Daniel Allen Carroll, age 78, died peacefully on Tuesday, November 28, after a long illness. The son of William Henderson Carroll and Frances Tedder Lumer, Allen was born in Shelby, NC, but spent 13 years of his childhood in the Baptist Children's Home in Thomasville, NC. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 1960, obtained his M.A. from the Claremont Graduate School in 1962, and completed his Ph.D. in English literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970. In 1962, Allen returned to Wake Forest as an instructor, beginning a lifetime of university teaching. He joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1969. He served as head of the English Department January 1992 – July 2002. Allen was an insightful department leader, especially remembered for tightly run faculty meetings, highly effective letters of recommendation, and "Head Starts," the short inspirational speeches he gave to the teaching staff at the start of each academic year. In 2002, Allen was awarded the J. Douglas Bruce Distinguished Professorship. He officially retired in 2005 but continued teaching until 2008.
Although Allen was a respected scholar of Renaissance literature, his great love was teaching. Over his long career at UT, he taught everything from Homer to modern novels. However, Shakespeare's plays and poetry were his passion, and generations of undergraduate and graduate students came to understand and love Shakespeare through his classes. He also taught many groups of students in UT's Drama in Stratford-upon-Avon and London summer class. After retirement, Allen taught Shakespeare's plays to adults, especially fellow retirees, in the Oak Ridge Institute for Continuing Learning. Allen received several teaching awards including the UT National Alumni Outstanding Teacher award in 1989 and the Outstanding Teacher Award from the South Atlantic Association of Departments of English in 2005.
He participated fully in service to the university as a member or head of various review, award, search, and graduate committees and on the Academic Review Board. Allen was devoted to his family and especially to his children, Katherine and Andrew. He engaged in their lives, teaching them tennis, coaching soccer, and helping with Andrew's Scout troop. For more than 50 years, Allen played tennis with great focus and joy. He was still working on his serve when a stroke ended his game. He also eagerly participated for many decades in bi-weekly "probability seminars" and often said that his poker buddies would be his honorary pallbearers.
Allen was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved son, Andrew McQueen Carroll; and his sisters, Charlotte Elizabeth Jones and Marjory Duty. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Elizabeth (Lisa) Wright Carroll; his daughter, Katherine Blue Carroll; son-in-law, Mark Crisci; and granddaughter, Andrea McQueen Carroll, of Nashville. He is also survived by his brother, Charles Marion Carroll, of Greensboro, NC; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Becky and Jeremy Atack of Brentwood, TN; and sister, Marie Durham of Nanjemoy, MD. Allen will be missed by his nieces and nephews, Chuck Carroll, Laura Carroll, and grand-nephew, Henry Trent, all of Greensboro, Elizabeth Atack and Bryce McCloud of Nashville, Mary and Casey Allen of Miami, FL, Thomas Atack of Bloomington, IN, Laura Atack and Chris Rapking of Columbus, OH, David Jones of Baltimore, MD, and Madge McQueen of Louisa, VA. He will also be missed by devoted caregivers, Janelle Allison (two years), Thomas McLeroy (one year), and recently Tisha Frazier.
Plans for a memorial service will be announced early in 2017. Contributions may be made in Allen's memory to the UT Department of English Enrichment Fund, 301 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37996-0430; the UT Clarence Brown Theatre Artists Endowment, 206 McClung Tower, Knoxville, TN 37996; the Wake Forest Fund, Office of University Advancement, Box 7227, Winston-Salem, NC 27109; or the Knoxville Racquet Education and Support of Tennis Foundation (KREST), 5535 Lonas Dr., Knoxville, TN 37909. Online condolences at www.rosemortuary.com