Merle Frederick ALLSHOUSE

Obituary
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  • "Merle was such a wonderful person! I was shocked to hear..."
    - Norine Noonan
  • "Merle Allshouse was the dearest of men. He profoundly..."
    - Terri Bergman
  • "May the God of all comfort strengthen the entire family..."
    - Eli
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ALLSHOUSE, Merle Frederick

80, passed away peacefully April 19, 2016, at Westminster Suncoast, St. Petersburg, surrounded by his family and friends. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA April 26, 1935 to parents Merle and Helen (Frederick) Allshouse.

Merle was a passionate and lifelong learner and educator. He firmly believed in the power of education and dialogue to shape societal values, always toward the goal and vision of creating a more just and peaceful world. He had an extraordinary ability to find connections and relationships in disparate ideas and systems of knowledge; although he was always a few steps ahead in his thinking, he was never self-important and he was genuinely interested in others' opinions and thoughts. He was a fervent champion of the underprivileged and the underserved. His final years were dedicated to broadening the scope and accessibility of education and learning through online mechanisms available to students of diverse ages, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds who could not access more traditional institutional structures. While his vision was expansive and global, he perhaps found his greatest joy and meaning in the very personal and private work he did as a guardian ad litem, helping to advocate and make positive changes for children at risk, one child at a time.

Merle received a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion from Yale University and honorary degrees of Doctor of Education from Bloomfield College and Doctor of Laws from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He started his career as a professor of Philosophy and later Associate Dean at Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA. Following his work at Dickinson College, he served as President of Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, NJ, from 1971 through 1986. He then moved to Colorado Springs, CO where he worked as the President of the Myron Stratton Home Foundation, Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCSS), and Vice President of the Colorado Foundation at UCCS. In 1994, he accepted the position of Director of the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC), St. Petersburg, eventually retiring in 2002. In retirement, Merle continued to be actively involved in education, and was a Fellow in Florida Studies at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Merle is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Myrna; brother, Bob Weals and sister, Ann Delo; children, Scott Allshouse and Kim Allshouse; and grandchildren, Ashley Allshouse, Zachary Allshouse, Brendan Devine, and Tristan Devine. Merle was a kind and compassionate man and we will miss him dearly.

A celebration of Merle's life will be held May 20 at 3pm at the Quak Center, Westminster Suncoast, 1095 Pinellas Point Drive South, St. Petersburg, FL. There will be a reception following the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Merle may be made to the Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation, PO Box 10688, Tallahassee,32302, or at flgal.org. The family wishes to express their thanks and appreciation for the wonderful support extended by both the ASPEC and Westminster Suncoast communities.
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Apr. 24, 2016