Allen, Robert H. (Bob)
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87, passed away May 3 at
's Coronado Home. Bob was cared for and comforted during his final illness by his loving wife of 29 years, Karolyn, his children Kelly Sifferman, Kathryn Allen and Thomas H. Allen, and his sister Doris Chasey.
With an incredibly wide range of interests, Bob lived life to the fullest. One could find him as easily at the Arizona Opera as at a Diamondbacks game (although an endlessly hopeful Cubs fan) or on a hike in Havasupai Canyon (using the skills learned as an Eagle scout). He loved reading, music and travel. Bob and Karolyn's home was always full of laughter and song. Bob especially enjoyed a conversation with everyone he met, making each person feel special.
Born in Phoenix on May 15, 1925 to Henry and Louise Allen, Bob attended Kenilworth grade school and North High, graduating in 1943 as part of that school's first full four-year class. Selected for the Navy's College Training Program, Bob was assigned to the V-12 Unit at the University of Texas where he studied pre-med and served on active duty until 1946. Deciding to pursue a different profession, Bob entered Harvard Law School. After graduation in 1948, Bob returned to Arizona to join his father at Fennemore, Craig, Allen & Bledsoe. He remained an active member of the State Bar of Arizona for more than 63 years, the last 15 years "of counsel" to his son's firm, Allen, Sala & Bayne.
A life-long Democrat, Bob was the party's Arizona state chairman from 1963 through 1966, and led this state's delegation at the 1964 Democratic National convention. However, Bob did not limit his friendships to those who shared his political or social views. He enjoyed a long mutually respectful relationship with two United States Supreme Court justices, Sandra Day O'Connor and the late William Rehnquist, both Republicans.
Bob spent decades of summers at Iron Springs, first with his parents and sisters, then with his children and grandchildren. He guided and encouraged countless people on their first ascent of Boulder. Some would not climb to Top Rock without Bob even when he was in his late 70s.
Bob was a member of the Phoenix Country Club, Valley Field Riding & Polo Club, Boy Scouts of America and Amnesty International.
He was preceded in death by his parents, spouse Margaret (Maggie) and sister Dr. Elaine Obrinksy. In addition to Karolyn, Bob is survived by his sister Doris Chasey of Prescott, Arizona; children Kelly (Mark) Sifferman, Kathryn Allen, and Thomas (Kathryn) Allen; Karolyn's children, Daniel (Barbara) Weber, Kristen (Allen) Obrinsky, Heather Weber and Michael Weber; 14 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. A celebration of Bob's life will be held at the Valley Field Riding & Polo Club, 2530 North 64th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85257, Saturday May 11 at 2 p.m.
Contributions in Bob's memory may be made to
, Coronado Home, c/o 1510 East Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014. Arrangements handled by All Care.
Published in The Arizona Republic on May 5, 2013