn. ‘‘There was something special about him.’’
In addition to his parents and brother Zachary, Mr. Cohn leaves his grandparents, June and Seymour Cohn of Selma, Ala., and Ziona Kaplan-Weber of West Hartford, Conn.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. tomorrow in Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill. Burial will be private.
-- Bryan Marquard
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