Garsevan Luka Bekauri

Garsevan Luka Bekauri, of Lake Placid, died in an accidental fall Monday, July 1, 2019, while hiking and climbing in the Adirondack Mountains. He was 23.

Garsevan was born in Sacramento, California, and baptized an Orthodox Christian in the Republic of Georgia. He moved to Geneva with his family in 2006. He attended Geneva city schools, graduating in the top 20 of his class in 2014. In school and in his community he was active in music, theater and sports.

A talented musician, he played the trombone, guitar and piano, and sang in a variety of ensembles. A standout athlete in high school, he competed in soccer, wrestling, lacrosse, track, swimming, diving, ice hockey and cross country. He was the Section V champion in steeplechase, qualifying for the New York state championship. A recruited college athlete, he competed at both Vassar College and Norwich University.

Garsevan joyfully participated in both musical theater (“Oliver!” “Chess,” “Hairspray,” “Spamalot,” “Les Miserables”) and summer opera. He was the drum major for the Geneva High School band, and homecoming and prom king. He played trombone with the Hobart and William Smith Colleges community wind ensemble and sang with the HWS community choir. He loved math and physics, history and literature. He enjoyed playing chess and sharing his love of the game with others.

An accomplished sailor, he successfully competed in his leaky Laser in a range of local and regional races. He crewed on Thistles and Stars — and was a member of a Thistle team that placed second at junior nationals.

Garsevan moved to Lake Placid in the fall of 2018 and quickly embraced the beauty of the region and the many outdoor opportunities. He skied and skated in the winter, and hiked and biked in the spring and summer. He’d recently begun pursuing photography, happily hauling his digital camera on bike trips and long excursions.

The middle child of five siblings, Garsevan was a natural diplomat and peacemaker. Small children loved him — and he shared with them an innocent curiosity about the world around him. Garsevan was outgoing, compassionate and kind. His energy could electrify a room. He had a remarkable ability to connect with others, to set them at ease. He could talk to anyone from any walk of life, and truly and sincerely listened to another’s words.

Very proud of his Georgian heritage, Garsevan traveled often to the Republic of Georgia, most recently in May 2018. He was deeply interested in Georgian language, culture and music. He embraced all of his rich family history, journeying to ancestral villages in both Georgia (his father’s side) and Switzerland (his mother’s side) in 2017.

Garsevan was an avid reader, a writer of poetry, a composer of music and songs. He was intellectually curious and spiritually hungry. He was exquisitely attuned to natural beauty, the joy and the heartaches of the human condition, and the emotions and feelings of others. He had an exuberance and a joy for living which touched all who knew him.

Garsevan was extraordinarily close to his four siblings — all who knew them found their closeness and love remarkable. He was a sensitive soul, an untamed spirit, a light shining in the darkness.

Garsevan is survived by his parents Zaza and Janell (Deter) Bekauri of Geneva; his brothers Giorgi (U.S. Navy) and Beka of Geneva; his sisters Mariami of Buffalo and Tamari of Geneva; his paternal grandmother Aldona Khakhiani of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia; his maternal grandparents Bruno and Audrey Deter of Elk Grove, California; many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was predeceased by his grandfather Avtandil Bekauri of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.

Calling hours and prayers will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 12, at the Devaney Bennett Funeral Home in Geneva. A Christian funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, at St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church on S. Goodman Street in Rochester. Interment and prayers will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 13 at Glenwood Cemetery in Geneva. Friends and family are invited to gather at the Bekauri home following the burial.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to New Skete Monastery of Cambridge or Geneva Music Boosters of Geneva High.