Nelson Tobias Alter passed away on March 2, 2014. Nelson was born on July 14, 1926, to parents William and Celia Alter in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated with honors from Thomas Jefferson High School, where he was an officer in ROTC. He continued his education at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. Nelson served his country in the Navy during WWII, and then returned to Austin to earn Accounting and Law degrees. Nelson married Shirley Ann Jacobs of Beaumont on June 12, 1949, and they had a wonderful 61 year marriage ending with Shirley's death in 2010. Nelson was predeceased by his eldest son, Dennis, who passed away in 2013. He is survived by Dennis' widow, Alyce of Chesterfield, Missouri, children, Keith and Sherri Alter of Wichita, Kansas, Brian and Lori Alter of Beaumont, and Wendy Alter of Los Angeles, California. He also left behind his beloved grandchildren: Grant, Blake, Allison, Adam and wife Laine, Daniel, Devon, Carly, Arianna; and great grandchildren Jackson and Zoey. Nelson entered the family jewelry business founded by father-in-law Morris Jacobs in 1950 and presided over Alter's Gem Jewelry, a Beaumont landmark, from 1950-2002, when he handed the reins to the next generation. Under his leadership, he grew the business into a multi-store chain that became the premier family jewelry business in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. He was also an active and successful real estate developer who built Normandy Townhomes, Griffing Development, the J.C. Penney building in downtown Beaumont, and many other projects. He was co-founder of Union State Bank which later became Allied Union Bank. He was a founding member of Beaumont's Better Business Bureau, an active member of Rotary International, the Bar Association, and the Schlesinger Geriatric Center. Nelson was a lifelong member of Temple Emanuel Congregation which he served in many capacities, including President. Nelson had a flamboyant and charismatic personality which he used to build a multi-generational family business, and to make Beaumont a better place to live. Mr. Alter's funeral service will be 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 7, 2014, at Temple Emanuel, 1120 Broadway, Beaumont. His interment will follow at Hebrew Rest Cemetery, Beaumont, under the direction of Broussard's, 2000 McFaddin, Beaumont. Memorial contributions may be made to Temple Emanuel, 1120 Broadway, Beaumont, Texas 77701. Complete and updated information may be found at broussards1889.com
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2000 McFaddin Street
Beaumont, TX 77701
Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Mar. 6, 2014