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ALLAN, John W. 1926-2017


Posted By: K. L. Kittleson
Date: 4/14/2017 at 21:37:17

John W. Allan

September 26, 1926 - March 16, 2017

Obituary for John W. Allan

John William Allan was born at home in rural Butler County Iowa to Flora Frerichs Allan and Emmett Allan on September 26, 1926. He grew up on the farm riding horses, raising pigeons and helping his dad with their Chester White hogs. As young as 11 years old, John would travel to the Iowa State Fair with his dad and their prize hogs. While Emmett went home for the week to tend the farm, John stayed with their hogs in the swine barn.

He attended country school and high school in Allison and Shell Rock graduating in 1944. In January 1945 he entered the Navy and was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Base. He was honorably discharged on September 11, 1945. That fall he started college at Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls and graduated with a business teaching degree in 1949.

John met Marie Fratzke while attending college and they married on March 6, 1947 in Readlyn Iowa at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church where Marie's grandfather Ludvig Lobeck had been founding pastor in 1878.

After John graduated from college, John and Marie moved to Stanley, Iowa where Marie taught vocal music to grades K-12 and John taught high school business classes. The next year they moved to Northwood, Iowa where John worked three years as a field man for Farm Bureau Insurance. During that time their daughters were born, Mary and Annette. When the girls were toddlers the family moved to Allison to the farm of John's uncle J. Francis Allan, where John farmed the land. Next, the family moved briefly in to town in Allison where Marie taught vocal music in grades 8-12. Then John bought and moved the family to the farm belonging to his parents on the south edge of Allison.

On the farm John raised and sold purebred Duroc hogs and purebred dachshunds. He also raised fighting game chickens, fancy fantail pigeons and Pennsylvania tumbling pigeons. At the same time, John and his dad Emmett were raising, training and racing harness horses all around Iowa, into Illinois, and Canada. Their horse, Allan's Ali, was named horse of the year in Iowa in 1974, winning most every race he entered and breaking long standing speed records.

Aside from all these activities, John continued selling insurance, worked in the Allison Post Office, and drove some rural routes. He also became school board secretary for the Allison public school.

During summers as their daughters grew up, John and Marie took a trip each year, loading the family in their trailer and traveling to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and even in Canada.

In 1966, John started a new job in Waterloo. He was the second person to be hired as Hawkeye Institute of Technology began its development. John was hired as its first business manager and was also secretary treasurer of their board. As part of John's duties at Hawkeye, he was very involved in land acquisition at what is now Hawkeye Community College's current campus site.

The family moved to Cedar Falls in January of 1967 where Marie began teaching vocal music, later obtaining her Master's degree and becoming Cedar Falls Public Library children's librarian.

John retired in 1990 from Hawkeye Tech as their vice president of fiscal affairs and board secretary. John was recognized as a 50 year member of Masons - Vulcan Lodge #498 A.F & A.M., and a member of Nazareth Evangelical Lutheran Church.

During the time John was working at Hawkeye Tech, he and Marie were buying farmland in Butler County. They worked together keeping daily tabs on crop prices and selling their corn and beans.

They hired two farmers in Butler County to farm the land while John managed the business part of farming. Later, one of the farmers, Larry Backer, took over farming all of John and Marie's land. Larry, his wife Juanita, and their sons continue farming the Allan farmland. Up until a year ago, John was still managing his farms and Marie helped keep tabs on crop prices.

In the winters following their retirements, John and Marie traveled in their RV to Texas spending several months there every year. John also began raising homing pigeons. He built a loft in his garage and raised young birds, taking them out to release, and going further and further away from home. John would then drive home and watch for their return making note of the pigeons travel times.

John loved having his daughters, 6 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren visit whenever possible.
Memorial Services will be held 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 24, 2017 at Richardson Funeral Service, Cedar Falls, with visitation from 4:15 p.m. until service time.

Source: Richardson Funeral Home


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