Rodney Ransome Allison
~ 2013 ~
Monterey – Rodney Ransome Allison died of heart failure outside his home in Monterey on Wednesday morning, May 1, 2013. He was 69. Rod's mother, Sue Ransome, moved with Rod to Carmel from Belmont, CA in 1949 when Rod was five. He attended Peninsula schools, graduating from Carmel High in 1961. Two interests dominated Rod's life: the stage and Twelve Step
Rod's mother had been an actress with the Ziegfeld Follies and a dancer with the Fanchon and Marco troupe in the '20s and '30s. Going through his mother's scrapbooks when he was eight, Rod decided that acting was for him. He made his acting debut at the age of 12 at the Old Wharf Theater here in Monterey playing the singing role of Anna's son in The King and I. In the '60s Rod attended the Pasadena Playhouse and became immersed in Los Angeles area theater. Ultimately he decided against a full-time acting career. He returned to Monterey and joined Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula's Pharmacy Department, where he was employed from 1971 through 1979. Rod became involved in local theater, performing at the Studio Dinner Theater, The Grovemont – later Pacific Repertory Theater, and others. He estimated that he appeared in more than 3,000 performances over the years. Rod appeared in commercials, industrial and medical films, and historical films including playing Walter Colton in a film made for the Stanton Maritime Museum.
Rod celebrated his recovery from alcohol and pill addiction "every day," giving credit to Beacon House and devoted participation in 12-step programs. He became a substance abuse counselor for Lackey's in Carmel, which later became Brightside. In 1986 Rod returned to CHOMP as a chemical dependence counselor in the hospital's Recovery Center. Over the years Rod helped thousands of alcoholics and addicts achieve recovery through his words and his example. He is beloved by fellow recovering addicts and alcoholics and their families for his humor, his listening, his humility, and his straight-forward counsel. He retired from CHOMP in 2010, but he never retired from helping others.
Rod's mother preceded him in death on November 1, 1996. Rod believed he was the last member of his family, but he discovered to his delight that he had two first cousins, Robert and Jim Ransome ~ Robert of Lodi, CA and Jim of El Dorado, CA. He enjoyed their relationship for the remainder of his life. Rod was a long-time member of the Screen Actors Guild. He was a member of the Carmel Valley Gem and Mineral Society. He was a regular at the former Garden Health and Fitness Club, now Fit U Monterey.
Rod's license plate frame said, It's My Car and I'll Sing If I Want To. He died in his car in his driveway, listening to and no doubt singing along with, possibly improving on, Frank Sinatra.
Rod's life will be celebrated on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 12:00 noon at Saint Dunstan's Church, 28003 Robinson Canyon Road, Carmel Valley: traveling east on Carmel Valley Road from Highway 1, Robinson Canyon is the first right past Mid-Valley Shopping Center. Go immediately over the bridge and Saint Dunstan's is on the left. In the spirit of the man we celebrate, shorts are recommended.
Published in The Monterey Herald on May 8, 2013