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Alvin Dockter

1925 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Alvin Dockter Obituary
Alvin Dockter
March 17, 1925 - April 1, 2019
Resident of Fremont
Alvin Marvin Dockter died peacefully at his home on April 1, 2019 after a long battle with cancer.
He was born in Lodi, California on March 17, 1925, the oldest child of Christoph Dockter and Emma Gienger Dockter. He grew up on the family dairy farm near Escalon and graduated from Escalon High School. He was drafted into the U.S. Army near the end of World War II, and served 18 months. After his honorable discharge from the Army he attended College of the Pacific, where he met and married Alice Gemmell. After graduation they moved to the Bay Area, where Alvin taught life science in the Hayward public schools for 34 years until his retirement in 1985. They had two sons, David and Bruce, and later purchased a home in Fremont. His wife died in 1977 after a lengthy illness.
In 1964 Alvin joined with a group of music lovers to form the Fremont Philharmonic—a community orchestra where Alvin played violin and viola and served as librarian and personnel director. Over the years the orchestra grew: today the fully professional Fremont Symphony is in its 55th season.
For ten summers Alvin worked as park naturalist in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, where he used his nature photographs to illustrate slide talks during the evening campfire program. After retiring from teaching, he enrolled in every photography course offered at Ohlone and Chabot Colleges to refine his skills, and attended workshops with PhotoCentral in Hayward and with John Sexton at his Carmel Valley studio. His award-winning photographs have been exhibited in several Bay Area galleries.
A long-time volunteer at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Alvin conducted nature walks, including tours of Drawbridge. He also prepared a book, which has been in use at the Visitors Center for many years, with photographs and descriptions of most of the plants found at the refuge.
When he could no longer hike the trails with his heavy camera and tripod, Alvin returned to a boyhood love of model airplanes. He joined SACRC, a local flying club, and spent many happy hours flying radio-controlled airplanes at their flying field in Union City.
Alvin is survived by his wife Caryl Snyder Dockter, whom he married in 1978; by his son David and wife Eileen; son Bruce and wife Katy; grandson Jacob, wife Shontee and great grandchildren Alice and Julian; granddaughter Jennifer Peet and great-granddaughter Kristen; by his sister Pauline Catron, nephew Charles, and niece Susan (Paul) Munsey and their five children and grandchildren. He is also survived by six stepchildren—Melody (Dale) Wells, Darcia Lane, Adrienne Dale (Stephanie Varozza), Nathan (Brenda) Dale, Robin Dale, and Stephanie Dale (Gil Flores)—along with many step grandchildren and great grandchildren. In spite of his many activities, he always had time for family and friends, and he kept them close. They often grumbled about the group photos he insisted on taking at family get-togethers, but loved having the pictures afterward.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Fremont Symphony, where Alvin and Caryl met and fell in love.

View the online memorial for Alvin Dockter
Published in East Bay Times on Apr. 12, 2019
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