Dr. Reevis Stancil (Al) Alphin joined his heavenly Father on August 13, 2023.
Al was born on April 21, 1929, in Summerlin’s Crossroads, NC to Fred and Clara Dail Alphin. He graduated from James Kenan High School and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry in 1951. Al entered the Air Force in 1951 and served as a Second Lieutenant during the Korean conflict. He worked on atomic, biological, and chemical warfare for the military.
He then attended Duke University obtaining his Masters in Physiology in 1956. Al would agree the best thing about his time at Duke was meeting his wife, Barbara. Although they were passionate Tarheel fans, both were working at Duke and met in the cafeteria line after Al intentionally stacked the coffee cups so high, she would have to ask for his help in getting one. Al and Barbara were married on September 4, 1955.
Al began his career with Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, working as a pharmacologist for several years. In 1960, he moved to the A.H. Robins Company in Richmond, VA. In 1966, while at A.H. Robins, Al earned his PhD in Pharmacology from the Medical College of Virginia. Al had a long and distinguished career at A.H. Robins Company. He held and contributed to a number of patents and was widely recognized for his research, retiring as the Associate Director of Pharmacology and Manager of Gastroenterology. He was a beloved supervisor, recognizing talent without regard to race or ethnicity and supporting scientists from other countries in his lab. He was a member of numerous professional societies, including the New York Academy of Science, the American Physiological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Virginia Academy of Science. He was a consultant to NASA, in his specialty of gastroenterology, to aid in research on motion sickness in space. Al’s work was international, and Barbara and he enjoyed many trips together.
After his retirement in 1990, they moved back to Barbara’s family’s farm in Sanford, NC and lived there until they moved to the River Landing at Sandy Ridge retirement community in 2012.
Al loved his family dearly and took great pride in his childrens’ accomplishments, both academic and athletic. He treasured his two grandsons and loved taking them around the farm. He remained close to all his siblings and their families and had a special bond with his brothers. He and Barbara shared a love of their garden and were known for their lawn and beautiful flowers. He adored the family pets, including their cats and the peacock Tooti. He was an avid woodworker and a dedicated community volunteer, serving as treasurer of the Pocket Volunteer Fire Department. He was a Mason for more than 75 years and a member of the Sanford Kiwanis club. He was active with the Third Presbyterian Church in Richmond and the Pocket Presbyterian church in Sanford.
Al was diagnosed with dementia before their move to River Landing. Even as the disease progressed, he remained the kind and humble gentleman he had always been. His love for his wife and his family never wavered.
Al was the oldest boy of his 10 siblings and was preceded in death by his half-sisters Norma Rae Summerlin (Clayton), Viola Winstead (Cecil), Sallie Ruth Greenwood, and siblings Donnell Alphin, Peggy Swinson, Wendell Alphin, Fred Alphin, Jr and William Jackson Alphin.
He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Barbara, his son Robert (Stephanie), daughter Carla, and grandsons Trace Alphin and Sam Alphin, his sister Linda Smith, sister-in-laws Linda Carol Alphin, Eva Alphin, Mary Alphin, and Glenn Alphin, and brother-in-law H.C. Gilliam. He loved his many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff of St Andrews Memory Care at River Landing for their love, compassion, and care. And a special thank you to the wonderful caregivers who provided in-home assistance and continued to support and love the family after his move to St. Andrews.
The funeral service will be held at 1pm on Monday, August 14, 2023, at the Pocket Presbyterian Church, 669 Pocket Church Rd, Sanford, NC. The family will receive visitors in the fellowship hall of the church prior to the service, beginning at 11:30am. In remembrance, the family asks that any charitable donations be made in honor of Al’s memory to Pocket Presbyterian Church in Sanford, NC or to the SPCA of the Triad.