Kerry LaVan McAlister
November 13, 1929 – October 8, 2018
Kerry LaVan McAlister, devoted husband and loving father, of Austin, Texas passed away on October 8, 2018 at age 88.
Kerry was born on November 13, 1929, in Russellville, Arkansas. He was preceded in death by his wife, Doris Crowder McAlister, his parents, Kerry McAlister and Ruby Moon McAlister, and his brother, Stephen McAlister. He is survived by son Randall McAlister and wife Lynne of Round Rock, Texas and their children Holly Swift, Kerry McAlister and wife Julie, Ryan McAlister, Sean Adams and wife Carla, Sage and Ian Adams; daughter Jane Ann McAlister Pence and husband Terry of New Braunfels, Texas and their children Kate Pence Malo and husband Sam, and Jeffrey Pence; one great-grandson Zehn Cadena; and many nieces and nephews.
Kerry lived a long, fun and adventure-filled life. He graduated from Russellville High School in 1947 and after a brief stay at Arkansas Tech, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After completing machinist tech school in Illinois, he was sent to Fairbanks, Alaska. He spent 28 months in Alaska and traveled extensively throughout the state repairing tracked vehicles. Some of these destinations were Pt. Barrow, Nome, St. Lawrence Island, and Yakutat. In 1951, he rotated from Alaska to Holloman AFB in New Mexico and began working on cruise missiles and ground to air missiles. He loved his time there. In 1951, he married his wife of 63 years, Doris Crowder of Adona, Arkansas. In 1952, he was assigned to the Far East and eventually to Kimpo Air Base in Korea. He was there for 10 months in aircraft maintenance for the 67th Photo Recon Wing and the 77th Fighter-Bomber Squadron from Australia. After almost 6 years in the Air Force, he took an early Honorable Discharge and headed back to the US. In January of 1954, he began working for Williams - Stackhouse Mapping Company in San Antonio, Texas. This would mark the beginning of an important chapter of his life. He worked at various mapping companies until he was hired in June of 1962 by the Texas Highway Department in Austin. He began working in the Aerial Mapping Section of D-19. This division produced maps from aerial photography. He ended his long career with the Highway Department as Director of Photogrammetry. He retired in June of 1985 and then continued creating aerial maps at his own company, McAlister Aerial Surveys, until he sold the business in 2001.
Throughout all of this, Kerry and Doris raised two children and spent much of their spare time playing golf all over the United States. They enjoyed watching their grandchildren participate in sports of all kinds. He was a proud member of the United Methodist Church. In recent years, he has attended and served on the board for the Church at The Conservatory, his place of residence. He loved to watch golf, play dominoes, and was an avid reader. He especially loved the Texas Longhorns and watching football. He treasured the experience of traveling to Washington D.C. to visit war monuments in May of 2015 with Honor Flight Austin for Korean War Veterans. He called this the “Trip of A Lifetime.”
Kerry was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. He will leave a void in our lives, but the special memories of him will never go away. The family will receive friends from 10:00 to 11:00 am on Monday, October 15, 2018, with funeral services beginning at 11:00 pm at Cook-Walden Capital Parks Funeral Home, 14501 North IH 35, Pflugerville, Texas. Committal services will follow at Cook-Walden Memorial Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UMCOR-United Methodist Committee on Relief or Memorial United Methodist Church of Austin, Texas. Please visit Kerry’s memorial webpage at www.cookwaldencapitalparks.com for more information.
- He was preceded in death by his wife, Doris Crowder McAlister, his parents, Kerry McAlister and Ruby Moon McAlister, and his brother, Stephen McAlister. He is survived by son Randall McAlister and wife Lynne of Round Rock, Texas and their children Holly Swift, Kerry McAlister and wife Julie, Ryan McAlister, Sean Adams and wife Carla, Sage and Ian Adams; daughter Jane Ann McAlister Pence and husband Terry of New Braunfels, Texas and their children Kate Pence Malo and husband Sam, and Jeffrey Pence; one great-grandson Zehn Cadena; and many nieces and nephews.
- Kerry McAlister
- Ryan McAlister
- Jeffrey Pence
- Sam Malo
- Buddy Allen
- Cliff Powers
- UMCOR-United Methodist Committee on Relief
Memorial United Methodist Church
6100 Berkman Drive, Austin, Texas 78723
- Visitation Monday, October 15, 2018
- Funeral Service Monday, October 15, 2018
- Committal Service Monday, October 15, 2018
Kerry LaVan McAlister
January 15, 2019
I'm so grateful to have had some communication with him. This is a great loss. He was able to give me some information about my great grandfather, George Shockie Thomas. He apparently lived next door to him in Arkansas. He put some information on findagrave and gave me much more when I contacted him. I can never thank him enough for what he did for me. You apparently had a great man in your life. I was very sorry to find this information on the internet and so sorry for your loss. May he RIP.
We had plans to go back to Texas this summer. We have relatives all over Texas. I was raised in Corpus Christi, Texas but have been up here in Rangely, Colorado since 1974. I was hoping to meet him in person to thank him for helping me to know my relatives better and all the information.
Joy Davis Dearman
November 7, 2018
How I am missing Cousin Lavan already. Favorite memories from my childhood were visiting Aunt Ruby, Uncle Kerry, Lavan and Stephen at Bakers Creek Arkansas with my parents Lottie Moon and Teman Weaver....even though Lavan was eight years my senior. It was not an easy life on their farm but that family always had time for my visits and what a table of home-grown delicious food was always prepared for us.
And in our mature years of late, I so enjoyed Lavan’s and my occasional email conversations. His was a good life, well lived and will surely be missed by me. So sad to lose him but how fortunate we all are to have had him in our lives.
Vickey (Beatty) Kosarek
October 14, 2018
To the family of Kerry McAlister,
I'm at such a loss of words for your loss. My Daddy (Will Beatty) worked with Kerry for years, first at William Stackhouse and then the Texas Highway Department. Through these years a strong brotherhood or family developed among some of the men. I have such fond memories of their advice while growing up (if there was ever a problem -- it would be taken to the "committee"). They never led you wrong. That brotherhood/family continued long after their retirements as there were always golf games, get togethers, camaraderie, living examples of how we should all lead our lives. My Daddy would be deeply honored he is named as honorary pallbearer.
With deepest sympathy,
Vickey (Beatty) Kosarek
October 13, 2018
Adjusting to the idea that Uncle Lavan is no longer with us is going to take some work. Knowing he was in this world gave me comfort. My comfort now will have to come from the many wonderful memories he left me with. My childhood recollections include his calm demeanor and warm smile. As I became an adult, I learned that he was also witty, funny, and lovable. I also came to value him for his fine character. He always did the right thing, no matter the difficulty. He was what I call a ‘stand up guy’. He will forever have my respect and admiration and all my love. Goodbye Fave Uncle
October 12, 2018
To Kerry's Family,
I am so glad to have had the privelage of working with Kerry at TxDOT from 1969 until his retirement. I worked as a field Engineer and coordinated mapping requests with the Districts and became close friends with Kerry. He was always so professional and helpful. After we both had both retired we became active in a group of Tx DOT Retirees from the Automation Division. We meet for lunch on the first thursday every month. It was wonderful that Kerry joined us for lunch just last thursday. I had a really great conversation with him and he was helping me with information that I am writing about my personal memories of family, friends and work. I was so pleased that his health had improved after going through a rough time. We also shared stories about his time in Fayetteville and my adopted great grand daughter who is a freshman at the University of Arkansas. My last conversation with him was Friday night after the Lake Travis game and we were supposed to meet for lunch this week to exchange documents about his work in aerial mapping.
I was shocked when I heard of his passing, but am thankful to our Savior for receiving him in heaven.
My prayers are with all of his family and we need to celebrate his long and beautiful life.
October 11, 2018
May God be your comfort in this time of sadness and send his angels to guide you and your loved ones to a place of peace and acceptance. Keep your dad's memory alive by honoring all the good things he did while on this earth. Miriam and Manuel Miramontes
Mike and Suzanne Kennedy
October 11, 2018
Randy and Lynne and family
We are so sorry to hear of your Dads passing. He seemed like a good person.
Please know you and he are in our prayers.
Wishing you peace at this difficult time.
Mike and Suzanne.