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Richard "Dick" Bert Allen

June 8, 1929 ~ August 15, 2017 (age 88)

The Piano Brothers
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Richard B. (Dick) Allen 6/8/1929 - 8/15/2017 Dick was born in Seattle to Juanita (Reynolds) Allen and Henry Allen on June 8, 1929. When his parents and a partner purchased the Ferry Tavern (now the Tides Tavern) and neighboring herring bait business, Dick, his parents, and his older brother Robert (Bob) moved to Gig Harbor. Dick was in the last graduating class at Gig Harbor Union High (1947) and attended Seattle U and UPS. One of his first Gig Harbor friends was his future wife, Elsie Ostoyich. They met when Elsie's parents invited the Allen family to their home for dinner as a welcome gesture to the new family in town. They married on January 8, 1949, a union of over 68 years. Dick was a commercial fisherman from his teens through age 35, both in the San Juan Islands and Alaska. For the next 30 years he was a commercial electrician, taking time in the fall seasons to fish his first gillnetter, the Tioga. During the 1950s his friend and fellow commercial fisherman, Nick Markovich, created the Gig Harbor Fisherman's Civic Club, which exists to this day. The local fishermen formed the group to do great things for each other and for the Gig Harbor community. The membership built their building on Burnham Drive, where many club gatherings took place. Dick and Elsie handled the rental of the clubhouse for the first 13 years as volunteers for the club. The Club introduced the tradition of the blessing of the fishing fleet in 1971 as the culmination of the original Harbor Holidays weekend, before the boats headed out to sea. In the early 70's Dick became interested in enriching the local salmon population. With Ralph Shulich and Walt Johnson, the three arranged to get salmon eggs from Minter Creek Hatchery. These men designed and built the original Donkey Creek fish boxes and re-established the Chum Salmon run on Donkey Creek. For many years these men worked the fish boxes at any sign of heavy rain or storm, staying up all night if needed, making sure none of the eggs were smothered by the silt flowing into the boxes Their greatest expectation came to fruition when the first salmon returned to spawn two years after being released, successfully re-establishing the run! Dick couldn't wait to take Kate, his first grandchild, to the creek to see the fish. Later, Tom Lovrovich, under Dick's direction, took the helm of the project for the next generation. At 55 Dick had the opportunity to partner with his friend David Skrivanich on a joint fishing venture in Bristol Bay. Later, they built a new gillnetter, the Alavia, which they fished for many years together in Alaska. Not believing he'd done enough for the community and the town he loved, he went on to serve 13 years on the Gig Harbor Planning Commission. He worked with the Harbor History Museum to make sure his wife's family story was accurately told, and contributed further information in sessions with Jake Bujacich and the museum staff. Dick died peacefully on the morning of August 15, having lived a life devoted to his family, his friends, and the Gig Harbor community. He is survived by his wife Elsie, his daughters Kristine Allen and Carolyn Berg, and his grandchildren Kate Frisbie, Molly (Eric) Amendt, Rodney Dupille, and Mallory (Otis) Gaines, as well as his great-grandchildren Addisyn Sleeper, Olivia and Owen Amendt, Loren Dupille, and Luka Ross Gaines. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Gig Harbor, Wednesday, August 30, 11:00a.m. Reception to follow in church hall. Private family graveside interment. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the National Parkinson Foundation, or a charity of your choice. The family is grateful for the exceptional love and care from his nurse and caregiver Rose Watson McDaneld.


 Service Information

Funeral Mass
Wednesday
August 30, 2017

11:00 AM
St Nicholas Catholic Church
3510 Rosedale St NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335


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