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Thomas "Tom" Alvis '64 April 5, 2021 2:44 PM updated: April 5, 2021 2:46 PM

Thomas Vestus Alvis
September 02, 1939 - March 29, 2021

Tom Alvis, of Lubbock, passed away Monday, March 29, 2021. A graveside service will be held at 2:30pm, Friday, April 2, 2021, at Willow Cemetery, Haskell. Services are under the direction of Smith Family Funeral Homes. A visitation is planned from 6:00-8:00pm, Thursday, April 1, 2021 at the funeral home, 304 N. 2nd St., Haskell.

Tom Alvis was born in 1939 to parents Rice G. Alvis, Sr. and Laura Ethel Howard Alvis. He attended school in Haskell, Texas, and was a graduate of Haskell High School. He attended the First Baptist Church in Haskell, where he met his wife (Geneva Ann Franklin) of 61 years. They married in the First Baptist Church of Haskell in December of 1959. Tom was a junior at Texas Tech University majoring in Agriculture Education, where he served as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Collegiate FFA Chapter. In 1961 two special events occurred. Berry Stephen Alvis, their first child, was born, and Tom graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture. That following fall Tom and his family moved to Munday, Texas, where Tom taught agriculture for the next two years. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Munday, Texas, where he taught Sunday-school. Tom and his family moved back to College Station, where he attended Texas A&M University with a Graduate Assistantship in the Department of Agriculture Education. Tom finished his Master of Education degree in 1964. While at Texas A&M, there was another special addition to the family. This time it was their middle daughter, Sherri Denise Alvis. He also taught the young marrieds’ class at First Baptist Church in College Station. Tom had to go back to work that next year. He returned to Munday, Texas, as the Junior High Principal, where he remained while Geneva continued her education at Midwestern University.

In 1966 he took a job as superintendent at the Mattson School in Haskell County. The school closed at the end of that year and consolidated with Haskell. His wife, Geneva, graduated from Midwestern University that year and Tom relocated to the plains of Texas as superintendent of Three-Way ISD. He hired his wife Geneva for her first teaching position as a coach and science teacher. In 1969 he felt the call to go back to Texas A&M. He received a graduate fellow in the graduate department of Texas A&M, which allowed him to work on his Ph.D. in school administration. After working on his Ph.D., he began a career in the Education Department at Hardin Simmons University and taught Sunday-school at University Baptist Church. Tom felt the need to get back into the public schools, and he became a Coordinator of Learning Disabilities in the Abilene ISD. His wife, Geneva, went to Abilene Christian University and got her Master’s in education. During this time, they added their last-child, Elizabeth Ann Alvis, to the family.

Tom loved the small school setting. After their last child was born, Tom continued in small schools around the west Texas area. He took the superintendent’s positions at Old Glory, Texas, Southland ISD, Lueders-Avoca ISD, Snyder ISD, Coahoma ISD, and Union ISD. Tom semi-retired in 1999, and he and Geneva moved to Lubbock, Texas. It was then that schools began to call on him to fill in when their superintendents left in the middle of the year. He would work as an Interim and help work on their budgets and planning until a new superintendent could be hired. He filled in 14 times as an interim superintendent in Texas, but mainly in the Lubbock area. Tom worked as a consultant and field representative for Moak Casey and Associates out of Austin, Texas, on windmill and solar farm projects aiding school districts. He continued as long as he could. He had a passion for doing jobs that benefitted schools and kids across Texas.

Tom loved the Lord with a profound belief in Jesus Christ and tried to live that faith. He attended Lakeridge Baptist Sunday School that was taught for many years by Dr. Gene Medley.

Tom loved to bird hunt, pheasants, dove, and quail as often as he could. There were many family dove hunts in Haskell County. All his grandchildren and great grandchildren were always a part, sometimes by storytelling and sometimes by actually participating with their grandfather.

He is survived by: His wife of 61 years, Geneva, his three children; Berry Alvis and wife Elizabeth of Lubbock, Texas, Daughter Sherri Rodriguez of Slaton, Texas and Elizabeth Hennington and husband, Chris of Lubbock. Tom is survived by eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, one sister, Ethel Ruth Mock of Seffner, Florida, sister-in-law, Lena Rueffer Alvis of Haltom City, Texas, and brother-in-law, Philip Patton of Naple, Florida and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rice Gambrell Alvis Sr., Laura Ethel Howard Alvis, two brothers, Rice Gambrell Alvis Jr., Howard Alvis, and one sister, Cecelia Ann Strahan Patton.

Memorials may be made in Thomas' name to Hospice of The South Plains: 4413 82nd St. Unit 135, Lubbock, TX 79424; or Willow Cemetery Improvement Fund: Attn Jan Gannaway, 701 N Ave L., Haskell, TX 79521.

Online condolences can be shared with the family at www.smithfamily.com.

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