Laurie Stone: PNT Correspondent
Alvin “Al” Dever lived a simple life. He did not live luxuriously but loved his community, of Elida, as if they were his own family members. This made him the epitome of wealth in love and respect to those that shared in his life.
According to family members, Dever was a kind hearted and generous person that loved to work hard. He had a gift for reaching out to others through his ability to fix things. And if something was challenging to him, he never gave up.
Alvin Dever died on Sept. 1, 2005, of brain and lung cancer at the age of 76.
Janet Dever, Al Dever’s sister-in-law, said that Alvin had his difficulties in life due to his experiences in the Korean Conflict, but behind the mask of his old wounds was a tender man that wanted to be loved and accepted.
“If you pushed beyond the man that had the problems and looked for the one that was behind that man then you found a good person,” she said. “He was one of my favorite people because he was kind and good hearted.”
According to family and friends, Dever secretly paid the propane bills for the elderly when they were unable to afford it themselves. He gave money to numerous graduates of Elida for their accomplishments, and bought dinner for the Elida girls basketball team on many occasions.
Alvin Dever was born Aug. 11, 1929, in Snyder, Texas, to Una Lee and Marvin E. Dever. He was one of 10 children.
He attended school at the Union School near Snyder before the family moved to Elida in 1939. For several years he worked on farms in the Elida area before moving to Portales, where he worked as a heavy equipment operator.
He joined the Army in 1948 specializing in the operation and repairs of M46 tanks. He served in Korea for four years.
During his time in service, he was wounded while in a tank. He was hit by incoming explosives which lodged shrapnel in his head. He received a Korean Service medal with three bronze stars for bravery. He was discharged Jun. 19, 1952.
After his release, he worked in Lovington where he was employed at the General Tire Store. He married Celia Anderson on Feb. 27, 1957 in Vancouver, Washington. They had two daughters together. He moved back to the Portales/ Elida area in 1986. He began working for Dan Howard in 1995 on his farm, where he remained until his death.
According to family and friends, Alvin Dever was a very mannerly man that despised greatly when he saw a man disrespecting a woman or the American flag.
Though he was bitter about his war experiences (since he felt he was not received well by the American public when he came back from war) he admonished those that would fight for their country, according to his sister, Billie Wells.
Dever expressed his gratitude to others in simple deeds that may not have been noticed to the majority, according to family members, but it was his greatest desire to help others in their time of need.