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Obituary: John H. Allen

John H. Allen, known also as Jack, Dad, and Grandad, passed away June 30, 2021, surrounded by his three children. He lived 91 purposeful years.

Jack was born in 1930 to Mary Isabel and James of Perry and Maxwell, Iowa. He was the second eldest of five brothers. His father ran the licensing outfit/DMV for the State of Iowa and was the governor’s campaign manager as well as chairing the County Republican Party before working for the state. Jack remembers him as a good father, gone too soon.

His mother was a member of the Welch Club and the Business and Professional Women of Iowa before running for County Recorder, her first elected office. She would spend 16 years in county government. Jack was influenced by his parents’ community engagement and public service as he moved forward with his education and career.

In his youth, John served as a page at the Iowa Legislature. After high school, he studied at USMA West Point and graduated from the University of Notre Dame, ROTC, receiving a commission in the United States Air Force. He served three years in the Air Force and attended law school at the University of Iowa via the GI Bill. Jack spoke often of his gratitude for the educational opportunities he was afforded, which led to a legal career he greatly valued.

Jack’s first role after law school was with a small firm for a few years, before he joined the Office of the Attorney General of Iowa. Working for the State of Iowa meant a great deal to him and he often referred to it as the highlight of his career. While working in the Attorney General’s Office, he met Lois Jenks, working in the Secretary of State’s office. They got married and moved to Minnesota for a job opportunity with Pillsbury.

Together in Minneapolis, Jack and Lois raised Dena, Laura, and John as well as welcoming Pam and Harold into their family. They were members of Westminster Presbyterian Church (Jack remained a member and supporter after having moved out of state). Jack volunteered one afternoon a week with Meals on Wheels for many years. Jack’s job as senior counsel for Pillsbury took him all over the world. He told stories of trips to Jamaica, London, and Saudi Arabia.

When Jack retired, he moved to Dewey, Arizona, to be with his brothers and enjoy sun and golf. There he was grateful for his dear friend Lucia, his golfing buddies, and the Prescott Country Club. He continued to volunteer with Meals on Wheels for another 35 years.

Jack led a loyal, devoted, dedicated life. He took up running as a beginner and ended up completing several marathons, remembering fondly Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth. He was known to run around the chain of lakes in Minneapolis each morning before work, even in the winter. He was committed to his family and deeply proud of them. He enjoyed politics, a good round of golf, dogs (treats for whom he’d keep in his pockets), a cup of coffee in a fun mug, college football, crisp morning walks, chocolate chip cookies, and conversations with his family. He had a great dry wit and filled birthday cards with subtle jokes.

Remembering Jack are his three children, Dena (Todd), Laura (David), and John (Glenn); and three grandchildren, Luna (Mike), Miranda, and Olivia; as well as Lois, his partner and friend of many years; cousins; sisters in law; and extended family; as well as many friends. He gratefully reunites now with his parents and brothers. He is loved, appreciated, and remembered.

To honor Jack’s memory, donations can be made to your local Meals on Wheels organization.

Arrangements Entrusted to Hampton Funeral Home.

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