On April 18, 2020 Kenneth D. Allen departed for the wild blue yonder. He leaves behind his old cars, dogs, horses, tractors, the farm he built and loved, three moderately functional children and his beloved wife of 62 years, Rosanne.
Born to Eliza and Kenneth C. Allen on April 13, 1935 in Dayton Ohio, Ken was a brilliant man and a talented engineer. He went to Oakwood High School and graduated magna cum laude at the top of his class from Purdue University. His engineering career took him from Hobart where he worked for seventeen years to Mac Tools and finally to his own business, K&R Technologies where he did innovative projects for his clients until the last few weeks of his life.
Some of his more interesting engineering feats included building his own car from the ground up in his basement, a masterpiece later featured in Road and Track magazine. He also built a fully operational railroad handcar and took his friends on many harrowing adventures on active train tracks. He built bridges and boats and barn doors. He liked machines and motorcycles. He could fix anything, and no mechanical problem was too puzzling. He loved model trains, real trains, covered bridges and old things of all kinds. He taught his kids how to drive a stick shift, how to light a fire, how to be polite, and how to see the humor in life. He showed them how to build and create and stick with it and how to appreciate nature. He loved music, and his family grew up to a soundtrack of Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins and Joan Baez. He loved car races, fixing cars, driving cars, car people and antique cars. Recalling Ken, it’s hard not to picture him cranking a fussy Model T into reluctant action or with his head under the hood of a moody Corvair.
Ken always encouraged Rose's love of riding. He was proud of her accomplishments and cared for their horses and ponies by her side. Later in life, he became interested in antique buggies, and he and Rose enjoyed driving together. Among all his interests, the adventures and achievements of his grandchildren were his favorite topic of conversation.
Ken passed after an illness that was probably long but seemed short to all who knew him because he never complained. He expressed gratitude for his family, his friends, his neighbors and all who cared for him to the very end.
He is survived by his wife, Rosanne, his younger brother Ned Allen and his wife Suzie, his children, Terry, Jim and Cathy and their spouses, Steve, Michelle and Bill. He will be fondly and epically remembered by his grandchildren, Randy, Ben, Ryan, Elizabeth and Carol.
A lifelong member of his very own church of the great outdoors, Ken adamantly did not want a funeral. His remains will be placed at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio alongside his beloved parents.
You are welcome to send a condolence, plant a tree and share a story or picture about Ken here on his Online Book of Memories.