Alexander A. Kamantauskas, a computer network engineer and Civil War buff who enjoyed giving highly detailed battlefield tours to family and friends, died May 15 of cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 45.
"Alex knew something about everything, but he was very humble. He was a happy and friendly person who always made friends easily," said Steve Balbach, a longtime friend and a computer engineer who lives in Ashton in Montgomery County.
The son of Social Security Administration workers, Alexander Antony Kamantauskas was born in Catonsville and raised in Columbia.
After graduating in 1985 from Oakland Mills High School, he earned associate's degrees in general studies and music from Howard Community College.
Mr. Kamantauskas attended Northland College in Ashland, Wis., and St. Mary's College of Maryland, and earned a bachelor's degree in music composition in 1998 from Towson University.
During the 1990s, Mr. Kamantauskas had worked for the software startup Clark.Net, an Internet service provider. It was founded by James Hawkins Clark, the son of former Howard County Sen. James Clark Jr. and Lillian Hawkins Clark, at Clarkland, the family's 500-acre farm near Ellicott City.
"It was a dial-up service and the first in Baltimore," said Mr. Balbach, who also worked there. "We were in a barn with cows that also had the servers."
While a student at Towson, Mr. Kamantauskas met and fell in love with Cristin Brieaddy, a master's student, who earned a degree in voice. The couple moved to Syracuse, N.Y., in 1998, and married two years later.
A network engineer, Mr. Kamantauskas held Internet technology positions with several Syracuse companies including The Post-Standard newspaper and Ameri-ICU Credit Union, where he was working at his death.
"We both worked there at the same time but in different departments. I had friends who thought they knew something about computers, but he really was quite good at it," said his father-law, Frank Brieaddy, a retired editor and columnist.
"He was the kind of guy that everyone liked. His knowledge was very eclectic, and there wasn't a topic that you brought up that he didn't know something about," said Mr. Brieaddy. "He was an easygoing guy, and I never saw him angry."
Mr. Kamantauskas was an avid sports fan and a student of the Civil War who relished giving battlefield tours to family and friends.
"He loved the Civil War and knew it better than most professional guides. One time, we did a re-enactment together at Antietam," recalled Mr. Balbach.
When Mr. Brieaddy was helping go through his son-in-law's computer files, he stumbled onto a pleasant surprise that revealed a hitherto unknown side of him.
"We were clearing out stuff from his computer, and we discovered several unfinished fantasy novels," said Mr. Brieaddy.
Mr. Kamantauskas also maintained a lively interest in current events.
"He loved discussing politics and philosophy," said Mr. Balbach. "And he was a great humanitarian. Alex always took the side of the underdog. He was always supportive of people who were less fortunate. He was certainly a humanitarian at heart."
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. June 29 at the Kittamaqundi Community Church at Oliver's Carriage House, 5410 Leaf Treader Way, Columbia.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Kamantauskas is survived by three sons, Joseph Kamantauskas, 9, Joshua Kamantauskas, 7, and Samuel Kamantauskas, 2; a daughter, Mary Rose Kamantauskas, 5; his parents, Irenaeus and Sally Kamantauskas of Columbia; two brothers, Irenaeus Kamantauskas II of Columbia and Eugene Kamantauskas of Marengo, Wis.; three sisters, Kristina Thorne of Westminster, Katrina Kamantauskas-Holder of Towson and Aldona Joseph of Columbia; several aunts and uncles; and many nieces and nephews.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun