Dr. Alvin Sol Wexler
July 2, 1925 – March 13, 2018
Alvin S. Wexler, MD, 92, passed away in his sleep early Tuesday morning, March 12, 2018. To say he was an amazing man doesn’t come close to describing his impact on the thousands of people who came to know and love him. Alvin was born on a hot day in New Orleans on July 2, 1925. As a child, he was a victim of the polio epidemic in America that struck every summer beginning in the 1920s. Where he was limited in physical ability, he made up for in intelligence and hard work. He went to Fortier High School and then LSU in Baton Rouge. He was a die-hard LSU Tiger and could often be seen wearing his Bengal tiger t-shirt watching the Tigers on TV. At LSU, Alvin met the love of his life, Marilyn Pasternack. They were eventually married and celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary before Marilyn passed on in September, 2013. It was nothing for him to pack up the car and drive the family from Houston to Baton Rouge to watch the Tigers play football at “Death Valley.” He graduated from LSU Medical School before he was 21 and did his OB-GYN residency under the famous Dr. Conrad Collins at the Tulane Unit of Charity Hospital in New Orleans. As a resident, Alvin delivered the first set of quintuplets in Louisiana. He was the only doctor for the “women of the night” in New Orleans and cared for everyone. He loved to talk about the Nuns who worked at Charity Hospital and how they kept him fed when he was on call. When the Korean War started, Alvin received his draft papers. He went to the Army office and asked, “What about my polio?” The Army recruiter looked at him and said, “What polio?” Alvin then walked down the street and enlisted in the Air Force. Alvin became a Captain in the USAF and was sent to Ellington Air Force base just outside Houston. As the Korean War escalated, Alvin received his orders to ship out. But Alvin just happened to be the OB doctor for the pregnant wife of the base commander. She went to her husband and made it clear to him that Alvin was not going anywhere. After the war, Alvin and Marilyn made Houston their home and raised 3 children – 1 problem child, Stephan, and then Darryl and Shelley. Alvin was totally tone deaf and when he would try to sing, it was nails on the blackboard. But he and Marilyn loved classical music. They passed their love of opera and Classical music to Darryl, but couldn’t do anything about their other 2 rock n’ roll teenagers. Alvin and Marilyn were lifelong Patrons of the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Symphony. In 1953, Alvin and his best friend, Dr. Bernard Flanz started MacGregor Medical Clinic which eventually grew to take care of hundreds of thousands of patients throughout Houston. In the clinic, the nurses would get his patients ready. Alvin would walk in, clap his hands and say,” All right, Mama, let’s go, sunny side up.” It was estimated that, throughout his long medical career of more than 50 years, Alvin delivered over 15,000 babies. Alvin pioneered many procedures with vaginal surgery. In the late 1950s, at the height of the Cold war, Alvin was invited to come to Russia and teach their doctors. Alvin was one of the first OB-GYN doctors in the new Texas Medical Center, often working in the operating room next to Dr. Michael DeBakey where they became friends. Later on, Alvin also worked at Hermann Hospital with Dr. Red Duke. When Marilyn was critically injured in a car wreck in 2007, she was life flighted to Memorial Hermann where Dr. Duke saved her life. Alvin was a lifelong learner and reader. Until 6 months before his death, Alvin read 3 newspapers a day and a novel every 2-3 days. He was one of the very few people who had a massive library and had read every book he owned. For the past 70 years, he would do the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, in ink, and never made a mistake. When he was 70, he took and passed the recertification exam for OB-GYN doctors. He and Marilyn loved to travel the world, visiting the Far East many times. He was a member of the World Affairs Council and was one of the early participants in the Aspen Institute. Alvin was on the staff of Methodist Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, Memorial Hermann Hospital and Ben Taub Hospital, teaching hundreds of OB-GYN residents at Baylor College of
Medicine and University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He was a member of dozens of medical societies, including the Harris County Medical Society, Houston Surgical Society, American College of Surgeons, Texas OB-GYN Society, Tulane OB-GYN Society and American College of OB-GYN. He was past president of the Houston OB-GYN Society. For decades, he was a member of the Scottish Rite Arabian Shrine Temple and loved wearing that crazy felt hat with the black tassel. But more than that, Alvin loved good, no, great food. He loved eating at some of the world’s greatest restaurants. When the polio forced him to start using a motorized wheel chair, he just arrived at placed sooner than anyone else. Alvin was a unique soul and a great man who always helped anyone who asked. His smile was infectious and his warmth kept us all safe. We want to thank his numerous dedicated care givers who all became his buddies, including Vance, John, James and Bedlu. Alvin was preceded in death by his soul and inspiration Marilyn Wexler, his parents, Sam and Florence Wexler of New Orleans, his brother Moise Wexler, his son, Darryl Marcus Wexler, his grandson Brandon Edelstein and his brother-in-law David Pasternack. He is survived by his daughter, Shelley Wexler Edelstein, his granddaughter Andrea Edelstein and grandson Jeremy Edelstein, his son, Dr. Stephan Wexler, his grandsons Noah Wexler, Logan Wexler and Turner Hall, the loves of his life - his great granddaughter Marley Wexler and great grandson Sebastian Wexler, his son-in-law Howard Pollack, sister-in-law Carole Pasternack, his niece Karen Pasternack and nephew Marcus Pasternack. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Memorial Hermann Foundation Life Flight Fund, 929 Gessner Rd., Suite 2699, Houston, Texas, 77024, Attn: Sharonda Taylor; or the Howard Pollack Scholarship in Memory of Darryl M. Wexler, c/o Moore School of Music, University of Houston, 120 School of Music Building, Houston, Texas, 77024-4017. Services will be held Friday, March 16, 2018 at 11:30 AM, Woodlawn Cemetery at Beth Israel Memorial Gardens, 1101 Antoine, Houston Texas 77055.
- Funeral Service Friday, March 16, 2018
Dr. Alvin Sol Wexler
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March 27, 2018
To Shelley and your family: We were very saddened to hear of your father's passing. As you know, he and my father loved each other like brothers. Your dad took time to talk to me about our daughter's condition- Chiari Malformation of the Cerebellum- which I believe he also experienced. He was a great man, and touched many, many lives. May you be blessed with the many happy memories of both your parents.
March 17, 2018
Dr. Wexler delivered me November 8, 1957 @
Methodist Hospital. My mother said he was a wonderful man, and I am proud that he was my OB-GYN. My father -in -law Dr. Andrew Jackson new him well and worked with him at MacGregor Clinic. He agreed that Dr. Wexler was a fine man.
March 16, 2018
Dr. Wexler was one of the best doctors I had. He delivered three of my children. I started going to his clinic when he was working at McGregor Medical Center . He always was a very outgoing person and very kind. God rest his soul.