Alfred Guerra Jr., a man whose life was as vibrant and colorful as the Las Vegas strip, passed away at his home Saturday, May 27, 2023. He was 92 years old.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, on December 31, 1930, Al was the offspring of Alfred and Concepcion (Connie) Guerra. From an early age, it was clear that Al possessed an extraordinary amount of talent and energy. He graduated from Brackenridge High School where he was in the marching band and played baseball, football, basketball and ran track.
On March 8, 1949, Al married his childhood sweetheart, Maria Dora.
Al's professional journey began at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas, where he embarked on a lengthy career with the U.S. Department of Defense. Al's assignments took him and his “Guerra Girls” to air bases in different corners of the globe, from the deserts of New Mexico to the humid lands of Alabama, from the Far East in Okinawa to the exotic terrains of Thailand, and even across the pond to England. Al's knack for problem-solving, resourcefulness, and occasional creative ingenuity earned him well-deserved awards and accolades throughout his career. In 1987, he retired from the Department of Defense, with a civilian rank equivalent to an Air Force lieutenant colonel.
However, retirement didn't mean Al was ready to hang up his hat. He accepted a position with General Dynamics, the manufacturer of the F-16 fighter, to establish logistics protocols for that aircraft in South America. When that task was accomplished, he couldn't sit back and watch the desert sunsets. Instead, along with a close friend, Al ventured into the used car business, proving that age is no barrier to chasing new dreams.
Beyond his professional achievements, Al had a zest for life that was contagious. He loved playing golf, tinkering with cars, and scouring garage sales for hidden treasures. He spent Sundays with Dora playing video poker at Sam’s Town, woke early each day to find the best deals at the grocery store and ate dinner every night with his beloved bride. His greatest joy came from cherishing the company of his loved ones, both family and friends. When Al and Dora retired in Las Vegas, they built their home to accommodate the countless visits from friends and relatives.
Al was known for his generosity, sharp wit, and vast knowledge. His often off-color jokes would elicit a disapproving "Aaalll" from Dora - to which Al would respond with a low chuckle. He was a man who knew how to make you laugh, even at the most inappropriate times.
In 2018, after 69 years of marriage, Dora passed away, leaving a void in Al's heart. But love knows no boundaries, and twice a week, until his final days, Al faithfully visited her grave. There, he engaged in conversations that had remained unfinished, finding solace in their unbreakable bond. Al never bid anyone farewell with a simple "Goodbye." His preferred farewell was always, "Okay, talk at you later," as if hinting that a reunion was just around the corner.
Al was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife Dora, his brothers Arthur and Ray, his sister Irene, his granddaughter Courtney Schaffer and his son-in-law James Smith. While the
world mourns the loss of such an extraordinary man, his legacy lives on through his sister Connie, his daughters Patricia and son-in-law Dann, Yvonne, Margaret, Carol, Rosemary and son-in-law Maurice, as well as 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Okay Al, we’ll talk at you later.