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Earthman Southwest Funeral Home

12555 South Kirkwood, Stafford, TX

OBITUARY

Eugene Alsandor

November 11, 1939October 19, 2019
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Celebrating the Life of Eugene Alsandor

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2)

Sunrise: November 11, 1939 Sunset: October 19, 2019

Eugene (Gene) Alsandor, affectionately known as “Genie Boy” was born on Saturday, November 11, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana to the late Eugene E. Alsandor and Syble Steel Jefferson.

The eldest of his siblings, Gene was revered as the beloved big brother, and a father figure. During his early childhood Gene was raised by his mother and, for a period, spent time living with various families in foster care when his mother became too ill to care for him and his younger siblings. Eventually, he and his brothers and sisters were joyfully reunited with their mother upon her recovery and marriage to his step father, William Jefferson in Columbia, Mississippi.

Gene attended elementary school and St. Augustine High School in New Orleans and was a devoted Catholic throughout his life, serving as an altar boy (server). He later relocated to San Francisco to live with his mother’s brother, Eddie Knott (“Uncle Eddie”), who felt Eugene would have better educational opportunities in California. Gene also attended an integrated school, Mission High School in San Francisco, where he also played basketball. During that time, Gene developed a very close relationship with his late Uncle Eddie who became a father figure to him until his uncle’s death.

At a party in San Francisco, he walked a beautiful young lady home, named Elma Taylor and dated her for three years before asking for her hand in marriage in June of 1960. Their union was blessed with four children: Karen, Janice “Jan-Jan”, Eugene “Freddie” and Cheryl “Che-Che”. Although their marriage ended after 29 years they remained dear friends until his death.

He attended City College of San Francisco, while working for the United States Post Office, and The University of California at Berkeley where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, and a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern California at Berkeley. Eugene completed most of his courses for the doctoral program in Chemical Engineering. His motivation was due in part to challenges finding employment in the private sector due to racial discrimination during the 1960s.

Gene had a life-long love affair with music, especially Jazz and dancing his “Genie Boy Strut” when the rhythm and groove moved him. He enjoyed competitive sports such as tennis, baseball, basketball, football, and, card playing of all kinds including poker and blackjack.

Gene worked at Shell Oil Company in Emeryville, CA and moved the family to the corporate office in Houston in the 1970’s. They raised four children who all successfully completed college and have gone on to enjoy successful careers. During that time, he worked as a chemical engineer for Shell Oil in Houston, Texas for 32 years. He also was very active in engineering organizations and held various leadership positions in the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineering (NOBBChe), Black Organization for Leadership and Development (BOLD), and American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChe) among many others. Later in his career he moved to Saudi Arabia to support a large joint venture project for Shell, and traveled Europe and Asia.

Gene was known as a giver with a warm and generous heart. He was a devoted/attending member of St. Laurence Catholic Church in Sugar Land until his health declined. He was always willing to help strangers, friends and family in need. However, most family knew to brace themselves first before asking him to come to their rescue. He wasn’t shy about expressing his unsolicited advice first and delivering outspoken rebuke if one needed it about his position on the matter - especially if he was involved. Family and friends learned to endure or flee his stern, prosecutorial style of “what were you thinking” questioning designed to make sure lessons learned were shared, well-understood and never to be repeated again.

Gene played just as hard as he worked and loved a good, fun party with food, family and friends. He was a fierce competitor of strategy games such as poker, dominoes and chess. When he knew he had the secret winning hand, he was best known for his unmatched skill of slamming down his arm with one hand with such force that he’d break atomic gassy wind at the same time, bringing opponents to their knees in laughter. When the party was over, he never said goodbye but exclaimed, “Ok people!” as if to say until I see you all next time.

Gene later in life married Kristine Holmes and remained with her until her death in 2014. Gene retired in 1999 and in 2006 was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

As the illness progressed Gene continued to find pleasure in listening to music, spontaneous dancing to beat or doing the “Genie Boy Strut” in his usual style until he could only tap his hands and his feet. When the music, dancing and tapping stopped Eugene slipped away peacefully in his sleep to the greatest party in heaven on the early morning of Saturday, October 19, 2019.

He is preceded in death by his mother, Syble Jefferson, step-father, William Jefferson, father, Eugene E. Alsandor, uncle Edward (Eddie) Knott, brother, Aaron Hall and Kristine Alsandor.

He leaves to cherish his loving memories his four children: Karen Alsandor, Janice Cherry (Rufus), Eugene “Freddie” Alsandor (Renee), and Cheryl Alsandor; 7 grandchildren, and 1 great grandson; his siblings (Carolyn White, Syble Sorina, James Alsandor (Ruth), Therosine White (Warren), Milton Steel, Edna Jefferson (Al); a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Ok people!!

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, October 26, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, October 26, 2019

Memories

Eugene Alsandor

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Kimberly Burks

November 11, 2019

Today, I remember my dear Uncle Gene on his earthly birthday. I am finding myself reflecting on the beautiful times I shared when Uncle Gene would make his annual visits to the West Coast for Thanksgiving week (in the 1990s). We had so many laughs and my Mom, brother and I were often asked to judge many debates between Uncle Gene, Uncle Eddie (great-uncle) and my Dad. Well, "judge" may be too strong of a word. I believe a nod of agreement was what they were looking for from us. I, very much, looked forward to Thanksgiving because I knew there would be rich conversation with humor interwoven between each deep topic. I always wondered if Uncle Gene really knew what his visits personally meant to me. When he visited in the 70s/80s, as a young girl, you would find me planted close by the table where Uncle Milton, Uncle Gene, Uncle Eddie, my Dad and my Dad's friend Will were eating and talking. I was always intrigued by their laughter and real talk. I loved watching their interaction and genuine love for one another. Another memory that I hold close to my heart is my visit to Houston in the early 2000s. Uncle Gene picked me up from the airport and we visited good friends of his who prepared dinner for us. That Houston visit concluded with a drive to New Orleans for Mardi Gras; in the car was Uncle Gene at the wheel, Cheryl and I. What a precious and chilly drive that was! There are many more memories, one of which was my wedding day. Uncle Gene was there. After his passing, I shared his life as a success story to my class of African American students. Many students asked "Why did your Uncle Gene choose to pursue engineering?" They want to know if he had fears of failure and why he chose a path that he knew would lead to resistance. I would love to hear his answers. I remember the last time Uncle Gene greeted with me with "Sug." I suppose that may be how his answer would start. He is now resting well.

Dominique Williamson

October 27, 2019

I will never forget the impact that Uncle Gene had on my life! His success motivated me to work hard. I am hoping I am able to instill these same principles in my daughters. I love you always, Uncle Gene.

Ivy Ricketts

October 26, 2019

Cheryl: Our condolences to you and your family. We admired how you lovingly cared for your dad and pray that you feel the support of all of your friends during this difficult period. We love you,
Ivy & Elton Lockings

Therosine Jackson

October 23, 2019

To my family. I’m truly honored to have had Uncle Gene in my life. I’m so very thankful and blessed. I use to look forward to our family reunions in Mississippi at Mama Syble’s house. I can remember Uncle Gene sitting in the rocking chair on the porch telling us of his personal experiences while visiting different countries. I remember his strong voice and that smile that seemed to light up a room. I remember hearing the many spirited-debates between him and Uncle Eddie about careers, the stock market and ball games. I remember his stern words regarding the importance of education. To Uncle Gene, I say thank you for all the wonderful memories, and for unconditional love. I will forever remember...... my Uncle Gene

FROM THE FAMILY

Gene as an Infant

FROM THE FAMILY

Gene circa 1944-45

FROM THE FAMILY

St. Augustine HS, 1955

FROM THE FAMILY

High School French Club 1957

FROM THE FAMILY

Gene jumping for for the ball.

FROM THE FAMILY

Mission High School, 1957

FROM THE FAMILY

Gene as an Infant

FROM THE FAMILY

Gene circa 1944-45

FROM THE FAMILY

St. Augustine HS, 1955

FROM THE FAMILY

High School French Club 1957

FROM THE FAMILY

Gene jumping for for the ball.

FROM THE FAMILY

Mission High School, 1957

FROM THE FAMILY

Gene studying for engineering

FROM THE FAMILY

Gene and Elma before kids

FROM THE FAMILY

Gene with brother, James, wife, Elma, and daughters, Karen and Jan, circa 1965

FROM THE FAMILY

Gene with daughters Karen and Janice