Way out west, there was this fella by the name of Jon Allan. He’s left us now—he’s takin ‘er easy for all of us sinners. The Dude abides.
He was born Oct. 7, 1952 in Spokane, Washington to Maxine and Eugene Allan, joining big brother Jim. They settled in the Palouse during his early years. There were strikes and gutters, ups and downs, but he eventually made his way to Spokane and East Valley High School. There, he fell in love with a cheerleader, made homecoming king and earned a scholarship to play football at Whitworth University. Instead, he followed that cheerleader to Eastern Washington State College. He loved her so much he married her.
They built a house in Greenacres, Washington and raised two great kids on those dirt roads. He taught them how to shoot guns and cast rods, he taught them how to show up for life.
He earned his bachelor’s of education as an Eastern Savage and master’s of science as an Eastern Eagle. He was the walrus.
Kids made sense to him. He taught and coached for 31 years in Central Valley School District, the majority of them at University High School, where he was head of the Science department and coached football and wrestling.
Maybe you’re one of the thousands he helped when you were a kid; or maybe you were one of the adults he helped when you were struggling. He was probably quick to remind you to take it easy. You can’t be worrying about that stuff, buddy.
Maybe you saw him cruise by on his Harley on his way to Sturgis. Maybe you saw him on a river or in a boat, with sunshine glinting off his sunglasses, praying aloud to the fish gods. Maybe he gave you some good advice at Silver Bow Flyshop, where he was lucky to have a second career after retiring from teaching.
Maybe you saw him at the grocery store, donating to the food bank, or giving loads to Toys for Tots.
Maybe you saw him strolling around town with that high school sweetheart, a smile on both their lips, knowing the secret to 50 good years together.
He was the man for his time and place. He fit right in there. He was our Dude. He was our big teddy bear of a husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, brother and brother-in-law. Oh, and friends, he considered you family too.
He died before his time, his big heart finally gave out. But, like the Stranger says in The Big Lebowski, sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, the bear eats you. Life goes on, man.
In addition to being survived by his wife, Rosalee Allan, he is survived by son, Ryan (Gina) Allan, and daughter, Kim (Mark) Papich; eight grandchildren, Treavor (Mariha), Garrett, Kassidy, Andrew, Evelyn, Avery, Aidan, and Cameron; one great-grandchild, Heath; brother, Jim Allan; half-sister, Michelle Allan; stepbrothers Gary (Sue) Pence and Ron (Marilyn) Pence; and many other step siblings and family too numerous to mention. The family especially wishes to recognize Jon’s foster parents, Betty and Brian O’Donnell, for giving him the chance he deserved at having a good life.
He was preceded in death by his father, Eugene Allan; and mother, Maxine Pence-Riley, and stepfather, Bill Pence.
Jon was the owner and CEO of Cabana Boy Services. He was past president for the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club, where he was honored as Fly Fisherman of the Year in 2011. He was also a proud member of the EWU Alumni Association.
A memorial will be held Saturday, June 16 at 4:00 p.m. at The Highlands Golf Course, follow the signs to Club House. Memorial donations may be made to Toys for Tots.