It is with heavy hearts we share the news that on July 12th, Richard Joseph “Dick” Allen died suddenly from complications due to a fall. He died as he lived – moving forward quickly while getting things done. Preceded in death by his son, Peter, and brother, Bob, Dick leaves behind a loving, extended family, his wife of sixty years, Marilyn, daughters Molly and Sarah, grandchildren, Virginia and Anthony, and 122 unlabeled keys.
Dick was born in Walla Walla, Washington on Valentine’s day, 1934, to Jedediah and Madeline Allen. He grew up in Oakland and after graduating from WSU, a member of the Phi Delt fraternity, he met Marilyn Miller, a lifeguard home for the summer from Mills college. Prior to enlisting in the army, Dick and Marilyn became engaged and upon his return from serving in the 102nd Signal Battalion in Germany, they married in the fall of 1958. Starting their life in Walla Walla, Dick began his career as a Mortgage Banker with Sherwood and Roberts. The Allen’s moved to Bainbridge Island in 1974 when he was promoted to Northwest Regional Vice President, overseeing sixteen branches in Western Washington. In 1981, he joined Seattle-based Security Properties as Vice President of Asset Management, and three years later went out on his own, forming RJA Associates where he consulted on large scale construction projects for HUD and others. In the late 80’s, Dick and Marilyn relocated to Washington DC when he joined MacArthur Glen to develop Outlet Malls across the country.
In the 90’s, they made their way back to Bainbridge Island where at the age of sixty Dick began his final career as a home builder. His legacy includes fifty-nine homes on Bainbridge, including Hillandale, which was awarded the Silver Award for “Best Community” by the National Association of Home Builders in 2001.
Some say an acquired taste, Dick’s gruff exterior belied an Opera lover with a soft heart. He will be missed by many for his quick wit, his letters to the editor, consistently beautiful handwriting, his watchful eye on the excesses of City Hall and his generosity to those in need. He was always up for an airport run, built good houses, could throw a tight spiral and owned a deadly hook shot well into his 70’s. Dick was was a proud – if long suffering – “Coug,” a student of history, a patron of the symphony, loved his family, believed in his country, and always paid his people on time.
In his later years, Dick lived with cancer but never complained, instead offering this sage advice: “Wear your sunscreen, kid.”
Dick Allen was an American original and he will be greatly missed by those he leaves behind.
Per Dick’s wishes, there will be no public memorial, but those who would like to share a memory or anecdote or send well wishes to the family, can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org where they will be gratefully collected.
In lieu of flowers, please consider writing down or recording your life story, telling someone where you put your Will, keeping the password doc up to date, holding your government accountable, and labeling your keys, because none of us knows which comes first, our death or tomorrow. Love, Dickie