Judge Alvin Khoury, East Texas civic leader, attorney and state district judge, died peacefully on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 in Longview, TX following a short illness.
A fourth-generation Texan, Alvin was born October 15, 1936 at Gregg Memorial Hospital in Longview, the second child of the late Virginia and Dr. Sam G. Khoury.
Alvin grew up in Longview, attended Longview public schools and graduated from Longview High School in 1954. He attended Kilgore Junior College and Southern Methodist University, graduating from SMU in 1957 and SMU School of Law in 1959. During law school, he clerked for the prestigious Wynne & Wynne law firm in Dallas.
Following his graduation from law school, Alvin was offered a job with Wynne & Wynne, but instead chose to come home to Longview to pursue his dreams, a decision he never regretted. He was licensed to practice law in 1959, at age 22, and he began his legal career at the Whitehead firm in Longview, where he practiced from 1959-1965. From 1965-1970, he was a solo practitioner and from 1971-1972 he practiced in the Longview firm of Jones & Khoury. Alvin joined the staff of Gregg County District Attorney Ralph Prince in 1972, the beginning of 37 years of public service to the citizens of Gregg County. In 1980, he was elected District Judge of the 124th Judicial District, composed of Gregg County, and he was re-elected six times.
Alvin was a member of The American Judicature Society, State Bar of Texas, Northeast Texas Bar Association, Gregg County Bar Association, and Texas Association of District Judges. He was a graduate of the National College of District Attorneys, Texas College of the Judiciary, The National Judicial College, and Texas College for Advanced Judicial Studies.
During his 28 years on the bench, he conducted more than 1,000 jury trials, presided over complex civil cases and twelve capital murder cases, and served as a visiting judge in some of Texas’ largest counties. His statutory duties included supervising five Gregg County departments and more than 140 employees. From 1995-2007, he served as Local Administrative Judge and Chairman of the Gregg County Board of Judges.
Throughout his tenure, Alvin made efficient court management a top priority. The 124th District Court was one of the first courts in Texas to adopt a computerized docket control system, helping cases move faster. And he was instrumental in the drafting and passage of legislation in Austin authorizing the creation of Gregg County Court at Law No. 2, which further streamlined case management and improved access to justice through quicker disposition of cases.
Alvin also was active in various criminal justice issues before the Texas Legislature, providing testimony and other input on proposed legislation. And he helped write a bill authorizing expansion of the grand jury pool, which passed the legislature and was signed into law by the governor.
In June 2006, Alvin was honored with a Presidential Commendation by the State Bar of Texas, in recognition of his leadership in improving justice in Texas. After opting not to seek re-election in 2008, he served as Senior District Judge of the 124th District Court from 2009-2015, where he presided over cases in Northeast Texas and the Dallas metroplex.
The Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives both passed resolutions in 2009 honoring Alvin, noting “...his integrity and commitment to justice will long inspire all those who have been privileged to work with him...” Also in 2009, he was honored as a Fifty-Year Lawyer by the State Bar of Texas. From 2015-2017, he practiced law on a limited basis.
Alvin was a 2007 Longview Independent School District Distinguished Alumni, recipient of the 2006 President’s Award from the White Oak Chamber of Commerce and the Americanism Award from Longview VFW Post 4002 in 1996, and he was Honorary Balloon Meister of the 1999 Great Texas Balloon Race.
He previously served as President of the Longview Jaycees, President of the Longview Lobo Football Booster Club and Chairman of the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce. He was an honorary board member of the Harvest Festival & Livestock Show and past board member of the Great Texas Balloon Race, Longview Chamber of Commerce and Kilgore Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he was a member of the Kilgore College, SMU and SMU Law School alumni associations and numerous East Texas organizations.
Alvin’s favorite place to relax was at Lake Cherokee, and some of his fondest memories there were fishing with his mother as a child and years later as a father teaching his sons to fish. Other favorite hobbies were the horse races and judging area chili and gumbo cook-offs.
An avid Longview Lobos football fan, Alvin was only a year old and too young to remember being at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas with his father and brother and witnessing the 1937 Lobos win the school’s only state championship. He spent his entire life cheering for the Lobos and dreaming of seeing another state championship. Longview Head Football Coach John King described it perfectly in an interview with the Longview News-Journal following Alvin’s death: “Judge Khoury, he loved the Lobos, he loved Longview High School and he didn’t try to hide it. He showed that everywhere he went.” Indeed, he did.
Alvin was a lifelong Catholic and parishioner at Saint Anthony Catholic Church and later at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where he served for decades as an usher. He was a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, Faithful Navigator, Past Grand Knight, and Knight of the Year.
Alvin is survived by his wife of nearly 58 years, Dorothy, and their sons, Samuel M. Khoury and Andy Khoury, all of Longview. Additional survivors include his sister, Betty Falco of Longview; his aunt, Theresa Boudreaux (Jerry) of Lake Charles, LA; his sister-in-law, Polly Gregg (Harold) of Midlothian, VA; brother-in-law, Mike Nasser (Evelyn) of Winchester, VA; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Alvin was a lover of all animals and adopted many homeless pets through the years. He is also survived by his loyal and beloved rescue cats, Mama Kitty, Clyde and Cousin. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Richard Khoury, all of Longview.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Rader Funeral Home of Longview. On Sunday, December 2, the family will receive friends from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the funeral home. The funeral Mass will be 1:30 PM Monday, December 3 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 2108 Ridgewood Dr, Longview. Alvin’s cousin, The Most Reverend Sam G. Jacobs, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux (Louisiana), and The Reverend Daniel P. Dower will officiate. Interment will be at Rosewood Park Cemetery, 1884 FM 1844, Longview.
Pallbearers are Mike Coston, Clement Dunn, Ken Hartley, John King, Les Kroeger, Glenn Phillips, Mickey Smith, and Mike Vallery. Honorary pallbearers are Gaylon Butler, Glen Cobb, Sam Lawson, Jim Martin, Tommy Merritt, Jim Montgomery, Frank Odom, Randy Peters, James Plumlee, and Wilbur Yates.
Memorial donations may be made to: Judge Alvin Khoury Lobo Football Scholarship, c/o Longview ISD Foundation, Inc., PO Box 1212, Longview 75606; Longview Animal Care & Adoption Center, PO Box 808, Longview 75606; or Longview Catholic School Endowment Fund, 405 Hollybrook Dr, Longview 75605.
The family of Alvin Khoury wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the following individuals for their compassionate efforts and care: Drs. Rick Earnest, Michael Guillory and Tom Taylor of Longview, Drs. David Gass, Noah Israel and Richard W. Lowry of Tyler, and their nurses and staff; and the ER and 5th floor ICU physicians, nurses and staff at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center - Longview.