Gary Lee Allen was born November 11, 1938 and immediately adopted by William Nelson and Meda Chappell Allen. About three years later, they adopted Susan, his red-headed sister. The Allens were sociable people, involved in school and community. Gary grew up with music (Bill was a pianist) and in comfortable circumstances. He especially enjoyed choir, orchestra, and “The Merry Widow” in high school. He also played clarinet with a group in a weekly TV program of popular teen music. He interrupted class work at the University of Utah for a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Southern States. He served in areas from New Orleans to eastern Texas before returning to the U. During high school, Gary had learned photography, used his own darkroom and was drawn to employment by KSL-TV as a cameraman. Offered a job setting up a BYU radio program, he transferred there and graduated from Brigham Young University. He later obtained an MA from Westminster College. At a BYU-sponsored dance, he met Julia Penelope Moody. They married in the Manti, Utah Temple December 19, 1963.
Gary learned early computer programming thru Getty Oil Co. in Southern California when data was on punched cards and the room-sized IBM computers’ heat output could warm a large building. From an apartment in North Hollywood, Gary and Penny with son Eric Blair and daughter Rebecca Sue, needing more room, bought a house in Simi Valley where Lisa Diane soon arrived. After living there for six years, Gary then moved his family to Bountiful Utah, with Melinda Lee coming very soon after. Gary said of his four children, “We had all boys except three.” Just east of the Bountiful High School football field, the family lived for twenty-two years while Gary changed jobs several times, learning a series of developing computer languages. Before retirement, he consulted at Hill Air Force Base.
In Bountiful, Gary was a part-time photographer with a dark room and studio in the home. Lisa and her husband Mike Frame felt they couldn’t do better to raise their children than the Allen home, so the parents took the opportunity to move to Country Cottages town houses in Centerville. Gary and Penny went to China in 2004 and 05 with the BYU Kennedy Center China Teachers Program, teaching English to students at Qingdao University of Science and Technology. During school breaks they toured China. In 2011 the couple served an LDS mission for one year assisting in the Young Adult Institute program in Seattle, Washington, with a six-month extension in Burien, Washington proselytizing.
Gary’s talent for gentle humor, music, photography, and making friends endeared him to others. This talent was inspired by a keen intellect and amazing memory. He served in various callings in the LDS church, enjoyed camping with his family, taking posed pictures in a studio or outdoors, and, more recently, being entertained by his i-Phone. His “fifteen minutes of fame” probably came in high school when the band he was in was on TV. But in 83 years, Gary made people smile and laugh through clever but never mean humor. He would say, when introduced to a lady, “Happy to have you meet me!” Then he would take her proffered hand in his, bring it to his face, and kiss his own hand. That and hundreds more quips and come-backs made him welcome anywhere, as he brought a genial aura with him. He died November 19, 2021. PMA
His funeral services will begin at 2:00 p.m., Monday, November 29, 2021, at the Centerville South Stake Center, 270 North 300 East, Centerville, Utah where a viewing will be held from 12:45 to 1:45 pm. prior to services. He will be interred in the Centerville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.