Hesperia resident William Alves says he can hardly believe it’s been 50 years since he and his wife Aileen moved to the High Desert. Both were teachers and when they were offered jobs in the Hesperia Unified School District, they didn’t hesitate to accept.
According to Alves, that was the beginning of a life more wonderful and rewarding than he and Aileen ever imagined.
“The community has always been good to us and we appreciate that so much,” said Alves, 91, who earned his master’s of science degree in education from USC. “And we’ve had the pleasure of working with a great number of outstanding people. We’ve been extremely fortunate to live in such a nice town.”
Alves said he retired around 1980 from his position as principal at Joshua Circle Elementary. Aileen also retired that year from substitute teaching. With more free time on their hands, the couple devoted themselves to fundraising activities for the Elks and Kiwanis clubs they were members of.
“We were always impressed at how active both of those groups are in raising money for education,” said Alves, a veteran of the United States Navy. “Aileen and I really wanted to help out and do as much good as we could.”
Along with participating in service organizations, Alves also became a real estate broker for the former Blunt Realty. In 1985, he opened his own company, “Bill’s All Star Realty,” on Walnut Street in Hesperia.
Aileen, 83, worked for her husband as an agent and also took on part-time commercial art projects. Over her career, she designed the logo for Hesperia High School and also made seals for the Hesperia Water District.
“Aileen is an extremely talented artist and has always kept her hand in that,” Alves said.
Although Alves continues to work as a broker and property manager part time, Aileen is unable to help after suffering a stroke a few months ago. Despite the severity of her situation, Alves said he is hopeful she will make a full recovery.
“Aileen is completely handicapped but her prognosis is good,” said Alves, who said his wife holds a BA in primary education from San Francisco State University. “We have a lot of faith that she is going to get better.”
As Aileen continues on her journey back to wellness, Alves said he will keep himself busy with his real estate projects and also spending time with his six grandchildren. And despite coming up on his 92nd birthday, he has no plans to retire anytime soon.
“I tell people not to even ask me if I’m going to retire,” said Alves, who celebrated 60 years of marriage with Aileen in 2013. “I am still enjoying my career and look forward to many more opportunities that might come my way.”