Alan’s Story

Alan’s 30th Birthday Surprise 2019

Alan Stephen Katamanin was the second-born son of two Russian Immigrant parents from Moscow, Russia on July 9th, 1989. Ever since he was little, he loved to say “I am the middle child but I know am the favorite one”.

As a child, Alan was extremely energetic and curious. Although he preferred to ride in the teacup ride while his brother Dean rode on the supreme rollercoasters at amusement parks, Alan had no fear when jumping out of a helicopter into freshly powdered snow when heliskiing with his brother and father. He spent his youth playing on the tennis courts and out on Lake Michigan on his family’s boat, partaking in all different types of water sports with his brother, sister, mother, and father.

Alan grew up in Highland Park, Illinois, and graduated from Highland Park High School where he grew his love for magic. His talent flourished as he taught himself tricks by watching CD videos of Chris Angel, from which he discovered his self-born talent of magic tricks. One year at his little sister Olivia’s birthday party, the entertainment princesses which his mother planned to come to the birthday party did not show up. Alan put on his black magic ‘cape’ and entertained twenty hyper five-year-olds for several hours.

At the same time, his interest in movies was sparked after watching Home Alone for the first time, after which he continued to rewatch over 285 times. He knew every line and could point out each and every actor in the films that he watched. Acting was one of his dreams in life, but after graduating from high school he began to pursue his Economics degree at Northwestern University.

At Northwestern, he became a brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity where he made lifelong friendships and memories. After graduating from Northwestern in 2011, he entered the work field as a commercial real estate broker at Marcus and Millichap. After four years, he joined as a senior associate at Cedar Street Companies where he continued to build strong relationships and demonstrate his skills and strengths in the work field. Soon after, he founded his own brokerage company by the name of Hawk Realty group. Here, he continued to expand his network and build his own brand. Three years later, he partnered with his good friend Lanny and co-founded the community app, Good Neighbor.

Alan was a family man, constantly putting his family first, especially following the tragic loss of his father in 2009. He had a very special, close, and warm relationship with his mother, for who he would do absolutely anything in his power to make her happy and feel loved. At the drop of the hat, he would be there for any of his family members, even if it was for something as small as to help set up wifi for his mom at her new house or help his sister Olivia with college applications or help his brother Dean come up with innovative business ideas.

Alan was a giver and the most generous person that we all know. He constantly sought to make a positive impact in the world, inspiring him to regularly donate to a variety of causes one of which was Ankylosing Spondylitis, an autoimmune disease that he had suffered from. He was passionate about donating food to feeding the homeless and helping others who were less fortunate. His heart was always enormous and in the right place.

Alan was a happy-go-lucky person and was unfortunately greatly impacted by the COVID pandemic due to his autoimmune disease. He was very careful and responsible to not get anyone infected or himself but unfortunately ended up getting infected. Alan never wanted to burden anyone so he kept strong and didn’t show that much emotion behind it or worry. However, depression can come quickly upon someone. According to many specialists, few people realize how much strength it takes someone battling depression to simply function and succeed at normal life tasks. Those that lose their battle to depression do not lose it to selfishness. This is the stigma. Merriam Webster defines selfishness as “seeking or concentrating on one’s advantage, pleasure, or well-being.” Losing a battle to depression does not generate pleasure, but rather it exemplifies how much an individual is overwhelmed by their pain that it masks their ability to continue with life. As a person with depression typically feels like a burden to others, making others feel guilty is the furthest thing from their mind. While depression is a part of Alan’s story, it does not define him.

Alan, words cannot describe the pain and emptiness we all feel without you here. We will forever carry you in our hearts and remember the life you selflessly lived and cherish the many happy memories you left behind. To us, you are always alive and around. We love you dearly our sweet Alan, always and forever.