Thomas K. Allison Jr.

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Thomas K. Allison Jr.

Island Heights

Thomas K. Allison Jr., President of Allison Systems Corporation and its blade systems division Allisontech Sales, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, at Community Medical Center, Toms River. "Bear" Allison had over 30 years experience in the design and manufacture of doctor blades and doctor blade systems. He earned his BS in Engineering Physics from Cornell University, a professional engineer's license from New York State, and gained considerable experience working with satellites, nuclear warships, and commercial electric generation technologies before beginning his long and successful career with Allison Systems.

Allison Systems got its start over 45 years ago, when Tom's father, Thomas Allison Sr. invented the first truly effective doctor blade edge-finishing machine. Tom Jr. continued this tradition of innovation, working with Bill Warner and other talented engineers at the company to develop computerized doctor blade production machines and retrofit blade systems for customer's presses. Tom also pioneered the use of new high-tech materials for blades, including QR and QRH tool steels, fiberglass and graphite. Tom's wife, Eve English Allison will succeed him as President of Allison Systems. Eve has extensive experience with overall management of the company, and has long managed Allison Systems' extensive inventory of precision steel, specialized plastic and advanced composite materials. Eve's expertise in this area eventually led Tom to create business cards for her with the title "Woman of Steel and Plastic."

Besides his work at Allison Systems, Tom greatly enjoyed both sailing and singing. He began racing sailboats with his Dad when he was in his teens, participating in regattas on Barnegat Bay at the Jersey Shore. On one such trip, he met his wife-to-be Eve on the dock at the Island Heights Yacht Club, and the couple were married in 1967. Over the years, Tom and Eve spent many happy summers in Island Heights, making it their weekend and summer home. Although he sailed in many types of boats, Tom was best known as skipper of "B+", an 18' Marshall Sanderling known locally as a Barnegat Bay Type-B Catboat or "B-Cat." Over the years, Tom participated in numerous regattas sponsored by the Island Heights Yacht Club, Lavallette Yacht Club, and the Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association (BBYRA), and was looking forward to competing in the 2012 season. Arrangements were under the direction of Anderson & Campbell Funeral Home, Toms River.

Published in Asbury Park Press on Feb. 10, 2012
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