Peter Wilcox Allen, 92, of Southbury, formerly of Newtown, died peacefully September 3, at home surrounded by loving family. He was born January 22, 1926, in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and was known as a lifelong learner and a man of kindness, intellect, and enduring curiosity.
Mr Allen enlisted in the Navy at age 18 during World War II and entered officer training at Dartmouth College. He completed a BS, and additional graduate work, in engineering at Case Western Reserve, and he later earned a MBA from Harvard Business School. He held multiple patents and continued working well into his eighties, including as a fuel cell engineer at his son Jeffrey’s company, GenCell Corp in Southbury.
At the close of World War II, Mr Allen’s spirit of adventure led him to embark on a multi-year voyage with three of his closest friends aboard a 52-foot sailboat that they acquired and outfitted in Essex, Conn. They sailed throughout the Caribbean and along the Pacific Coast before selling their boat in Acapulco. He began his professional career in Warren, Ohio, where in 1954 he married Frances “Fran” Gallagher, whom he met at a community theater group.
During the course of their 64 years of marriage, they raised six children and were very active in community life. Mr Allen especially enjoyed competing in sailing races at the Quannapowitt Yacht Club in Wakefield, Mass., with his children as crew. In 1992, they moved from Newtown to Heritage Village in Southbury, where Mr Allen was a set designer for the Theatre Guild, past president of the Winship Barn Woodworking Shop, avid duplicate bridge player, active member of the computer club, and participant in a monthly science discussion group.
In addition to his wife, his children and their spouses, James and Madeleine Allen of Newtown; Cathy and Philip Abbot of Lexington, Mass.; Nancy Allen and Charles Crowley of Petersham, Mass.; and Melanie Allen and George Lupul of Woodbury; and daughter-in-law, Joan Allen of Southbury, survive him. He is remembered with love by his grandchildren, Chaeli Allen, Sasha Allen, Daniel Allen, Tiffani Russell, Ted Abbot, Megan Abbot, and Carolyn Abbot; four great-grandchildren; his brother, Don Allen of Pittsfield Mass.; as well as numerous in-laws, nephews, and nieces who also survive him.
His sons, Michael and Jeffrey, predeceased him.
The Allen family is thankful for the care Mr Allen received from the dedicated staffs of BrightStar Care and Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut — especially Ben, Nana, Christina, and Claudia — and are deeply grateful to neighbors and friends for their unflagging support. Mr Allen’s decision to participate in the Anatomical Donations Program at Yale School of Medicine upon his death manifests his generosity of spirit and deep appreciation of science and learning.
A private memorial gathering will take place at a future date.
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