Clarence P. Alfrey, Jr., M.D. was born to Clarence P. Alfrey and Lilla Beadle Alfrey in Brownwood, Texas on the 25th of May 1930. His early years were spent in Brownwood, Eldorado, and Sonora, Texas. In 1939, the family moved to New Braunfels where he attended New Braunfels High School and was president of the Student Council. He was active in scouting and was an Eagle Scout. He attended Rice Institute from 1948 until 1951. He left to attend Baylor College of Medicine from which he graduated in 1955, with a M.D. with honors, including membership in Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Scholastic Medical Fraternity.
In 1955, he married Maurine Linquist. The couple moved to Iowa City, Iowa for his internal medicine internship. In 1956, he was called to active duty in the US Army as Captain and subsequently stationed in Ansbach, Germany where he served as Battalion Surgeon of the 557 Field Artillery Battalion and subsequently Commanding Officer of the 536 General Dispensary. From 1958-1961, he had a fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and completed his training in internal medicine and hematology in 1961. While at The Mayo Clinic, he started a PhD thesis on DNA Metabolism in Human Bone Marrow at The University of Minnesota, which was awarded in1966. In 1961, he returned to Baylor College of Medicine as Assistant Professor of Medicine. He was attending physician at The Houston V.A. Hospital where he was Chief of Hematology, Department of Medicine and Chief of The Nuclear Medicine Service. In 1964, he was appointed attending physician at The Methodist Hospital and Chief of The Hematolgy Laboratory. He was very active in the education of medical students, medical residents and fellows in hematology. In the 1970's, at the Baylor and Methodist laboratories, he developed a superior test to diagnose anemia due to iron deficiency. This test for serum ferritin, is still used worldwide today.
As a principle investigator in NASA's Space Life Sciences laboratories, Dr. Alfrey and his team determined why most astronauts returning to earth are anemic. His team was involved in two shuttle missions.
He was Medical Director of the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center for seventeen years.
Dr. Alfrey was very involved in the medical community, serving as President of the Harris County Medical Society in 1992; at which time he helped create a new facility for The Health Museum. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for four years.
He was an active member of St. Martin's Episcopal Church, where he served on many committees. He was a member of the Vestry, a chalice bearer and a lay reader.
Dr. Alfrey is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Maurine; and their four children, Heidi Alfrey of Kansas City, Missouri; Holly Van Dyk, M.D., of Flagstaff, Arizona; Tami Grubb of Sugar Land; Curtis Alfrey of Denver; and six grandchildren, Samantha and Will Grubb, Eliza and Quintin Van Dyk and Sophia and Camden Alfrey.
He is also survived by his sister, Jo Ann Bedford, of New Braunfels; brother, Tom Alfrey of Denver; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother Allen Alfrey, M.D.
Friends are cordially invited to a gathering with the family to share remembrances from three o'clock in the afternoon until six o'clock in the evening on Sunday, the 29th of September, in the grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
A memorial service is to be conducted at ten o'clock in the morning on Monday, the 30th of September, at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston.
Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the nearby Bagby Parish Hall.
Prior to the service, the family is to gather for a private inurnment at Garden of the Holy Cross Riverway at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family kindly requests memorial contributions be directed to The Health Museum, 1515 Hermann Drive, Houston, TX, 77004; Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza,MS: BCM 160; Houston, TX, 77030; St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road, Houston, TX, 77056; or to the charity of one's choice.