Obituary: Richard Allen
August 6, 1933 – December 20, 221
Dick (Richard) Allen, born August 6, 1933, on the family farm in Ithaca Michigan, passed away peacefully on December 20, 2021. Dick is survived by; his wife Jo Ann; children Lester (wife Sandy Bailey), Carri (husband Brad Jakel), and Jotham; grandchildren Courtney, Ransom, Parks, Noah, Isaiah, Madeline, and Ian; sisters Margaret (Peggy) Garver and Nancy Collins; nieces Amy Killbridge, and Lori Garver; nephew Kurt Collins; and children of nieces and nephews. Dick lived most of his life on the family farm in Ithaca. He received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University. He was a farmer, professor at Alma College, and veterinarian, owning his own practice. In 1968, he succeeded his father, Lester Allen, as State Representative of the 88th District. In 1975, he took over the 30th State Senate District. He served at the Michigan director of tourism and coined the phrase “Say Yes To Michigan”. He made two spriited but unseccessful bids for Congress. He continued his political career as Michigan’s Small Business Ombudsman, Director of the State Fair, and lobbyist. He was a big proponent of bicycling safety. In 1971, Dick created DALMAC (Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinac) bike tour. He started the ride, from Lansing to the Mackinac Bridge, to demonstrate that cyclists and vehicles could share the roads safely. DALMAC, celebrating its’ 50th anniversary this year (most of them ridden by Dick), has raised over $1.5 million in funds for bicycle safety, trails, and many other bike related projects. Dick loved downhill skiing and was honored to serve as a PSIA level III ski instructor at Beaver Creek Resort for 27 years. As described by one client, he was “patient, positive, funny, and truly interested in their progress.” Dick loved life, family, friends, travel, hosting parties, playing games, a lively discussion, and an audience (he always had a good story). Everyone who knew Dick has at least several “Dick stories” about an adventure they had, a life lesson he taught them, or maybe a raunchy joke. We all kind of thought that Dick might “beat” death, Dick included, or at least wo hoped he might. Now that sadly he hasn’t, he will live on in the lessons, stories, and jokes he left behind in all of us. Cheers to Dick, Dad, Dud, we love you! Per Dick’s wishes we are throwing a party for his Colorado friends. Please join us Wednesday March 30, 2022 from 5pm-8pm at Route 6 Cafe in Avon to raise a glass in Dick’s honor.