Obituary: Al Treviño

Al Treviño.

Alberto Treviño passed away peacefully on Sept. 29, with family by his side, in the home he built in Bluebird Canyon in the early 1960s.

Al was born in Inglewood, the youngest of four siblings, on Dec. 28, 1931, but spent his early childhood in El Paso, Texas. While attending high school at Saint Francis in La Cañada Flintridge, Al’s best friend and future brother-in-law introduced him to Dolores DuPont, his future wife. Al briefly attended Cal Poly Pomona to study horticulture, but a professor inspired him to transfer to Berkeley, where he eventually graduated with a degree in landscape architecture. Al’s Berkeley education was interrupted when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. After being drafted and marrying Dolores in 1955, the newlyweds ceremoniously hopped in their car to drive across the country to Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Shortly after reporting for duty, the Army attached Al to a tank battalion and trained him as a medic. Later, a general transferred him to a special services unit tasked with improving the base and other bases in the region where he met world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. They became life-long friends. Al’s journey was full of unique experiences and encounters that came to typify his professional and personal life. He had an uncanny ability to connect to people from all walks of life.

After serving, Al graduated from Berkeley, and received a master’s degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, also in landscape architecture. In 1958, Al and Dolores moved to Laguna Beach where they purchased a lot in Bluebird Canyon and proceeded to design and build their own home with the help of Dolores’ father and brothers. The home became a favorite spot for family gatherings and large holiday celebrations with extended friends and family.

Al went on to have an illustrious career in the private sector and government. Highlights include working on the Master Plan for the 7000-acre Laguna Niguel New Community while at Victor Gruen, helping the Irvine Company develop the 100,000-acre Irvine Ranch (including designing layouts for University Park, Turtle Rock, the Irvine Industrial Parks, and the master plan for Newport Center/Fashion Island) and contributing the concept for EPCOT Center at Walt Disney World while working for Disney. Al’s career in landscape architecture and urban planning helped shape many of the communities with which we interact on a daily basis.

Full of entrepreneurial spirit into his 90th year, Al founded several consulting firms ranging in focus from integrating technology with education in the 1970s to urban planning in the 1980s and 1990s to educating seniors on the use of technology in the 21st century.

Al believed in the importance of government service and was appointed to serve three U.S. Presidents as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Among friends and acquaintances, Al was known for good conversation and the appetite for healthy debate.

Al’s wife of 60 years, Dolores DuPont, preceded him in death in 2015. He leaves behind 11 children and in-laws: Paul and Melinda Treviño, Anita and Ray Neubarth, Teresa & Mike Gacnik, Leo and Kathy Treviño, Vincent and Arabella Treviño, Dominic and Nancy Treviño, Marguerita and Richard Edep, Clare and Claudio Marino, Antonio and Michella Treviño, John and Kerry Treviño, Laurence and Shannon Treviño; as well as 22 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren who loved their Grandpa’s stories.

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