HARLINGEN, RGV – Rio Grande Valley leaders have paid their tributes to David Eugene. Allex, the economic development leader from Harlingen who passed away this week aged 82.

In the above podcast José A. Mulet, director of air service and business development for Valley International Airport, Pete Sepulveda, executive director of Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority, and state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., of Brownsville, pay their tributes.

Allex led the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce for many years. He was partner and broker for Allex International Properties. 

David Allex speaks at a Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce event in January, 2014. (Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

In a Rio Grande Guardian story from January, 2014, Allex spoke about how interwoven the economy of the Rio Grande Valley is with Tamaulipas, Mexico. Click here to read the story. 

Osli Mejia has produced a video tribute to Allex, a former chairman of Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority. It includes a glowing tribute from then-Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Moseley. Here is the video:

Economic development consultant Salomon Torres remembers Allex for his humor. 

“One of the greatest characteristics of David was his sense of humor. Whether he was just chatting with you or giving good feedback on policy issues, he had a way to be succinct and sometimes use humor to frame the strength or absurdity of an idea,” Torres said.

“I was in college at St. Edward’s University when, during his 1986 national address to the nation, President Reagan raised alarms that the Contras in Nicaragua were only a 2-day drive from Harlingen, Texas. I still recall with great bewilderment that Reagan did not have personnel who knew about Mexico’s or Central America’s geography.

“There was a story in the Washington Post about this that quoted David. I once shared this memory with him and he still shook his head with the same degree of incredulity.”

Click here to read the story in The Washington Post.


David E. Allex

Here is the obituary for David E. Allex:

Harlingen – David E. Allex, was 82 years old when he died on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, from complications due to a stroke. He was born on January 26, 1937 in Hidalgo, Texas, the oldest of three siblings, to the parents of Joseph and Olive Allex. He was raised in McAllen and graduated from McAllen High School. He attended Texas A&M University in College Station and graduated from Texas A&I University Kingsville. He was drafted and served in the US Army and active during the Berlin Crisis. He was later honorably discharged. 

While stationed in New Orleans, he met the love of his life, Carolyn Edwards of Alice, Texas. They married in 1962 and moved to Harlingen.

David, know by many as “Mr. Harlingen”, was first employed by The Harlingen Chamber of Commerce. He quickly was promoted to President and CEO of the organization and remained in that position for 34 years. Under the auspices of the Chamber, he also presided over the Harlingen Industrial Foundation and the Development Corporation of Harlingen.

After the closing of the Harlingen Air Force Base in 1962, David was instrumental in the development of the Marine Military Academy, Texas State Technical College and Valley International Airport to help fill the void. One of his most cherished accomplishments was helping to bring, then upstart carrier Southwest Airlines, to Harlingen to serve the entire RGV.

David served at the pleasure of numerous Texas governors including Governors Clements, Bush, Perry and Abbott. Some of those charges included the Task Force on Industrial and Tourism Development, the Council for Technical and Vocational Training, The Department of Commerce, Tourism and Advisory, and The Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority serving five terms as its Chairman.

David was a tireless promoter of Harlingen and the RGV business community. His vision and passion were for every citizen to be gainfully employed.

Upon his retirement from The Chamber, he founded Allex International Properties, focusing on commercial and industrial real estate development activities on both sides of the US/Mexico border. Most recently, he was an associate broker with Century 21 Commercial-Johnston Company in Harlingen.

David is survived by his wife of 57 years, Carolyn, his sons Michael (Jodie) Allex of Harlingen, Scott (Nicole) Allex of Harlingen, his daughter Anne Marie (Brett) Schoonover of Shreveport, La., his (9) grandchildren Charles, Cole, Kyle, Nicholas, Gwendolyn, Alex, Caroline, Matthew and Catherine, his sister Josephine (Henry) Smith, nieces Courtney, Alexa, Amy and Candice, nephews Lance, Chad, Jason, Danny and numerous cousins. 

He is preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Olive, his son Philip and his brother, Johnny.

Pallbearers are his grandsons, Charles, Cole, Kyle, Alex and Nicholas. Honorary Pallbearers are Tip Johnston, Connie de la Garza, Tudor Uhlhorn, Frank Boggus, Robert Dunkin, Pete Sepulveda, Butch Palmer, Chris Gonzales, Rex Warren and Jesse Longhofer. 

The family would like to give a special thanks to the dedicated staff at Valley Baptist Medical Center, particularly the physicians at the Family Practice Residency Program and the amazing nurses and caregivers in the Stroke Unit.

Visitation was held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13, 2019 followed by a Rosary at 7:00 p.m. at Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home.

Funeral Mass was held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Harlingen.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a memorial contribution to Loaves & Fishes, Ronald McDonald House of the RGV, or the Boys & Girls Club of Harlingen. And please support your local chamber of commerce. 

You are invited to sign the guestbook or leave a memory at www.buckashcraft.com.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying this tribute podcast was taken at the funeral of David E. Allex by Ron Whitlock of Ron Whitlock Reports.