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Ottawa High School graduate Landon McAlpine wanted to be the reason people smiled

“Landon’s journey in life won’t be defined by the battle he fought but by the strong, funny, amazing son he was.”

Landon McAlpine, who recently graduated Ottawa High School, fought cancer for exactly one year and 12 hours before he died at 1:45 p.m., pain free and comfortable with his family and two best friends surrounding him.

“He was an awesome kid who loved being around people,” said Raven McAlpine, Landon’s mother. “He loved to be the reason people laughed and smiled, even after everything he’s been through within the last year.”

No matter how difficult things got, Landon was the glue that held everyone together.

One of Landon’s best friends, Nora Cave, said he lit up any room he was part of. It was important to him nobody was left out.

“He would brighten your day without even trying,” Cave said. “He told me ‘don’t be sad when he’s gone,’ because he’ll still be there along the way. He’s always watching.”

Cave has known Landon since practically the day she was born: Raven was a bridesmaid in Cave’s mother’s wedding, and Cave was born a couple of months later.

Raven said Landon was the driver in that boat, because he was very knowledgeable. From day one, he knew every decision to be made and why it would be beneficial.

Landon’s intelligence extended beyond his decision making: He graduated high school early at the end of the fall semester. School was extremely important to him.

“When he started school, he was quiet and soft spoken,” Raven said. “But he grew into a loud, talkative this-is-who-I-am sort of person. High school was amazing for him.”

Raven said the teachers and students made such an impact on Landon for the last four years, even more so when he had to miss so much time because of undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

Landon didn’t want to miss a day of school through any of it. He completed 10 cycles of chemotherapy, with three days on and then an injector for one day. During that time, he was only going to school on Thursday and Friday.

“He’d always try to go to school with his chemo pump on,” Raven said. “He’d argue with me every week because he wanted to go to school. He didn’t like skipping school.”

Landon worked hard to graduate from Ottawa High School early despite missing 110 days of school.

Landon with the banner outside of Ottawa Township High School.

Landon with the banner outside of Ottawa Township High School.

He also loved video games and anime, and Raven said he’d be laying in the hospital bed watching anime on his phone in Japanese using subtitles.

“He had his computer and his two monitors, and then he found a way to hook his 45-TV up to it so he’d have a 45-inch TV with his game on it and two computer monitors,” Raven said. “He’d have all three running with his game on one, a movie on another and whatever else on the third.”

Cave said it wasn’t uncommon for Landon and his siblings, Brennen and Braxten, to pile all the TVs into one room to play games together.

“We would always play Mortal Kombat and he’d laugh at the fact that I ddn’t know how to play,” Cave said. “He loved watching me suffer through that game.”

Cave said there were many nights when they were kids playing Call of Duty and Halo, and later Overwatch with a cousin.

“Family isn’t always blood,” Cave said. “That’s what comes to my head when I think of Landon. He’s been as much of a brother to me as any of my own family.”

Landon also loved bowling, and spent his four years of high school on the bowling team. Raven said he’d tell anyone who asked all about it.

Landon is survived by his parents, Ryan and Raven, his brothers Brennen and Braxten, and his dog, Loki, who even now doesn’t want to leave his spot by Landon’s bed.

He also is survived by his grandparents, Bob and Kim McAlpine of Ottawa, Jim and Patti Myers of Ottawa, Cliff and Tammie Lessman of Mt. View, Ark., and Betty Cave of Ottawa. Also surviving are his aunts and uncles, Shawn and Beth Thompson, Dusty Light, Jason and Krystal Leal, Steven and Stephanie McAlpine, Justin and Catibeth Keylard, Cody Keylard, Susann Price, Delaney Blaida, Nick Johnson, Josh Cave and a large village of cousins and friends.

Visitation for Landon will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Gladfelter-Roetker Funeral Home with services to follow at 2 p.m. Pastor Sherry Stevenson will be officiating and additional parking will be next door to the funeral home courtesy of the Ottawa Dental Lab.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family.

For more information on Landon’s fight, Raven and his other family members documented all of it on the Landon’s Fight Facebook page, which can be found at

The Ottawa High School student section dressed in blue in support of Landon McAlpine during the Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, football game at King Field in Ottawa.

The Ottawa High School student section dressed in blue in support of Landon McAlpine during the Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, football game at King Field in Ottawa. (Scott Anderson –

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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