Alex was born in San Francisco, California in 1935 to Serge and Alexandra Kovaleff. He attended Cabrillo Elementary School in San Francisco until 1943, when his family moved to Burlingame, where he attended Hoover Elementary School. He then attended the California School of the Mechanical Arts (Lick-Wilmerdin) in San Francisco from 1949-1952 before graduating from Burlingame High School in 1953.  

     Alex’s father Serge Peter Kovaleff of Russia, passed awayin 1949, as President of Enterprise Engine and Foundry Company in San Francisco. Alex’s mother, Alexandra Michael Kovaleff (Tearo) of Estonia, passed away in 2001 in Alhambra, California. 

      Alex started working at the age of 14 and continued throughout his teenage years with jobs at the El Camino-Howard Service Station, the House of Flowers, the Burlingame Advance newspaper, the Tahoe Tavern in Lake Tahoe, and at the Diamond C Ranch in Ukiah, California. He became a member of the United States Naval Reserve at the age of 17 and while still in high school. Following high school, Alex moved to the Los Angeles area to pursue employment opportunities.

     Alex became a machinist at Precision Engineering Company in 1953. In 1954, he applied and was accepted to be a Police Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. While waiting the six months to turn 21 to enter the police academy, he met his future wife Gladys and his career path stayed within the mechanical arena. 

     Alex married Gladys in 1955 and they purchased their first home in 1959 in La Mirada, California. In 1961, they moved to Illinois where Alex oversaw Chrome Crankshaft Company. In 1964, they moved to Long Beach, California, where Alex returned to become the General Manager of Precision Engineering Company. In 1969, he left Precision Engineering Company and became a Field Superintendent at Western Engine Service, in Terminal Island, California. In 1971, he accepted a position with Thomason Compressor as a Field Superintendent. He continued at Thomason Compressor until he became the Chief Operating Officer of Thomason Mechanical Corporation, serving in that position from 1981 until 1994. Alex was licensed as a General Engineering Contractor in California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. He left Thomason Mechanical Corporation in 1997 and started Kovaleff Mechanical Services, Inc. Alex formally retired from Kovaleff Mechanical Services in 2003. He moved to Yucca Valley in 1994 after his son Toby built his dream home there. Alex and Gladys moved to Palm Desert in 2017. 

      He was the member of dozens of organizations during his lifetime, including drag racing with the Peninsula Timing Association, the United States Navy, the YMCA, the Boy Scouts of America, the Chain of Lakes Boat Racing, Who’s Who, the Concorde Flyers Association, the Reno Air Race Checkered Flag Club, the Locomotive Maintenance Officers Association, the Binnacle Club, the Bilge Club, the Propeller Club, the California Sports Car Club, the Southern California Millwrights and Machinery Erectors,  the Millwright Employers Association (President), the Western Petroleum Club, the National  Aeronca Association, the International Comanche Society, the American Power Boat Association, the American Motorcycle Association, Los Angeles Port Engineers, the Pacific Energy Association, International Harvester Collectors, and the Antique Truck Historical Society. 

    Alex built and raced several inboard and outboard racing boats from 1949-1964. He enjoyed restoring and riding several different motorcycles from 1964-1990.  He owned, flew, and restored several different airplanes from 1985-1997 and spent nearly all of his adulthood restoring cars and trucks. He participated in drag racing and built several racing engines. He was involved in the racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats for over 14 years. Alex collected and restored several vintage tractors and also restored a 1929 ATSF Caboose. He truly enjoyed driving, cooking and traveling. His travels took him across 49 states, Mexico, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Alex was a fixer of all things mechanical, from a one million horsepower turbine to antique cuckoo clocks. He was an avid fisherman who enjoyed camping and exploring remote areas of California. 

      Alex lived an incredible life, shaped the lives and careers of many, and will be forever loved by his family and friends