Dr. Alberto Manuel Olivares, 79, passed from this life onto eternal rest on September 29, 2021. Beto was a retired Professor of Chemistry, former Director, Office of Research, and Dean of the College of Graduate Studies at Texas A & M -Kingsville from 1981 to 2008. He served the university and its students for 37 years, 27 of those as a graduate dean.
Beto was born January 27, 1942, in Eagle Pass, Texas, where he attended public school. He earned a B.S. in Chemistry at Texas A&M University in 1964. Beto was an Analytical Research Chemist for Shell Chemical Company, Deer Park, Texas, (1964-1967). He then returned to his alma mater, Texas A&M, where he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1972. He accepted a position in 1971 as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&I University, Kingsville. During his academic tenure, Beto estimates that he taught chemistry to over 10,000 students. At A&I, he was promoted in 1981 to Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Director, Office of Research. He continued to teach chemistry until his retirement on August 29, 2008. In 2011, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents bestowed on him the honor of Professor Emeritus in chemistry.
Research interests have included studies of liquid-liquid extraction of the Lanthanides using arsenic acids, and the synthesis of novel organo-arsenic acids. The Robert A. Welch Foundation of Houston, Texas, funded most of the basic-related research from 1974 through 1985 in amounts totaling $100,000. His research results were published in several national and international journals. Membership in professional societies include: Phi Lambda Upsilon, Sigma Xi, New York Academy of Science, National Council of University Research Administrators, American Chemical Society (served in various positions for the South Texas Section of ACS).
Community organizations: President of the Kingsville Lion’s Club and the Noon Lion’s Club at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Civil Service Board, Christus Spohn Kleberg Health Care Foundation, Trustee.
Honors: Robert A. Welch Foundation Research Grantee, 1974-1984; Chemistry Advanced Placement Reader for the Educational Testing Center at the University of Maryland and at Clemson University, South Carolina; Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship Evaluation Panel (National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.; Visiting Scholar, Department of Chemistry, The Ohio State University; Texas A&I University Alumni “Distinguished Research Award, 1980”.
Beto served as member and Faithful Navigator of the Kingsville Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, and was a Life and Honorary member of the KCs. His faith in God and love of family were unwavering in exemplifying in the manly virtues of quiet strength, integrity and fidelity.
Beto is preceded in death by his parents, Manuel Sabas Olivares and Enriqueta Garza Olivares, his siblings Manuel R. Olivares, Maria Del Carmen Olivares Farias, Ricardo Olivares, brothers-in-law Alfredo Corona and Edward R. Gudowski.
Beto is survived by his wife of 57 years, Norma Torralba Olivares; daughter, Theresa Riojas and her husband Ruben, and grandson Ruben Andrew Riojas of Laredo, Texas; son Dr. Alberto H. Olivares and his wife Destina, and grandchildren, Sophia Olivares, Diego Alberto Olivares and Mateo Francisco Olivares of Austin, Texas; sisters, Esther Gudowski of Bulverde, Texas, Enriqueta (Jim) Freeman of Athens, Texas, Angeles Lehmann (James) of San Antonio, Texas; sister-in-law, Elenita Torralba Corona of Eagle Pass, Texas, brother-in-law, Alfredo Torralba of Tucson, Arizona, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Special thanks to Kleberg County Nursing Center, Jacqueline Coleman, Palm Valley Home Health, Kingsville Hospice, Nurse Nancy Gonzalez, Olivia Mireles, CNA and Token Lee Trevino for their dedicated care and compassion.
A rosary will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 16th, 2021, at St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church with Mass of Christian Burial to begin at 10 a.m. Immediately following the mass, Rite of Commital and Internment will take place at Chamberlin Cemetary. Reception to follow at the Community Life Center, St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be directed to the
“Annual Dr. Alberto M. Olivares Graduate Student Analytical Chemistry Award/Scholarship”
Checks may be made to :
Texas A&M University-Kingsville Foundation
700 University Blvd, MS 173
Kingsville, TX 78363
Online donations may be made at: https://www.Javelinagiving.org/alberto-olivares
Services are in the care of Turcotte-Piper Mortuary, 205 General Cavazos Blvd. Kingsville, Texas 78363.
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