Judge, Kilgore chamber director dies, 82

Judge Alvin Khoury, a longtime Kilgore Chamber of Commerce Director, addresses the organization's membership upon becoming president of the board in 2012.
Judge Alvin Khoury, a longtime Kilgore Chamber of Commerce Director, addresses the organization's membership upon becoming president of the board in 2012.

Former 124th District Court Judge Alvin Khoury died Wednesday morning at age 82.

Khoury was also a past president of the Kilgore Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

According to a family announcement, Khoury died Nov. 21 at Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview following a brief illness. Funeral arrangements are pending with Rader of Longview.

Khoury spent 35 years in Gregg County courts between working as an assistant district attorney and serving 28 years on the bench. In his seven terms for the 124th district, Khoury earned a reputation for toughness with a no-plea-bargain approach to cases.

He announced his retirement from the court in Fall 2007.

“This county has been good to my family and me,” Khoury said at the time, “and we will always be grateful. I look forward to remaining active in helping to improve our community.”

With his seventh term expiring January 2009, hundreds gathered for a retirement party in Khoury’s honor in December 2008 as he prepared to step down.

A longtime Kilgore Chamber director, the Gregg County community leader, former ADA and state district judge served as chairman of the chamber’s board in 2012. Assuming the post that February, Khoury encouraged the chamber’s membership to “Catch the Wave” and help improve the community.

“There’s a superstition of the sea that a wave comes along that is stronger than those that preceded it,” said Khoury. “The ninth wave. Today, we see our own Ninth Wave. I encourage you to catch your wave and join us to make this the greatest community possible.”

Khoury was a fourth-generation Texan, born in Longview. A graduate of Longview schools, the lifelong Lobo was also a staunch supporter of the Kilgore High School Bulldogs later in life, cheering the team on from the sidelines.

After attending Kilgore Junior College and earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Methodist University in 1957, Khoury graduated from SMU School of Law in 1959 and launched his legal career with Whitehead and Weitzel in Longview. Beginning in 1965, he was a solo practitioner and, until 1972, a partner in the Longview firm of Jones Khoury.

Khoury was first elected to the 124th District Court bench in 1980.

In his 28 years, Khoury conducted more than 1,000 jury trials. He presided over complex civil cases and 12 capital murder cases while also serving as a visiting judge in some of Texas’ largest counties. He was also instrumental in the passage of legislation creating Gregg County Court at Law No. 2, which was approved by Gregg County voters in 2001.

From Kilgore News Herald archives, the graduate of The National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada and the Texas College of Advanced Judicial Studies was honored in June 2006 with a Presidential Commendation from the State Bar of Texas, recognizing his leadership in improving justice in Texas and being one of the first judges in the state to meet the bar’s standards of special competence.

Khoury and his wife, Dorothy, have two adult sons, Sam and Andy.


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