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Allen Yarnell, a historian, scholar and administrator who was a key adviser to four presidents at Montana State University, died Thursday at home following an extended illness. He was 71.
Yarnell grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and received his bachelor's degree in political science from the Harpur College at the State University of New York (SUNY), his master's degree in U.S. history from SUNY at Binghamton and his doctorate in history from the University of Washington in 1969. He taught history at Washington State University and UCLA prior to coming to MSU.
A historian by training and passion, Yarnell came to MSU in 1994 to serve as the vice provost for student affairs. He had previously worked at the University of California-Los Angeles as an assistant vice chancellor of student relations and of student and campus life for 14 years.
He became a vice president at MSU in 1998, working as a senior adviser to MSU Presidents Waded Cruzado, Geoff Gamble, interim President Terry Roark and the late Michael P. Malone.
Yarnell was a specialist on the era of McCarthyism in U.S. history. He wrote the book "Democrats and Progressives: The 1948 Election as a Test of Postwar Liberalism," published by the University of California Press. He was also the editor of two other history books: "The American People: Creating a Nation and A Society," published in 1986 by Harper & Row; and "The Postwar Epoch: Perspectives of American History Since 1945," published by Harper & Row in 1972.
Yarnell is survived by his wife of 34 years, Denise Andres, a successful realtor in Gallatin Valley, and two children, Lisa and Mark. Allen enjoyed reading, going to movies and spending time with his family.
Services will be at the Temple Beth Shalom, 2010 W. Koch St., at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, with burial to follow immediately at Bozeman's Sunset Hills Cemetery. Memorials can be made to the Allen L. Yarnell Memorial Scholarship Fund at Montana State University.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 17, 2013