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Allen Compton, affectionately known to many as "Buddha," died peacefully at his home on March 26, 2014, at the age of 84.
Born in Denver, Colorado, on May 22, 1929, to Patricia Rensch, Allen lived in a variety of places until he made his way to the state of Washington, where Mary and Harry Compton of Vashon Island took an interest in him and eventually adopted him at age 15.
Allen attended Vashon Island High School, where he participated in several sports, theater and class government. Harry taught him the roofing trade, which eventually became his vocation.
Allen then attended Western Washington University, where he played football and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in education.
A proud veteran, Allen served his country in Army intelligence during the Korean War.
Following his discharge from the Army, he married Anita Crook in 1956. They had two children, Colleen and Sally.
In 1971, he traveled to Alaska in search of a new job and soon started his own successful business, Compton Roofing.
In 1981, not long after the birth of his beloved granddaughter, Elise, Allen faced perhaps his biggest personal challenge when he suffered a major stroke. As a result of this stroke, Allen lost the use of his right arm and his ability to speak.
The disabilities caused by this stroke forced Allen to liquidate his business and start an earlier-than-expected retirement.
Allen and Nita moved to Sequim and settled into a busy life. Despite his physical limitations, Allen kept himself busy by devoting himself to gardening and working in his yard.
One of the only words he regained was "Buddha." Those who knew Allen well and learned to interpret his "Buddha speech" soon realized that despite his limitations with communication, Allen possessed a very sharp and perceptive mind, which remained the case until his death.
Family was very important to Allen, and nothing brought more of a twinkle to his eye than the presence of his beloved daughters and granddaughter. Allen is survived by his wife of 58 years, Nita Compton; his daughters, Colleen Fritz and her husband, Arnold Fritz, both of Phoenix, Arizona, and Sally Compton of Anchorage, Alaska; and his granddaughter, Elise Compton of Greensboro, North Carolina.
Allen was preceded in death by his mother, Patricia Rensch; his adopted parents, Harry and Mary Compton; and his sister, Nancy Compton.
Buddha will certainly be missed.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Apr. 9, 2014