Prominent Businessman, Former DOH Commissioner and Author David Allen Dies at 68

By Connect Clarksburg Staff | October 01, 2017

David Garrett Allen, a resident of Clarksburg, WV, passed away on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at his residence. 

 

He was born in Clarksburg on November 13, 1949, a son of the late James F. and Sara Crile Allen, the founders of the J.F. Allen Company.

 

He is survived by his brother, John C. Allen of Coalton, WV; and three nephews, James. F. Allen, IV of Clarksburg, Michael S. Allen of Bozeman, MT, and John C. Allen, Jr. of Shepherdstown, WV. 

 

He was also preceded in death by his brother, James F. Allen, Jr.; and his niece Anne, E. Hylton.

 

Mr. Allen graduated from Washington Irving High School in 1967 and received his BA in Economics and ROTC commission from the Virginia Military Institute in 1971. 1LT Allen served as a tank and scout platoon leader, and also as S-2 officer in the 1st Bn/66th Armor, 2d Armored Division, Fort Hood, TX. He furthered his academic interests while studying Jurisprudence and Philosophy at Oxford University and Accounting at WVU.

 

Mr. Allen’s business career included a twelve-year stint as Vice Pres. of J. F. Allen Company, where he started the firm’s asphalt paving and aggregates operation near Elkins, WV. When he left the firm in 1985, the company was the state’s leading producer of crushed limestone aggregates and was the prime contractor for the Stonewall Jackson Dam. During the same period, Mr. Allen served as President of Alcon, Inc. which became the leading producer of concrete and concrete block in north central WV. He served as president of the Flexible Pavements Council and on various committees of the Contractors Association of WV.

 

Appointed Assistant Commissioner, WV Department of Highways in 1985, Mr. Allen oversaw repair and reconstruction of flood-damaged roads and bridges. He developed a modern equipment lease-purchase program wherein the Department was able to take advantage of innovative low-cost financing for its equipment replacement plan. He also brought to fruition the state’s first issue of Special Obligation Highway Notes, a technique that advanced the completion of I-64 by three years and also allowed for early completion of many other highway projects.

 

After an automobile accident left him paralyzed in 1994, Mr. Allen’s focus shifted to treatment of such injuries. He co-wrote and produced the video, Therapy and Beyond: Aquatic Therapy for Spinal Cord Injuries, for the School of Medicine at WVU. In establishing his Endowment for Treatment of Paralysis, he hoped to better the life of all paralyzed people in north central WV, if only in some small way.

 

Upon joining the Advisory Committee of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, he proposed that students at the WVU Journalism School interview cancer patients. The project, “Cancer Stories: Lessons in Love, Loss and Hope”, premiered in 2003 as an hour-long documentary on WV public television. The documentary won the Midwestern Regional Emmy Award for Information Programming. The companion book, published in 2005 by the WVU Press, closes with “Listening for Cancer Stories”, the chapter written by Mr. Allen.

 

Mr. Allen, a lacrosse player while at VMI, believed that athletic competition was an integral part of education. He served on the Board of Governors of organizations that raise funds for athletic scholarships. He donated the first racing shell for the WVU Women’s Crew team when that sport achieved varsity status in 2000.

 

Mr. Allen had operated a cattle farm and served as a director of the Lowndes Bank, CB&T Financial Corp., and Heritage Bank of Harrison County. He was a past president of the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association and edited their newspaper for several years.

 

He was a frequent contributor to the West Virginia State Journal, writing about politics and economics.

 

In keeping with his wishes, Mr. Allen was cremated.

 

A graveside service will be held at the Bridgeport Cemetery on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 a 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Zach Drunnan presiding.

 

Instead of flowers, friends might wish to contribute to their favorite charity in memory of David.

 

Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family at www.amoscarvelli.com. A service of Amos Carvelli Funeral Home.

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