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Alberto Gutierrez Sr. '61 May 5, 2022 11:47 AM updated: May 5, 2022 12:00 PM

Alberto David Gutierrez, Sr.
November 11, 1938 - April 18, 2022

Alberto David Gutierrez, age 83, passed away unexpectedly on April 18th, 2022, in San Diego, California. He and his family had traveled to California to attend the military funeral of his cousin's husband when he suddenly became ill. He passed away surrounded by his immediate family.

Alberto was born on November 11, 1938, in Laredo, Texas, the third of four children of Florencio Gutierrez and Zoila Garza Zertuche. He spent his childhood in Laredo with his siblings and cousins and graduated from Laredo Martin High School in 1957. With the encouragement of his father, Alberto attended A&M College of Texas (now Texas A&M University) in 1957 and graduated in January 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. Following graduation, he attended Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and later was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force.
After his discharge, Alberto worked as a civil engineer in Houston for over 50 years. He started at the Urban Expressway Office of the Texas Highway Department as a design engineer.  In 1962, he met Rosalva Gaitanos of Laredo while at a gathering with his brother in Houston, Texas. Shortly after, they became engaged and were married in Laredo, Texas on March 3, 1963. The new couple then started their lives together in Houston where Alberto continued his work with the Highway Department for the next six years.

Alberto contributed to the much of the design of the infrastructure and highway system around Houston, including the large portion of I-10 West from Loop 610 to downtown. He became a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in Texas in 1967. In 1972, he joined the consulting engineering firm Leonard Shoemaker & Associates. The firm was instrumental in many of the land development and subdivisions in Houston and surrounding communities including several Municipal Utility Districts (MUD) of which Alberto was the District Engineer. After Mr. Shoemaker's retirement in 1990, Alberto acquired Leonard Shoemaker & Associates and the firm became Gutierrez-Shoemaker Engineering. He continued his extensive civil engineering work which included among many others the development of the first four Target stores in Houston. He subsequently sold the firm to Huitt-Zollars of Dallas in 1995 and remained as a Vice President with the firm until his retirement in 2011. In addition to his work as a professional engineer, Alberto was Manager of Facilities with Harris County MUD 53 until early 2020, and Vice President of the North Channel Water Authority. In his career, Alberto made many friends, and left a lasting impression with his vast engineering knowledge, hard work, honesty, service, professionalism, and kindness to everyone. In January 2020, he and his wife fully retired to Fairview (Dallas), Texas to be closer to his family.

Alberto was a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, where he was a Corral Club volunteer from 1995 and a Lifetime Committeeman from 2005 until his passing. Before his move to Dallas, Alberto was a member of St. Peters United Methodist Church in Katy, Texas. He was an avid hunter, which he enjoyed throughout his life with his brothers, son, and other friends. Above all else, Alberto enjoyed spending time with his family including vacations, holidays and regular family gatherings and dinners. He also enjoyed a good cigar and fine whiskey with friends and relatives. He was so dearly loved, and we are grateful for the time we had with him.

Mr. Gutierrez is preceded in death by his parents, Florencio and Zoila Gutierrez, and his sister, Judith Marie Gutierrez.

Survivors of Alberto are his wife Rosalva of 59 years, his son Commander Alberto David Gutierrez, Jr. of Fairview, Texas; daughter Doctor Cynthia Gutierrez MacKenzie and husband Stephen MacKenzie of McKinney, Texas; grandchildren Elise Gutierrez, Tomas Gutierrez, Jessica MacKenzie, Stephen MacKenzie and Daniel MacKenzie; brothers Florencio Gutierrez, Jr. and Carlos Gutierrez, as well as several nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022 from 11am to 1pm at Chapel of the Oaks inside of Oaks Mausoleum at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home, 13001 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77079. A funeral service will be held after the visitation at 1pm. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to the Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77840. Please designate the Alberto D. Gutierrez '61 Memorial Fund. To make a credit card donation, please choose the link below.


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