SUPERIOR — David J. Allen, 70, of Superior, passed away at his home on the river Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. He was born Sept. 6, 1948, in Rochester/Webster, New York.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert H. and Margaret Allen, and brother, Robert K. Allen. He is survived by his wife, Jan; son Alex (Dayna) Allen and their daughters, Trinci and Allurah, of Bozeman; daughter Emily Allen of Whitefish; brother Bill Allen of Lyons, New York; sister Mary Beth Allen of Webster, New York; and sister-in-law Evalyn Allen of Webster, New York.
As a young boy, David enjoyed playing and exploring the woods near Irondequoit Bay with his brothers. This early love of nature was the foundation that stayed with him his entire life and lead him to a lifelong love for adventures in the outdoors.
In 1967, he graduated from RL Thomas High School, where he was a member of the varsity track, swimming and diving teams. He excelled in diving, becoming an All-American Springboard Diver in New York state. After graduation, he fulfilled his dream to move west by attending college in Bozeman, were he earned a varsity letter in diving from Montana State University. At the University of Montana (UM) Dave was a two time varsity letterman on the Griz Swim team, a two time Big Sky individual champion for one and three meter diving; breaking Big Sky records. Dave graduated from UM with a bachelor of science in health enhancement.
On Sept. 3, 1976, he married Janet M. Brockway. The couple moved to Kalispell, where Dave was a swim coach; leading his team to win a number of state championships. He continued his love for coaching with swimmers at UM, high school and community teams in Bozeman and Cody, Wyoming. In 1989, he started his teaching career at Billings public schools. Dave felt very fortunate to be an educator for all age groups from kindergarten through college levels. He was well known for inspiring and motivating his students, as well as for his creativity. Once for class, he taught his elementary students to build igloos on the playground!
Dave had a great love for fly fishing and guiding on rivers and streams in the west. Fly tying became a passion, and he created many flies while dreaming of catching “the big trout.” Some of the best memories were made with family and friends while floating his favorite rivers and telling tall tales around the campfires.
In 1990, Dave was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and in 1994, he underwent a bone marrow transplant. During recovery, he couldn’t tie flies or fish, so he became a watercolor artist of fly-fishing bugs and streamers. He sent many of his “buggin’ ya” cards to family and friends. He showed perseverance and tenacity when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2017.
Dave will forever remind us of his heart; full of strength, optimism, and love.
Life is good in Montana.
A celebration of Dave’s life will take place in summer 2019.