Alvin Irving Gurin, O.D., was born on October 19, 1935, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Julius and Fannie (Siegel) Gurin and passed away on Friday, June 21, 2019, in Houston, Texas.
His burial was held Sunday, June 23, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at Beth Yeshurun Post Oak Cemetery in Houston, Texas, and was officiated by Rabbi Strauss.
Alvin was married to the late Rachel (Nelkin) Gurin for 50 years until her sudden death on October 9, 2009. He is survived by his son David Gurin, M.D.; daughter Sharon Gurin; brother Ronald and his wife Judy Gurin; nieces and nephews Michael Gurin, Robyn Gurin, Lisa Gurin, Theodore Nelkin, Todd Nelkin, and extended family and dear friends.
In the 1950’s, Alvin came to Texas to pursue his studies at the University of Houston, graduating with a degree in Optometry. While still in college, he met the one true love of his life Rachel Nelkin. They were married on June 7, 1959.
The marriage was joyful and fruitful; bearing two children, David and Sharon. Alvin was a doting father, and enjoyed spending time with his family. He enjoyed being the one to sterilize their baby bottles and reading to David and Sharon. When David was an infant, Alvin went to the store to buy milk for him, and had a car accident that sent him from the driver’s seat to the back seat. Even though he had a concussion, he was determined to get home and get his son fed.
Alvin was a conscientious doctor, taking great care of his patients and their vision concerns. He would often stay late at the office, making sure that he was able to provide the best care for each of his patients. One time he got caught in one of the many floods in the 1970’s, and his family was not able to reach him and worried all night about his whereabouts. He walked to a local car dealer and was finally able to reach out to his family at 2:00 a.m. – using a pay phone (something unheard of today).
His fondness for all things Disney was passed down to his children. He celebrated the birth of each child with gifts of stock certificates in Walt Disney, and was often seen at premiere movie screenings with his family.
Alvin had an awful fear of flying. He took his family to Disney World in 1976, via air. After that turbulent trip, he said he would never fly again – and he stuck to it! All of the family trips after that were by car.
In spite of his trim frame, Alvin loved to eat! Steak N Ale, Cleburne Cafeteria and Luthers BBQ were just some of his favorites. As he got older, his love for ice cream and popsicles grew. The family would joke that he could eat an entire box of popsicles and Magnum ice cream bars in one day. And yes, there were a few times he did!
He loved baseball, and celebrated when the Houston Astros won the World Series. He enjoyed watching the Rockets and later the Texans, but was a Houston Oilers fan forever.
Had it not been for Hurricane Ike, he would have still been working at his practice. Ike flooded his office and it took over a year to rebuild it. The new office was fully computerized and he decided to retire than attempt to learn all of the new computer programs and systems.
Alvin loved his family and was very proud of David and Sharon. He beamed with joy when David graduated from UTMB with a medical degree, and when Sharon graduated with a degree in biology, later pursuing law school and nursing school.
In recent years, various illnesses began to take over his body. David and Sharon, ever-faithful to their father, made caring for him a priority. They dedicated their days and nights to personally caring for the man who had provided so much for them. When Alvin had to be hospitalized, David and Sharon would accompany him there, spending many late nights with him, until he fell asleep.
It was an honor and blessing to be able to do that for their beloved dad.
While we will miss our father, we are forever thankful for all of the blessings and joys they gave us, and will cherish all of his love, wisdom and guidance in our hearts forever.
Proverbs 1:8-9 “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.”