Alvin James Bourgeois, age 90, passed away peacefully on April 19, 2018 from congestive heart failure. He had lived in his home on Goosehaven Drive in Lafayette, CO for about 13 years. During the last months of his life, he had been surrounded by his five children, members of their families, and his caregivers.
Alvin was born in Baton Rouge, LA, the second of ten children of Eugene Oliver Bourgeois and Una Sarah Chauvin. When he was only 13 or 14 years old, he took up a lengthy paper route to help support the family through difficult times. At the age of 18, he joined the Navy. He trained as a pilot, but the war ended before he was sent overseas. In Baton Rouge, he attended Louisiana State University, where he completed both his BS in Chemical Engineering and his Masters Degree in Engineering Geology.
In 1947, he married his life partner, Margie Marie Bordelon (who preceded him in death three years ago.) Alvin and Margie would eventually have five children. Alvin hired on at Shell Oil Company and began a 40-year career in which he was promoted many times. He served as Party Chief on a seismic crew, Chief Geophysicist, and finally, as Manager of Geophysical Advanced Technology. His career took the family through about 15 moves in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, spending time in New Orleans and ultimately, Houston.
After retiring from Shell Oil, Alvin and Margie made their home in Santa Fe, NM, and later in Lafayette, CO to be near their children. Alvin was a brilliant man and lifelong devotee of the sciences, especially astronomy. He also supported his wife Margie in her love of music and the arts. In the earlier years of their retirement, they made many excursions to beautiful scenic places so Margie could capture pictures, which she would later use as inspiration for her oil paintings.
Alvin was always a family man who loved nothing better than a family reunion. Last June the family gathered and commemorated his 90th birthday. Alvin is survived by four siblings and his five children, Jeanne-Marie Rachlin (Neal) of San Jose, CA; Rose Ann Jolly of Lafayette, CO; Alfred J. Bourgeois (Nancy) of Boulder, CO; Benjamin J. Bourgeois (Linda) of Parker, CO; and Marcia L. Patterson (Robert Ernst) of Lafayette, CO; eight grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
A memorial service for Alvin in the form of a family reunion will take place in a few weeks. The family wishes to thank the caregivers, hospice nurses, and other health workers who gave him such loving care during his last months of life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Heart Light Center (www.heartlightcenter.org).