FRANK A. ALLEN

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FRANK A. ALLEN - MIDDLESEX - Frank A. Allen, 90, died on Friday, July 11, 2014, in Berlin Health and Rehab Center, Berlin. Frank was born in Boston, Mass., on Sept. 29, 1923, the eldest son of Frances G. Kenney and Frank A. Allen Sr. He attended schools in Boston, and graduated from Boston Trade School where he studied automotive mechanics and played ice hockey, a sport he thoroughly enjoyed throughout his life. He was employed as an auto mechanic, and then at the shipyards in Weymouth, Mass., where he worked on aircraft carriers, until he was drafted into the Army in February 1942, at the age of 19. First assigned to repairing trucks and Jeeps in Sicily, he soon was transferred to the infantry and shipped to Salerno as part of the 3rd Division rifle company platoon. This unit was used to "plug holes" in the front lines of combat. As Frank described it in an account he wrote later in life, they walked, crawled, and hiked most of the "boot" of Italy, meeting the Germans up close and personal, exchanging mortar shells, grenades, and rifle fire. He spent his 21st birthday in a vineyard "somewhere in Italy," where a farm family took him in and gave him food and shelter for the night, a welcome break from sleeping in the mud. He was wounded in the fighting at Anzio beachhead. He spent eight months in the hospital; more than three months in field hospitals in Italy, then a hospital ship, and then to Framingham, Mass. He received a medical discharge in October 1944. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and other campaign awards. Upon discharge, he came to live in Middlesex, where his family had moved while he was away at war. In 1945, he accepted employment with the Marsh-Allen Farm Machinery Company of Barre, where he served as shop foreman for 15 years. He married Priscilla "Pat" M. Wood of South Kirby on Oct. 18, 1948, in St. Johnsbury. They resided in Barre City and South Barre until 1960, when Frank accepted employment in Boston and attended Lincoln Institute, Northeastern University. In 1962, following the death of his father, Frank and Pat returned to Middlesex where Frank assumed responsibility for his father's business and the support of his mother. The Frank A. Allen Co., wholesale distributors of water pumps and well supplies, flourished; he sold the company and retired in 1989. Frank was deeply committed to the familyowned company and to the water well industry, to his customers, and to his employees. He was a member and director of the Vermont Water Well Association, as well as the New England Water Well Association. As a director of the National Water Well Association, Frank was chairman of the Supplier's Division; he served as director of the Supplier's Division for eight years. A member of the Dealers Advisory Council of the Pump Division of Fairbanks Morse Company, in 1984, Frank was recognized by Fairbanks Morse and received an award for 30 years of service as a distributor of Fairbanks Morse water pumps. Frank and Pat enjoyed extensive travel in relation to the water pump business. After retirement in late 1989, and the sale of the Frank Allen Co. and the Allen family home in Middlesex, Frank and Pat spent the winter months at their Florida homes, first in Naples, then Homosassa and Hudson. In 2005, they returned to Middlesex to live full time. Frank was an active member of the Montpelier Men's Bowling League from 1945 until he suffered a heart attack in 1976. A committed golfer, he was a longtime member of the Northfield Country Club and the Blush Hill Country Club in Waterbury. He also golfed for many years at Brentwood and Pine Ridge Clubs in Homosassa and Beverly Hills, Fla. Other memberships include the American Legion and VFW in Montpelier, the Montpelier Elks Club, and the Canadian Club in Barre. Frank served the Town of Middlesex as Zoning Administrator during the 1960s and early 1970s. A committed member of the Middlesex United Methodist Church, he gave many hours to the support of his church and his Lord. He was blessed with a special singing voice, loved gospel music, and always looked forward to Sunday service. Frank Allen was "always there" for his family, his employees, and his customers. He was also well-known and respected by the Vermont nursing community for his support of his wife's professional activities and his own strong support for the role of women in society and in business. Frank "opened the door" for the first woman to chair the Supplier's Division of the National Water Well Association. Frank's trademark was his ever-present song and laughter. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Pat; three sisters-in-law, Marian H. Warden of Gulf Breeze, Fla., Marion E. Kimball of Knoxville, Tenn., and Lorraine G. Allen of Rutland; and 27 nieces and nephews who were very special to him. He was predeceased by his siblings, Charles E. Allen, Randall G. Allen, and William H. Allen. Family and friends are invited to the interment, with military honors, to be held at 12 noon, Saturday, July 19, 2014, at the Middlesex Center Cemetery. Following the interment, there will be a memorial service at 1 p.m. at the Middlesex United Methodist Church. A memorial reception will be held in the parish hall after the service. Guare & Sons/Barber & Lanier Funeral Home, Montpelier, is in charge of arrangements. Those wishing to send online condolences may do so at www.guareandsons.com. Should friends desire, contributions in his memory may be made to the "Pat & Frank Allen Nurse Scholarship," Vermont State Nurses Foundation, Inc., 100 Dorset St., Suite 13, South Burlington, VT 05403; or to Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice, Inc., 600 Granger Road, Barre, VT 05641 or at www.cvhhh.org.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on July 15, 2014
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