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Information for Alvin Ray Aller
5 September, 1905
5 December, 1995
From the Idaho Press-Tribune
7 December, 1995
Contributed by Dennis McIndoo


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Alvin Aller

     Alvin R. Aller, born Sept. 5, 1905, on the treeless windswept plains of S.W. Kansas near Johnson, to Will and Lorna (Pearce) Aller, died Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1995, in Nampa.
     Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at College Church of the Nazarene, Nampa.  Rev. Daniel Ketchum will officiate.  Burial will be at a later date at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, Caldwell.  Services are under the direction of Alsip Funeral Chapel, Nampa.  Growing up first as a cowboy and trapper, then as a wheat farmer, Alvin pursued his interest in music as a young border at the Kansas Bible School and Academy in Hutchinson.  After graduating, and studying piano for a year, he entered Bethany (OK) Peniel College where he studied music and history and represented the college in a male quartet for two years.  He also met Florence Snowbargr, and fell in love.  She introduced him to botany and zoology, whereupon he had a second love.  To pursue these fields he transferred to Bethany College in Lindsborg where he received his B.A.  They were married in 1930.
     After getting an M.S. in botany in Kansas State U., Alvin served as Vice President of Bresee College before going to Northwest Nazarene College (NNC) in Nampa ID, in 1936.  A Charter member of College Church of the Nazarene in 1937, he co-founded the Philharmonic Society, singing the Messiah.  He taught biology and history and started and taught NNC's Pilot Training Program in the Fall of 1940.  In 1942 when he was appointed an officer in the Naval Air Force to teach navigation at Naval Air Bases in Washington State, Indiana and Florida.
     Leaving the Navy in 1946 he received his Ph.D. in Botany from Oregon State U. in 1949.  He returned to NNC in the Fall of 1949 as Chair of the Division of Natural Science and Mathematics, and Professor of Biology.  He taught, headed NNC's pre-med program, was a co-founder and officer of the Idaho Academy of Science, and in summers was a Ranger Naturalist in Glacier National Park.  From 1958 until his retirement in 1972 he taught Botany at the University of Idaho.  At the U. of I. he was active in campus and community choral groups.  He founded/sponsored Bresee Fellowship, was on staff at the Campus Christian Center, was active in Campus Crusade for Christ, became a trainer in the Kennedy Personal Evangelism program, and was invited by the Governor to give the Lay-man's Challenge at the Governors' Prayer Breakfast in 1972.
     After following his grandchildren to Tucson in 1980, he and Florence moved back to Nampa in the Spring of 1985 where he worked in the Alvin Aller Herbarium, and helped establish the NNC Arboretum.  Florence died in 1993, the same year Alvin published his autobiography, From Kansas Cowpuncher to University Professor:  One Pilgrim's Progress.  He has a dozen published professional papers and has been elected to American Men of Science, Gamma Sigma Delta, Leaders in American Science, Phi Delta Lambda, Phi Kappa Phi, and Sigma Xi.  He was a member/officer in the Lion's Club for 30 years.  He had a great love of classical music and good church music.  But Alvin will be remembered more than anything as a man who had experienced God's Love, and lived his life in love for, and giving to his Lord, and to others.
     Alvin is predeceased by his brother Ralph, and is survived by his brother Earl, of Spokane, his son, Wayne of Granada Hills, CA, and by grandchildren, Jay of Pasadena, CA, and Joyce of Denver, CO.
     The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Alvin R. Aller Biology Scholarship Fund, c/o NNC, Nampa ID 83686.