Jan 14, 1912
1933 (age 20-21)
May 15, 2006 (age 94)
El Paso, El Paso County, TX
Al's son, Mark, informed me that Al had died at home in his own bed.
His family was all around, sitting a vigil. Al had been diagnosed
with cancer in December. Al was 94. -Dick Aronoff
Al Blumenthal began life in Berlin, Germany, took a detour to El Paso and remained there for over 60 years. After raising a family, building a successful career and leading various civic groups, he has blossomed in retirement as one of El Paso's best-loved watercolorists.
Blumenthal emphasizes that his life might have been quite different had he chosen to remain in his native Germany. In 1933, he was 21 and already the millinery buyer for one of the largest stores in the country. He decided to immigrate to the United States that year, leaving behind both family and a promising career. That was a momentous decision at the time, but Blumenthal emphasizes even now, "I was fortunate to take my leave before Hitler reached the zenith of his power."
He moved in with his maternal aunts in Toledo, Ohio. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Blumenthal enlisted in the Army and was promptly sent to Fort Bliss, Texas. It was there that he not only met his future wife, Frances Schwartz, but also discovered the community that he would call home for the remainder of his life.
After 28 months in the Pacific Theater, Blumenthal returned to El Paso, married Frances and settled into a position with Albert Mathias and Company, a wholesale distributor for radios, televisions, refrigerators and other appliances. Blumenthal stayed with the company until he retired as chairman of the board.
His credits include serving as president of Temple Mount Sinai, president of the El Paso Jewish Federation, chairman of the Conference of Christians and Jews, president of the Downtown Kiwanis, president of the Rio Bravo Watercolorists and cofounder of the El Paso Cancer Treatment Center. He wryly comments that he had no idea at the time that he would be one of its best patients.