Alexander (Alex) Kress
Full Name: Alexander Scott Kress
Born: September 21st, 1973
Marital Status: Single
Physical Description: Shoulder-length Light Brown Hair and Goatee
Occupation: Agricultural Engineer/ Country Singer
Alexander (or Alex) Kress is the youngest son of parents, Lisa Hyacinth Nulty Kress and Eugene John Kress, little brother to Fredrick Konrad Kress, and godfather to Alyssa Caitlin McCarthy. He remained close to the McCarthys until January 2005, when Clara and her husband, Ashton Joseph died. Shortly after their deaths, he moved back to Ohio, but shortly after Clara and Ashton’s funeral. Alex continued to contact Alyssa until her aunt, Laura died. For the next three years, Alex had been unable to contact Alyssa due to her uncle’s harsh rules. When Alyssa finally calls in 2010, and asked him about becoming her legal guardian, he arranged it with his lawyer. He sees his goddaughter on her thirteenth birthday and attends her party. The next day he takes her to Ohio, but moves to Illinois, where she will live with him until she’s an adult.
Childhood to Early Adulthood:
Alex was born in Columbus, Ohio. He lived in a small apartment, and moved to Vinton County when he was three. He attended school from 1978 until 1991. In his adolescence, Alex was irresponsible, rebellious toward his parents, especially his strict mother, and somewhat reckless. He went to college at Demeter Lagos University in Atlantic City, New Jersey and received a degree in agricultural engineering in 1995. He first met Clara Jane Walsh (later McCarthy after marriage) during his freshman year of college, but his relationship ended in the spring of 1992 when he lost Clara’s wallet. After their break-up Alex met another woman his age in 1997 named Chandler Aimee Day. They dated until late 2001, when Chandler died from a snake bite. He called Clara and she invited him to be her daughter, Alyssa’s, godfather. Clara felt sorry for not inviting him to her and Ashton’s wedding and other events in her life for several years.
First Two Years as a Godfather:
Alex attended Alyssa’s second baptism when she was five. From then on, he moved closer to Morristown, New Jersey so that he could play his role as Alyssa’s godfather.
Aside from bringing up her faith in Catholicism (although the McCarthys were barely religious), Alex would also take his goddaughter to the park, out for ice cream (which he also does the day after her thirteenth birthday), play games or make-believe with her, and show her kindness.
Following Clara and Aston McCarthy’s Deaths:
Alex was sad to hear to news of the McCarthy couple’s deaths. He attended their funeral, wrote to Alyssa’s aunt, Laura, and moved back to Ohio right after since he needed a new job. He and Alyssa had an emotional moment right before as Alyssa knew that he was supposed to be her first-priority legal guardian. Alyssa was sad that she couldn’t move in with her godfather since New Jersey State already had Aunt Laura and Uncle Bruce be her guardians for insurance and other reasons. Alex told Alyssa to stay with her aunt and uncle but he promised to come back and visit every now and then. He continued to keep in touch with Alyssa until her aunt’s death. Until March of 2010, Alyssa had been unable to contact him in any way.
Reuniting with His Goddaughter:
A month after Alyssa calls him, Alex comes to her cousin’s grandparents’ house. He attends Alyssa’s birthday party and drives her to his house the following day. When they have dinner, he goes over with Alyssa what rules he is going to have for her. They settle into Ohio until Alex loses his job and gets offered another one in Illinois, near Chicago.
Life as a Legal Guardian
Alex allows Alyssa freedom and independence, but also requires responsibility from her. He mandates that his goddaughter makes her bed when she doesn’t have school and does her own laundry. He also forbids TV watching until Alyssa finishes all her homework and permits none at all two days prior to her having a quiz or test.
Although Alex is typically sweet, easygoing, and nurturing, he is against spoiling his goddaughter. He lets her have a smartphone in place of a flip phone when she starts eighth grade in fall 2010, but he will not get her her own laptop computer just because she wants one or because her peers have them. She has to wait until her next birthday (her 14th in April 2011) and keep her grades up at school. For the first month, Alex requires his supervision when Alyssa cooks. He forbids her to answer the door as well as use the stove or oven when she is home alone (that changes when Alyssa turns 15 in 2012).
Alex struggles with proper discipline for the first six months as Alyssa’s guardian. He takes away her phone for coming home from school late in October 2010 as well as sends her to her room after she is rude to him once. When he finds out that Alyssa illegally recorded her friend’s soccer game at school and lied about her not doing it, Alex bans her from watching TV or online clips for the rest of that day.
When Alyssa is cursed with magical powers in book 2, Alex guides her to how she can remove them. He learns more about wizardry as the events go on.
Alex is affectionate when Alyssa is upset and gives useful advice. Sometimes he holds Alyssa when she cries, usually after something super-horrible that she sobs harder as well as let her lay her head on his lap.
Alex does not hire a babysitter for Alyssa when she is home alone for short periods. Until Alyssa turns 16, Alex has his parents watch her if he had to go out for more than a few hours, or occasionally several days. His parenting skills improve and change as his goddaughter gets older.
Alex is extremely lucky to be offered another job over the phone that his dad recommended. He works as an agricultural engineer during the day and sometimes performs country music weekend nights at different venues. He never permits Alyssa to go with him to his music performances as he worries that she might bother him. At times, he will bring home food for her on his way back from either of his jobs. Alex never wants Alyssa to skip meals.
He gets along with his boss most of the time as well as his co-workers. Of course, there are disagreements occasionally. In his previous job in Ohio, he was fired because he was late to do some minor vehicle accident. That boss was less friendly than the one in Illinois. He was already in a bad mood when he fired Alex. He works twenty minutes south of his home in Will County, Illinois.
Relationships to Others
Alex was close to the McCarthys as well as the Flynns before some of them lost their lives. He has a bunch of friends who he normally gets along with. He adopts a yellow lab puppy in June 2009 and names him Scooter. When no one is home, Alex often asks his neighbor, Mrs. Cho, or his parents to watch and take care of the dog. He also requires Alyssa to do her part, like walk Scooter.
His brother, Fred, lives in Ohio while his parents reside in Illinois. Alex also has a lesbian cousin on his dad’s side named Annelise, who lives in California with her girlfriend (later wife in 2016). He also has family in Ireland from his mom’s side and Germany on his dad’s side.
His father was raised Jewish until he married his wife. He converted to Catholicism since Lisa was Catholic. Both parents raised Alex and his brother with that religion. However, Annelise is Jewish and even had a bat mitzvah as a child.
Alex approves of all of Alyssa’s friends. He frowns upon Alyssa saying she is busy to her friends when she doesn’t want to hang out. He does allow that, however, when it’s someone Alyssa doesn’t know well or doesn’t get along with.
Despite dating a few women (including one in high school), Alex does not marry or have his own children. He also doesn’t find another lady to go out with since Chandler’s death.
Alex is one of my favorite characters, next to Alyssa. He has been the best father/parent figure for Alyssa and he loves her like a daughter of his own.