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 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
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
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.