June 18 2004

En Memoria

Joe Alcoser

Buen Amigo y Compañero

Born : March 28, 1925, Melvin, Texas

Died: June 9, 2004, San Diego, Calif.

Joe Alcoser died quietly, after an extended illness, at 9:25PM in the somber quiet of Mercy Hospital. He was surrounded by family and friends who prayed for the repose of his soul within the embrace of God the father almighty.

To some, Joe was a loving and caring father to his children. To others, he was a veteran of World War II, who survived the bloodshed of that time in his life. Like many another war veteran, Joe Alcoser was to answer his country’s call one more time and marched off to the paddy fields of the Korean War to join in the struggle to bring Democracy to a war torn country. He fought against Communist North Korea and eventually against the Chinese hordes that poured into North Korea. He survived that holocaust and once again returned home to tend to his growing family.

Joe to many of us represented yet another symbol.... that of a father who fiercely fought for the right of his family to be able to live in America and enjoy all the rights of being an American citizen. However, he soon discovered that being an American was a duel-edge sword that cut both ways. Like many another veteran, he returned to a country where his rights were conditioned by what race he was, what color he was and who he knew.

Failing to gain employment adequate to his needs, Alcoser finally became a member of the AFL-CIO Local 89 of the International Laborers Union. Now he was back in the trenches fighting a different war... one where he stood a chance of bringing equal opportunity not only to his family but also to hundreds of other workers who toiled in the construction field. He and other leaders of Local 89 opened up the doors of opportunity to many a person who was of color, or who found the door of opportunity closed. Joe Alcoser struggled within the Union for many years until he became the Vice President of Laborers Union Local 89.

Perhaps not as well recognized as other individuals in the field of politics, to those of us who struggled politically to bring civil rights and justice to the Mexican American and Black communities, Joe was a well respected player who placed his shoulders into the struggle to change the political realities of the City, County, State and Nation. Many an office holder to this day till owes his position to Joe Alcoser and Local 89. We shall never forget your sacrifices in behalf of your Country and your People... For, in your heart you knew no difference.

Joe Alcoser was 79 years old when he left the world of the living. He is survived by his daughters Josephine Alcoser, Katherine Raymor, Maria Koury, Lina Anderson, and Terri Colleen Alcoser: Sons Benjamin, Joseph-Paul & Adrian Alcoser; Sisters Alicia Flores, Lucia Everett and Mary Canada; Brothers: Samuel, Rosendo and Arthur, 19 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

(Joe Alcoser was mourned at a Rosary at Greenwood Mortuary on the 16h of June and Holy Mass was celebrated June 17, at Our Lady Of the Sacred Heart, Catholic Church.)

Rest in Peace Joe

La Hermandad Will Never Forget You!

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