Alves's mind was like a sponge, according to his younger sister, Carla Alves. She said he soaked up trivia about baseball, football, and entertainment. Without missing a beat, he knew if a movie scene or song lyric might be ill-suited for teenagers.
"He knew something about everything, so people asked him questions all the time," Carla Alves said. "He could tell you stuff about sports that happened before he was even born. He never flaunted it. He just knew."
Alves was a diehard fan of the New York Yankees and Miami Dolphins, even though he was born in Providence and lived in New England all his life, his sister said. He cheered for the Yankees even as the rest of his friends and family cheered for the Red Sox, she said. "People just liked him and accepted it as a part of who he was."
Alves loved all kinds of music, including blues and rock 'n' roll, and he loved to sing. Growing up, he played keyboards and accordion, and he was active in the chorus at Lincoln High School, Carla Alves said.
All day long, his co-workers at Poly-Flex Circuits of Cranston heard music blaring from his cubicle, where he had designed circuits for medical companies for the last four years, according to Michael Jordan, his friend and supervisor.
Alves, a graduate of the New England Institute of Technology, often lightened the work atmosphere with funny stories. He was the one who rallied colleagues for after-work beers and organized fishing trips or sporting events, Jordan said.
"This is a close-knit company, and he drove us closer together," Jordan said. "He lifted spirits, cracked jokes, and made us leave our desks to go drinking every once in a while."