Alexander Velez Bernal passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones. He was preceded in death by his parents Joe and Trinidad, and brother David. He is survived by his loving wife of 29 years Isabel Bernal, his daughter Catherine Rogers and husband Jeffrey, son Dr. Ben Rodriguez and wife Talia, son Matthew and daughter Marisa Rodriguez. He is also survived by grandchildren Charles, Naomi, Lucas, Max, and Camila. Also by his brothers George and wife Irene, and Roman and wife Laura.
Alex graduated from Highlands High School, San Antonio College, and Texas State University with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in English. He joined the Army’s Officer Training and graduated as a Lieutenant. He was stationed in Germany for six years. Upon return to San Antonio, he became a full, tenured track professor of English. Soon, he enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin to pursue a Doctoral degree, while working full time at SAC. He served as English Chair for twenty consecutive years, at a time when the department consisted of more than fifty full time professors. He was a very active educator who served in numerous capacities in higher education. He served on the Fulbright Regional Committee making recommendations to their Washington office for six years. When Dr. Loland was President of SAC, Alex organized the District Council of Chairs, representing sixty chairs in the District, becoming the first Chair of Chairs for twelve years. He was a member of the faculty senate for over twenty five years.
Professor Bernal belonged to various professional organizations, including the Conference of College Teachers of English, the Two-Year College Association, and the Texas Community College Teachers Association. He was active in civic organizations, including Friends of the San Antonio Public Library, where he led the effort to name a branch library in honor of SAC Professor Emeritus John Igo. He was a member and president of Sembradores of SA, that includes an Educational Foundation which has given Latino students scholarships to local colleges for more than thirty years. In his spare time, along with Isabel, he joined some social groups including Los Alegradores, Harvard Club, book clubs, etc. He loved traveling to various countries in Europe and in South America with family and friends.
Alex was recognized as an Outstanding San Antonio Independent School District Graduate by the San Antonio Teachers’ Council in 2002, and received the Yellow Rose of Texas Education Award from the Constance Allen Heritage Guild in 2004. He retired from SAC in 2021 and was awarded Emeritus status in 2022.
A visitation will be held at Sunset North Funeral Home on Thursday, August 3, 2023 from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by a Celebration of Life from 7 to 8 pm. Interment with military honors will be at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, shelter #3 on Friday, August 4, 2023 at 9:15 am.
In lieu of flowers, Alex would favor contributions to Sembradores of San Antonio Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 100674, San Antonio, TX 78201. https://sembradoresofsanantonio.org/?p=123
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.SunsetNorthFuneralHome.com for the Bernal family.