PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Jeremiah Mervin Allen, Jr, died Thursday, May 29, 2014, in hospice in Providence.
Jerry was born Sept. 3, 1919, in Newton, Massachusetts, the son of Jeremiah Mervin Allen and Dorothy Lucas Allen.
He graduated from Newton High School, Newton, Massachusetts, in 1938, where he had been co-captain of the state champion track team. He entered Duke University in fall 1938 and spent two years there. In the summer of 1940, anticipating U.S. involvement in World War II, he dropped out to become a naval aviation cadet. He was commissioned as an Ensign and a torpedo bomber pilot in summer 1941. He was on the U.S.S. Wasp when it was sunk Sept. 15, 1942. He finished the war on other carriers in the Pacific and was discharged in 1945 as a Lieutenant Commander. That fall, he returned to Duke, received his bachelor's degree, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1947, moved back to Newton with his family and attended Tufts University, where he received his master's degree in 1948.
He was hired as an instructor in the engineering English department of the University of Colorado, in Boulder, Colorado, and accepted as a doctorate student in the A/S English department, beginning fall 1948. He received his doctorate in 1956 and was promoted to assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1960, and to professor in 1962. In the late 1950's he began to perform administrative tasks, came to the attention of the Provost, Oswald Tippo, and began a lengthy distinguished career as a university administrator.
Jerry became acting associate dean of the graduate school at CU in 1962, then became acting dean from 1964 to 1965. In 1965 Tippo left CU to become Provost at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 1968 he hired Jerry as associate provost and professor of English at UMass. Jerry moved from this position to become Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities in 1970. He remained as dean until 1982, with a break from 1977 to 1979 during which he served as acting provost. He retired from UMass as a Professor of English, in 1994.
He married Aldith Sutton Oct. 5, 1941, in Newton, Massachusetts. They had five children, Jeremiah Mervin, III, in 1942, Peter Sutton in 1944, Barbara Aldith (now Nearpass) in 1946, Stanley Tillinghast in 1956, and Jonathan Lucas in 1960. All five survive Jerry as do his 10 grandchildren, Jessica Allen, Matthew Allen, Morgan Nearpass (now Powell), Meredith Nearpass, Dorothy (Emeline) Allen, Persephone Allen, Jeremiah Allen, Kenneth Allen, Madeline Allen, and Maura Allen and his sole great-grandchild, Sylvie Allen.
He was predeceased by his sister Pricilla Allen Guild in 2013 and his loving wife Aldith Sutton Allen in 2002.
A memorial service for Jerry will be held August 1, from 1 to 2 p.m., at the Campus Center of the University of Massachusetts.
Contributions in memory of Jerry can be made to the Silver Lake Land Trust, P.O. Box 222, Harrisville, NH 03450, or Historic Harrisville, P.O. Box 79, Harrisville, NH 03450.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on July 1, 2014