Alvin Vaughn “Al” Alsobrook, born October 3, 1934 in Jacksonville, FL, passed away peacefully March 19, 2021 at his home in Gainesville, FL. Al was the youngest of four sons of Irving Coleman Alsobrook, Sr. and Bertha Lucille. He was raised in the Jacksonville area and graduated from Landon High School in 1952, and maintained contact with his Landon classmates until his passing. He then attended the University of Florida for two years before joining the US Army as a Cryptographic Specialist at the Pentagon (1954-1956). He returned to the University of Florida and graduated with two degrees in Advertising (1959) and Journalism (1960) – both with honors. While at the university, he served as President of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and was a member of the Florida Blue Key Leadership Fraternity.
He married Elizabeth Anne “Betty” Pound on December 29, 1964. At that time, he was beginning a long career in public and government relations. In his professional career he served as Interim Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at the University of Florida. He then went on to serve as Director of Public Relations, Information, and Legislative Affairs for the Florida Farm Bureau Federation. He continued his career as Senior Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the Florida Senate. He then served as the Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Florida J. Hillis Miller Health Center. That led to serving several years as Director of Government Relations for the University of Florida Office of the President, culminating in his appointment as Vice President for University and Government Relations for the University of Florida from 1984 – 1990. Following his time at UF, he formed Alsobrook & Associates, a private consulting firm specializing in public relations for government and corporate clients until his retirement in 1998.
Upon retirement, Al remained active on Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Alumni Board, serving as Alumni President. He was a past president of the Gainesville Golf and Country Club and served on its Board of Directors. He was also a past Captain of the Gainesville Quarterback Club. His continued service to Gainesville included serving as Secretary and then President of the Gainesville Rotary Club; serving on the Gainesville Police Advisory Council, Historic Gainesville; and serving on the Board of Directors of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. He also served as President of the Alachua County United Way, President of the Alachua County University of Florida Alumni Club, and President of the Alachua County Heart Association. He was one of two non-lawyer members of the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar, appointed by the Supreme Court of the State of Florida, as well as the Standing Committee for Advertising and the Commission on Professionalism. Recently he served as a non-lawyer member, appointed by the governor, on the Judicial Qualification Committee.
Al was a longtime, faithful member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, where he formerly served first as a Sunday school teacher, Vestry member, Senior Warden, Calicifer, Verger, and Special Gifts Committee Chair. He had a deep and abiding love for the Episcopal Church, the Holy Trinity Choir, the flowers on Easter Sunday, and the peacefulness of Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve – when he made sure the lights were dimmed during the singing of Silent Night.
He thoroughly enjoyed travel and spent many summers on long car trips with family to some of North America’s greatest national parks. He loved theatre and opera in New York City, travel with family in Europe, and the many opportunities to watch the Florida Gators play football and basketball from Gainesville to Hawaii. Most of all, he cherished spending time with his four grandchildren.
Through the years, Al loved time at Kingsley Lake, especially during Independence Day gatherings with family and friends. He and Betty played croquet at the Sapphire Valley Country Club, where he enjoyed games with friends and teaching his grandchildren croquet and pickleball. Later in life, Al took up painting and beautifully captured so many people, places, and special moments on canvas.
Al was preceded in death by three brothers, Irving Coleman Alsobrook, Jr, William Eugene Alsobrook, and David Franklin Alsobrook. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Elizabeth Pound “Betty” Alsobrook, two sons and their spouses: John Addison Alsobrook and Jennifer, Cannon Coleman Alsobrook and Lana; and four grandchildren Katharine Carter Alsobrook, Anne Marie Alsobrook, Cannon Coleman Alsobrook, II, and John Addison Marshall Alsobrook. He is also survived by many devoted cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family wishes to thank all of the health care providers at North Florida Regional Hospital, UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital, and Haven Hospice for their professional, warm and caring support. A special thanks to Mr. Donald Rubert, Ms. Marsha Bishop, and Ms. Saritha Colvin for their care and comfort when Al returned home.
Funeral services will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 NE 1st Street, Gainesville, FL 32601, Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 10:00AM with the Reverend Canon Fletcher Montgomery conducting the service. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seating in the church will be limited to 100, and must be preregistered by calling the Holy Trinity parish office at 352-372-4721. The wearing of face covers and physical distancing in the church are required. The service will also be live-streamed: https://www.holytrinitygnv.org/celebrationoflife. A private family graveside service will follow.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Al’s memory to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 NE First Street, Gainesville, Florida 32601 and Haven Hospice 4200 NW 90th Boulevard, Gainesville, Florida 32606.