Obituary: Richard “Dick” S. Allen, 77

November 27, 1943 ~ March 5, 2021

Richard “Dick” Allen of Reading, MA (77 years old), Husband of Janet (Simmons) Allen. Father of Matthew Allen and his wife Laura Allen of Bedford MA, and Christopher Allen of Stoneham, MA. Son of the late Edward J. and Blanche (Moriarty) Allen. Brother of David E. Allen and his wife Ruthanne (Gould) Allen of Barnstable, MA; the late Edward G. “Ted” Allen and his wife Janet (Golden) Allen of Canton, MA; and the late Barbara Malatras of New Jersey. “Papa” to Ryan, Reese, and Jack Allen. Brother-in-Law of William “Bill” Simmons of Louisville, CO. Uncle of Sarah (Allen) Fredericks and her husband Steve Fredericks of Madison, WI; and Melissa Allen and her wife Jorgina Oliveira of South Dennis, MA; Abby (Allen) Kelliher and her husband Kevin of Quincy, MA; Beth Allen and her husband Paul D’Entremont of Marlborough, MA; and Katie (Allen) Thiboutot and her husband John Thiboutot of Canton, MA; Ted Allen and his wife Meghan of Melrose, MA  and Scott Emerson of NH.

Dick was born in Lynn, MA, and grew up in Saugus, MA. He graduated from Saugus High School in the Class of 1962 and he was the quarterback for the Saugus High School football team. He and his twin brother Teddy were always together and worked on cars as much as they could.

Dick and Teddy joined the Massachusetts Army National Guard after high school. As Dick was happy to tell, he became an Army Scout (who developed skills that enabled him to “never” become lost for the rest of his life). Over time, he rose in rank and ultimately he became a tank commander. He enjoyed his time in the National Guard and from the experience, had stories to tell for a lifetime.

After leaving the National Guard, Dick joined the Apprentice Program at the Boston Naval Shipyard in Charlestown, MA. He worked and studied hard there and learned skills that would serve him for years to come. He got to work on and repair, almost all of the equipment in the shipyard and even got to work on the aircraft carriers USS Hornet and USS Wasp when they were at the shipyard.

Dick also began an apprenticeship to become a licensed electrician and after several years, he achieved his goal. He would put his electrical knowledge to good use in his future years of working in manufacturing facilities.

Dick worked for many years at APV Gaulin Company in Everett, MA and loved to bring Chris and Matthew there and show them all of the parts of the factory, and the machines that he kept running.

Later, Dick worked at the A.W. Chesterton Company in Groveland, MA and he became the facility maintenance supervisor. He and his crew took care of everything electrical and mechanical in the three buildings of the facility. Dick was incredibly proud of his maintenance department and took great pride in keeping the facility running smoothly. For most of his working life he would come home after work and would tell stories about malfunctioning machines at work and how he was able to solve the most intractable problems, something like a detective. He liked the challenges.

In 1975, Dick and Janet and the family moved to Reading, MA, where they bought a home and began a new chapter of life. Both of the boys settled on playing hockey and there were many times when dad (and mom) would bring the boys to cold ice rinks early in the morning for practice and games. Later, he also helped coach hockey for the boy’s teams and he loved to teach all of the kids how to play and how to have a good positive attitude.

He and Janet would also take the boys everywhere within driving distance. He would take them to Boston to walk around and explore, to Logan Airport to the observation floor in the tower (now closed) to watch planes and to Marblehead to climb on the rocks. He was always looking for some small adventure.

Dick also had a love for boats. He bought his first little sailboat (with a huge hole in it) and he repaired it himself such that it was perfect when he was done. He then bought a bigger O’Day Daysailer sailboat and then in time bought the 1957 wooden Barbour motorboat (with original motor), that had so much rot that it would barely float. When he was done with it after a year of repairs, it was a perfect, beautiful, solid boat that he was very proud to motor in with his family. Then, later in life, he fixed up one more broken-down motorboat for Chris and Reese, and Ryan to use. It was important to him that the boat was as perfect as possible for his grandkids.

Perhaps no memories were happier than the days that the Allen family spent on vacation in a cottage on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Staying at the cottage was wonderful and Dick and the boys loved to explore the lake in the wooden motorboat.

Surprisingly late in life, Dick took up skiing and would enjoy skiing with the whole family. He started going on ski trips with the White Mountain Express ski bus group, and would always be an energetic dancer at the après ski parties.

He also loved to golf and Dick was a member of the Meadowbrook Golf Club in Reading, and enjoyed playing Wednesday morning golf with the “Golden Boys” group.

He and Janet also took up ballroom dancing and enjoyed dancing at various venues and events.

A trip to Italy with a group of good friends was a great highlight of Dick’s life, and he would talk and tell stories about the trip enthusiastically for the rest of his life.

After his grandsons were born (Ryan, Reese and Jack), “Papa” would do anything for them, including building them whatever they wanted (including a train table and a tow truck). When Reese was in Children’s Hospital for almost a year, starting when he was two years old, Papa was tireless (and tireless is the only word that describes it), in being at the hospital with Reese and taking care of Reese’s brother Ryan. It is because of this love and devotion that the boys are doing very well now.

And for many years, Dick was always happy to be greeted at the door after work by his ecstatic dog Sammy.

Dick Allen was always trying to improve himself. He took tremendous pride in this work, and he was always thinking about how he could help his family and others. He loved people and he loved his family. He was not a particularly big man, but he left the world a better place because of his particularly big heart.

In lieu of flowers, the family would request that donations be made to the Jimmy Fund, which helped Dick’s grandson. Jimmy Fund Clinic, 450 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215, Attn: Lisa Scherber

The current COVID-19 pandemic prohibits large indoor gatherings and this leaves his family to celebrate his life privately. However, all are welcome to attend a graveside service at Wood End Cemetery, Frankin Street., Reading on Wednesday. March 10th at noon for prayer and remembrance. Social distancing and Covid protocol must be observed.

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