Christopher Allen

Obituary
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Christopher Stevens Allen, a Maine native and longtime political science professor at the University of Georgia, died Monday, Feb. 14, 2011, after an extended illness. He was 63. He was born May 15, 1947, in Portland, Maine, the first child of Franklin B. Allen and Mary M. Allen. He attended Holy Cross School in South Portland and graduated from Cheverus High School in Portland, where he was a center and place kicker on the football team and a catcher on the baseball team. After graduating from Boston College in 1969 with a degree in management, Allen worked as a sales representative for the Exxon Corp. until 1972. Following a tour of West Germany in the early 1970s, Allen recalled recently, he experienced a political awakening that changed the course of his life and instilled in him an interest in the politics and economy of Germany, the main focus of his future scholarly work. He quit his job at Exxon and worked as a taxicab driver in the Boston suburbs as he pursued his political studies. He received a master's degree in political science in 1975 from Northeastern University in Boston and a doctorate in politics in 1983 from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. Allen joined the faculty at the University of Georgia in Athens in 1986 and was an associate professor in the Department of International Affairs there at the time of his death. He was a specialist in the comparative politics of industrialized democracies and wrote numerous monographs, journal articles, book reviews and op-ed newspaper columns during his long career. He also co-authored several books and textbooks and edited or co-edited many others. Allen relished his role as a teacher and news of his passing prompted an outpouring of appreciation on the Athens campus. Chris' calling to teach came to him later in life, but when it did, it arrived with an unrelenting passion, said his friend and colleague Markus Crepaz, head of the Department of International Affairs. What Chris will leave behind are untold numbers of individuals whom he inspired to inquire into the nature of things with great enthusiasm. He set an example of what it means to be a good scholar, a good teacher and a good human being, added Darius Ornston, a professor of political science at UGA. As a professor, Dr. Allen has taken me and many other graduate students by the hands in our first steps as researchers and instructors, said Johannes Karreth of Germany. On a personal level, I am still humbled at how much interest [he] took in me and other graduate students. He had such a profound effect on so many people because he truly loved what he did, and despite his packed schedule, he made time for all of us, said Diana Pauksta, an undergraduate student at UGA. In addition to his work on the Athens campus, Allen taught over the years at UGA Study Abroad programs in England, France and New Zealand. Teaching was not just a job [for him]. He didn't just show up, give a lecture and leave, recalled his niece Leah MacLeod, who attended the UGA program in Paris in 2008. He spent time with his students and guided them through academic and personal issues. Allen enjoyed music, especially American jazz, and was an avid soccer fan. He attended several matches when the World Cup was held in the United States in 1994 and played in a soccer league in Athens for about 15 years. He and his wife, Katherine, had a permanent home in Newburyport and took vacations most summers in Maine, often in Southwest Harbor. Allen was predeceased by his mother. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his father, of Scarborough, Maine; three sisters, Mary Allen of Olney, Md., Katherine MacLeod of East Orland, Maine, and Nancy Vaughn of Port Orange, Fla.; two brothers, Timothy Allen of Bangor, Maine, and Peter Allen of Cape Elizabeth, Maine; and eight nephews and nieces, Daniel MacLeod of Brooklyn, N.Y., Molly MacLeod of Highland Park, N.J., Leah MacLeod of Portland, Maine, Connor MacLeod of East Orland, Joseph and Hannah Allen of Cape Elizabeth, and Brian and Amy Vaughn of Port Orange. Visiting hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine, and a funeral service will be held there at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19. A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, in the chapel on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. Interment will be in the spring at the family plot on Douglas Hill in Sebago, Maine. Those wishing to honor Allen's memory may contribute to a scholarship fund being established in his name at UGA. Checks made payable to the Arch Foundation may be sent to Sarah Baines, UGA School of Public and International Affairs, 217 Candler Hall, Athens, GA 30602. On the memo line, donors can write In memory of Chris Allen. Please sign our Obituary Guest Book at www.onlineathens.com Athens Banner-Herald, Thursday, February 17, 2011
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Feb. 17, 2011
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