Born in Galveston, Texas on Nov. 3, 1953, Gilbert was the son of Luis Alvarado and Paulina Cervantes. After graduating from Ball High School in 1972, he attended the University of Houston, then began his career in social work. Gilbert retired in 2018 as an employment specialist with the Salvation Army in Austin, where he worked for over 20 years. Prior to his work at the Salvation Army, he worked with troubled youth including at a youth shelter in Galveston and at Mary Lee School in Austin, where he served as a Unit Director in a residential treatment program for emotionally disturbed children. He died at home in Austin of natural causes in late June of this year.
Not only was Gilbert a friend to the homeless and the youth he served, he also made friends wherever he went with his welcoming and calming personality and his kind and gentle spirit. One of 12 siblings, he was always loved throughout his large extended family. Gilbert was a loving and patient father who left his daughter with many wonderful memories, some of which include playing pool, planting zinnias, exploring Austin, and listening to Jimi Hendrix.
He is survived by a daughter, Isabella Alvarado (Nate Klaus) of Bend, Oregon; brothers Freddy Alvarado (Delores) and Pete Alvarado (Adela), both of Santa Fe, Texas; and sisters Juanita Gonzalez (Ramon) of Houston; Frances Estrada of Galveston; Dolores Hibbs (David) of Austin; and Rose Galicia (Ron) of Baytown. He is also survived by a brother-in-law, Israel Rojas of Galveston, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Gilbert was predeceased by his parents and by brother Louis Alvarado and wife Joann, of Galveston; brother Paul Alvarado of Galveston; sisters Margaret Gaona and husband Joe of Phoenix, Arizona; Lupe Russo of La Marque and husband Joseph Alvarado of Texas City; and Carmen Rojas of Galveston. He was predeceased also by brothers-in-law Ruben Estrada of Galveston and Steve Russo of La Marque.
Growing up in Galveston’s East End, Gilbert was an avid surfer in his younger years. He enjoyed visiting the beach throughout his life, including large gatherings with extended family and friends. He also took part in extended family camping trips to Garner State Park. While living in Austin, he continued to enjoy the outdoors, both privately and at public events such as concerts and festivals.
He made many friends while playing pool at various locations around Austin and the Gulf Coast. His prowess at billiards earned him the family nickname, Gil the Skill! Gilbert was also an enthusiastic sports fan who enjoyed many events on TV. He enjoyed traveling occasionally to spend time with family in places including Colorado, New Mexico, and Oregon.
Although everyone is sad that he left us at this time, many wonderful memories remain, as well as appreciation of the positive impact he made on countless people in his work and private life.
A celebration of Gilbert’s life will be held in Galveston in the future.