Allen Hayman

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Allen Hayman, 86

Allen Hayman, 86, a resident of the Presbyterian Homes in Evanston, Ill., died Sunday, June 17. He had been in declining health since being hit by a car in 2003.

Allen was born in Albany, N.Y., January 29, 1926, to the late Moses and Sarah Hayman. He was the youngest of four children. His sisters Evelyn and Ida, and brother Joseph, preceded him in death.

Allen grew up in Syracuse and attended the public schools there, graduating from Central High School in 1943. After entering Syracuse University, he left to join the United States Navy during WWII. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946 and resumed his studies, graduating from Syracuse University in 1950.

Allen entered the University of Illinois as a PhD candidate in 1950, where he devoted himself to a lifelong study of writing and American Literature. While at Illinois, he was a member of the editorial staff of Accent magazine and wrote his thesis on Herman Melville. Most importantly in 1951, Allen met and fell in love with Ruth Pratt, and they were married on September 9, 1951. Allen and Ruth celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2011.

Upon completing his PhD studies, Allen and Ruth, along with their daughters Sarah and Rachel, and son Matthew, moved to West Lafayette, where Allen began an over 30 year career with Purdue University as an English professor.

Allen excelled as a classroom teacher, especially of his beloved American authors. As a result, many students were deeply influenced by him. Among them was Michael Schwartz, who went on to become president of Kent State University, later inviting him to be the commencement speaker there in 1989. Since Allen's retirement from Purdue in 1990, former students have continued to write to him and visit him to express their gratitude for the impact he had on their lives.

Allen had a true passion for life, and enjoyed books, travel, music, good food, gardening and painting among many other things. He especially loved spending time with his five grandchildren, of whom he was very proud.

Allen will be remembered as a loving husband and father, devoted grandfather and uncle, and as a genuinely caring person who had great empathy for those who were less fortunate than he.

His devoted wife Ruth, his three children, and five grandchildren survive Allen.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on June 25th, in the Huss Gallery of The King Home, 1555 Oak Street, Evanston, IL 60201.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are gratefully accepted by CJE Seniorlife Adult Day Services (www.CJE.net), Presbyterian Homes (www.presbyterianhomes.org), or Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter (www.carecenter.org).

Published in the Journal & Courier on June 20, 2012
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