Son, Brother, Friend and Hero
Valerij Alyohin loved people and he loved his
work. Although he spent long hours serving pools for his employer,
Val frequently could be found also tending to the community
pool at his apartment complex. He took a lot of pride
in what he did, a neighbor said.
Val was born in Riga, Latvia, when that country
was still a part of the Soviet Union. An ethnic Russian, Val
grew up enjoying music, sports and animals. He was a dutiful
only child until his sister, Ana, was born when Val was 15.
In 2004, Vals family moved to California
when his mother Tatiana remarried. Orange County proved to
be a far cry from Vals native Riga, and he struggled
there. Five years later, Val made another move, this time
by himself, migrating to the Houston area and settling in
the Clear Lake region. NASAs partnership with the Russian
Space Agency had created a sizable local community of Russian
natives and Val quickly felt at home.
Thanks to the recommendations of friends, Val
landed a job at Aquamaid Pool Service. In a business where
help was often transient in nature, Aquamaids Dana Oliver
found a jewel in his new hire. In time, Val was not
just an employee, Oliver says. He became like
a partner in the business and, most importantly, he became
With financial stability, Val settled into a
relationship with Olga McDade, like Val an ethnic Russian.
He began immersing himself in the local community, taking
great pride in his participation in the MDAs Muscle
Walk. According to Oliver, in the last months of his life,
Val gained a self-assurance which bode well for his future.
Val is survived by his mother, Tatiana Harris,
and sister, Ana Komina.
the Valerij Alyohin Tribute page on Facebook
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