Alan William Dreeben


Alan William Dreeben passed away peacefully at home on March 21 at the age of 80. Alan was born on July 3, 1943, in Dallas, Texas, to Bertha and Milton Dreeben. He graduated from Highland Park High School and headed off to the University of Texas in Austin. While in school, Alan was a member of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and the Silver Spurs. It was there that he met Barbara Block, the love of his life. He and Barbara were married on Jan. 2, 1966. After graduation, they moved to Los Angeles, where Alan could start his career in the wine industry and learn under the tutelage of Ernest Gallo. Alan and Barbara moved back to San Antonio in 1967, where Alan began working with his mentor and father-in-law, Ed Block at Block Distributing Company. Alan grew the wine side of the Block business to a formidable force. The company then grew from a South Texas operation to become Republic National Distributing Company, a national wholesaler in 40 markets coast to coast.

Alan also received his executive MBA from Harvard University. Alan was passionate about education. He served proudly on the board of Alamo Heights ISD, as past regent and chairman with the Texas State University System, as a trustee of the University of the Incarnate Word, and as past president and trustee of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. He was inducted into the Alamo Heights School Foundation Hall of Fame in 2023, the McCombs Business School Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2023.

Alan always believed it was sin to be so fortunate and not give back. And give back he did. Alan was highly involved and held leadership positions in countless community, social, industry and religious organizations, including MD Anderson, Hospice of San Antonio, the McNay Art Museum, the Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital Foundation, United Way, Temple Beth El, San Antonio Country Club, The Argyle, Club Giraud, the Order of The Alamo, the Wine Market Council, and the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, where he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Alan is survived by his wife of more than 58 years, Barbara Block Dreeben; his three daughters, Lisa Dreeben Sechler (Kelly), Allison Dreeben Zeller (Josh) and Paige Dreeben Sachs (Marc); and his nine grandchildren, who affectionately call him “Buddy”: Grant, Reed and Mark Sechler; Emily, Ben and Abbie Zeller; and Tucker, Sallie and Bo Sachs. He is also survived by his brother, Oren Dreeben, and his sister, Hope Dreeben.

Alan had many accolades in the community, and the wine and spirits industry, but what he was most proud of was his family. He cared deeply about each of them and loved bragging whenever given the chance about them. Alan was blessed with four beautiful women, the queen, the princess, the duchess and the contessa while referring to himself not as the king, but the court jester. Alan was known for many of his “Alan-isms,” but will be most remembered for “Hi Gang!” and “Say Goodnight, Gracie.”

The Dreeben family wishes to thank Scott Campbell, Robert Luevano, Cesar Carillo and Nadine Michelena for all of their love and amazing care.