Dr. Alvin Kravitz was a great man, a gentle soul, a brilliant mind and a man who has left his positive spirit for many. Dr. Kravitz was a World War II Veteran, Chairman of CW Posts Reading & Special Education Dept. and Professor, an author of literacy textbooks for elementary school students, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, son and brother. He made friends everywhere he went who were honored to get to know him, listen to his history lessons, enjoy his positive spirit and receive his kindness.
Born June 16, 1926, Alvin was raised in the Bronx and was a practitioner of the Orthodox Jewish religion. He enlisted in the army at age 17 and was sent overseas to fight in WWII as a machinist. He was very silent often about his time at war, as that generation was just like that. However, he was such a proud veteran, wore a WWII veterans hat very often and a few months before his passing, was honored in NYC along side other WWII veterans. What a great day that was for Alvin! He couldn’t stop talking about it and felt that it was the ultimate recognition for his service to our country.
Myself and 3 girlfriends met Alvin, age 88 at the NYSC gym in Huntington. We would see Alvin at the gym 3x/week and would spend time chatting (while on the bike) and learning about his life. He was a great listener and was always interested in our lives. He remembered everything we told him about our families, our birthdays, etc. We established a wonderful friendship which was filled with many memories of lunches, celebrations of each of our birthdays, gifts and many hours of stories that we thoroughly enjoyed hearing. We gifted him with a plaque which he hung on the wall in his kitchen which said, “Alvin and his chipmunks.” Every morning as he sat at his kitchen table sipping his Earl Grey tea and eating his simple breakfast, he would look up at his plaque and say “hello girls.”
During covid, we would visit him at his home, bring lunch and sit outside across from his beautiful lake that he loved so much. We dropped off soups, cookies and other surprises, always welcomed by Alvin. Home cooking or baked items never fails to warm the receiver's heart, as well as the giver. We each telephoned him periodically to stay in touch during a long period of isolation. He was a gentleman that had many relationships and enjoyed people of all walks of life. The isolation was difficult for Alvin, as it was for many.
Alvin always said, “I’ve had a wonderful life, fortunate with good health, but he had sadness as well. His first wife Lila, suffered with cancer and simultaneous to her battle, their daughter, age 17 was also diagnosed with cancer. Lila passed after several years of surgeries and treatment and his daughter survived her first bout with cancer but then had a recurring cancer and passed in her 50’s. Alvin met Corinne who became “the love of his life” and they enjoyed 20 wonderful years married living in their townhome in Huntington. Corinne also had a 5+ year battle with cancer and passed. He cherished his time with his son Howard, who he always bragged about and he also spoke often about his grandchildren.
Alvin spent about 1 ½ years at Oxford Univeristy in England and was so proud of the opportunity he was offered to teach there. It was the ultimate acknowledgement of his love for education and his intellect, particularly in the literacy area of studies.
Alvin drove until the day of his 90th birthday, when he turned in his BMW and hired a driver. Jean, began as his driver and quickly became Alvin’s personal assistant for his house needs, managing his medical appoinments, taking care of his monthly bills and his daily meals. Jean was so devoted to Alvin, took him in as a part of her family, and became a good friend for Alvin to trust and enjoy. He was so grateful for Jean and how she made his life easier and with much meaning. Jean truly embraced his friendship and wisdom and included him with her family gatherings and celebrations. Thank you Jean for all you did for our friend Alvin, especially during the last few months when his health was failing. You are a wonderful person and are strong, bright and devoted, and a darn good pickle ball player.
Clara, Linda, Lynn and I have so many memories, stories, photos and gifts to remember our friend Alvin for many years to come. We will continue to have our birthday celebrations for each of us with Alvin in mind and will surely remember Alvin on his birthday and celebrate his life and the relationship we shared and fully enjoyed. We enjoyed lunch so many times at Prime, The Bryant, Cassis, The Shed, Besitos, Joaninas, and more. He was generous, engaging and would greatly look forward to our times together.
His two favorite guys at the NYSC, Mike and George I’m sure will continue to talk about good times with Alvin at TK’s for breakfast and some of his favorite lunch spots: Ruvo, Joaninas, and Finnegans. He was a good friend to “his guys” and they all enjoyed a nice friendship with him for many years. His stories and wisdom left a lasting inspiration on everyone.
It’s always difficult to say goodbye to a friend, despite his ripe age of 96 1/2 .
Alvin (Al) has left his mark on many of us and will remain in our hearts and memories forever. May he Rest in Peace and know how much he was loved and admired by all who knew him over his lifetime.
We will always remember you Alvin