his Life

Saint Rose de Lima Catholic Church Mass Service - July 23rd, 2020

Given by Linda Olivarez (eldest daughter of Roy R. Alvarez)
Over the past few days, I’ve thought about my conversations with Dad throughout the years and one of my most memorable occurred right before my wedding. 

Dad was taking me to Ellington Air Force Base to get a blood test for my wedding license. It was just Dad and I, I was so glad to get to spend some time with him alone. When there are five children, It was rare to have him or mom to myself. Dad started telling me that he loved mom very much but that even with love, marriage was a challenge. He said,” You must be ready for the commitment of marriage, in good times and hard times; through thick and thin; in sickness and in health." He added that with faith and lots of prayer we would learn more and become stronger because of those hard times. He said that when you choose a life partner they should have faith and that together we should make each other become better people. He said this journey I was about to undertake should also enrich not only my life but that of others. Dad went on to share that mom had pushed him, and encouraged him and believed in him, that he was able to accomplish things he never even dream of….looking back on that day 45 years ago….the conversation we had that day, Dad gave me a commitment to marriage, a commitment to family, a commitment to making the world a better place and the commitment of faith…he modeled and lived that everyday of his life. 

Daddy loved unconditionally his mother(Connie King), our mother, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He would always finish a conversation whether in person or on the phone with I love you. 

We are who we are because of him and mom, their love, his love gave us the confidence to accomplish anything we wanted regardless of limitations others may try to place upon us. I still think of Dad coming from a small town in Harlingen,Texas and deciding he was going to College.  He did it with determination and at a time when this seemed impossible to achieve, but he instilled in us that this too was expected of us…no discussion of a “2nd” plan. College and hard work was our future. I remember getting ready to graduate from High School and telling him that I wanted to take a year off to find myself, he said after a moment, looking at me with that look, ya’ll know the one….before saying…"Oh you don’t need to worry about that, I found you and you are going to be taking classes a week after you graduate from HS at A&M so you can get ahead." 

Dad with his tough love moments coupled with his ”motivational” phrases…lead never follow, if you believe it you can achieve it, failure is not an option, pick your self up dust yourself off, and don’t ever let them see you cry, just do the work to get it done. Oh and when you enter a room hold your head up high.One more…don’t just give lip service. He and Mom celebrated our accomplishments as forgone conclusions. Mom recently told me that at one of our family ”events” …Dad looked at all his family, then told Mom he had actually done something right! His presence left a profound and lasting affect across many generations

Daddy was a leader, a trail blazer, even this last year when he was slowing down, I use that term slowing down loosely because …once he started moving with his “state of the art walker” he was gone, see ya, leaving us running after him.  He was one of the first at the Forum to have such a buggy….I was reminded of this the other day when I went to the Forum to pick up some things for Mom…

I noticed that several residents now also have the state of the art walker. People stopped to tell me what a great man Daddy was and to please tell Mom that they were praying for her. This is the impact they made in a short time this past year.

But its Daddy’s commitment to making the world a better place that was his driving force for service…this was done with overwhelming generosity, kindness; humor and inclusivity. Always sharing his gifts and blessings with his family but never hesitating to provide assistance to others whenever the need presented itself. Daddy just gave wholeheartedly… whether it was to provide a family money to pay for a child’s medical bills, or to lend a suit to a friend so he could get married, or to write countless letters of recommendations for former students, co-workers, or employees; even to help rebuild Vietnamese villages during his tours in Vietnam, or to share a jar of very hot homemade hot sauce. 

Dad along with mom shared our home to countless people that needed a place to land wherever we were stationed…Dad would just fire up the barbecue pit and cook.  He and mom would say add a plate to the table, what’s one more. His actions taught us that service is noble, necessary and important. One of his many awards said it best, Roy Alvarez, a builder of men and bridges.

With his commitment to his faith;  Dad showed us that God was our guiding light and protector. He believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and he was renewed by practicing the sacraments and through prayer. He loved going to church. I know that he is in Heaven right now helping God command his angels and helping the Lord work with Grandma King.

As I prepared to speak with you, I asked my brother and sisters to tell me their feelings about Dad and ironically they all conveyed the same message that I shared today. I want to thank you all for sharing a specific character trait of dad's that impacted you most: Liz, I appreciate you sharing his leadership and trailblazing gift: Liz, you and Cesar are leaders and trailblazers; Roy, you gave me Dad’s unconditional love; you and Carol together show your kids and grandkids that love everyday. Lorrie, Dad gave you confidence to pursue a career without letting the limitations of others stop you. Annie, you demonstrate Dad’s service to others, we see it in the way you provide service not only to your family but your friends and neighbors. Mommy, Thank you for sharing Daddy’s many awards, honors and accolades, you were his biggest cheerleader. We would never have learned about them if not for you, Daddy was not a boastful man.

Today I would like to ask, if you can recall a conversation with Dad, his words that he shared with you personally that impacted your life, please write them down and share it with Mom, so that it can provide her the support and love that she will need in the days to come.

Finally, in the words of our Dad, "The Colonel"…Thank you Heavenly Father for the many blessings you have bestowed upon us, please watch over my family and help those that are less fortunate. 

St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church Mass Readings - July 23rd, 2020

First Reading - 
Wisdom 3:1 - 6, 9 

The souls of the just are in the hand of God and no torment shall touch them.  
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affiliation and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if in the eyes of men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them,
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. 

Second Reading - 
Corinthians 4:14 - 5:1

A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
We know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.
Therefore, we are not discouraged;
rather, although our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
For this momentary light affliction
is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen;
for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent,
should be destroyed, 
we have a building from God,
a dwelling not made with hands, 
eternal in heaven.

The word of the Lord.

One of the Lord's Army of Angels

Col Roy R. Alvarez, Jr. joined our Lord's army of angels on the morning of July 16, 2020.  Roy was born in Harlingen, Texas, on March 18, 1932, to Roy Alvarez, Sr. and Connie Alvarez King.  He attended Harlingen High School, where he played football and was a member of the National Honor Society and the Cardinal band.  After high school, Roy worked his way through the College of Texas A & M and was a proud member of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 1954.  After graduation, he married Tillie Alvarez on October 16, 1954.

Following an initial stint of service in the Army, Roy began his engineering career at the Texas Highway Department and then went on to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  He was called back into active service during the Berlin Crisis of 1961 and ultimately served for almost 30 years, completing three tours in Vietnam and two tours in Germany.  He served in a leadership capacity in numerous high-level engineering assignments and earned several medals of gallantry and service, including a Bronze Star.

In the early 1970s, Roy returned to his beloved Texas A&M to complete two master's degrees in architecture and engineering. He maintained a 4.0 GPA and was inducted into the Honor Society for both programs.  In addition to his master's studies, he completed courses at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and later taught at both Rice University and the University of Houston.

Roy's last assignment in the military was as an Executive Officer at the U.S. Army Mobility Equipment Research and Development Command (MERADCOM). In 1981, Roy retired with the rank of Colonel.  Roy was affectionally to work in the civil engineering and construction management fields.