David Oren Allen, retired editor and publisher of the Lamoni Chronicle for 38 years, passed away on July 24, 2011 at the Clearview Home in Mount Ayr, Iowa from Parkinson’s disease at the age of 73 years. He was born October 7, 1937 to Oren Isaac and Opal Irene (Smith) Allen in Leon, Iowa.
Dave graduated from Lamoni high school in May 1955. In November he joined the United States Navy. He was stationed at Barber’s Point Naval Air Base on Oahu, Hawaii, serving as a radar technician specialist. He developed a strong fondness for the Islands that prevailed for the rest of his life. After his honorable military discharge in 1959, Dave briefly worked at the United States Steel Company in California before returning to Lamoni to enroll at Graceland College in 1960. He was a member of Phileon, a men’s social club, and very much involved in every drama production as a cast member. He also initiated the first Military Club at Graceland.
On March 24, 1962, Dave married his Graceland classmate, Jacquelyne Iwalani Ching, who was from Honolulu, Hawaii, in Lamoni. After graduation for his associate degree, Dave and Jackie moved to Omaha, Nebraska where Dave was employed at Northern Natural Gas Company, later known as Enron, as a gas supply analyst. They soon became very involved in church activities with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Dave was baptized and was called to the position of priest and then elder before serving as pastor of the South Omaha Branch.
In the fall of 1968, Dave, Jackie and their son, John Justus Allen, who was born in 1967, returned to Lamoni so Dave could go back to Graceland and get his bachelor’s degree. Dave started working at the Lamoni Chronicle, became editor and then bought the business in 1969. He was a partner in Printcraft, the printing company used by many surrounding newspapers. He dedicated his life to the business until his retirement in 2007.
Dave was a member of many Lamoni organizations, the city council, development board, chamber of commerce, community betterment committee, planning and zoning commission and the high school alumni board of directors. He was also a member of the Iowa Press Association, Governor’s Task Force for Crime Prevention, Supreme Court Media Coordinator for Southern Iowa District, Southern Iowa Regional Housing Authority, and the Decatur County Public Safety Commission Board. Over the years Dave was honored by being awarded Iowa Ambassador of the Year, Lamoni’s Chamber of Distinguished Service Award, the first recipient of Lamoni’s Citizen of Year, the Governor’s Good Neighbor Award and was named Master Editor ‘ Publisher by the Iowa Newspaper Association in January 2005. Dave developed the newspaper project, K-6 News, along with Kay Bunch, for the TAG (talented and gifted) students to have a one-page feature in the Chronicle in 1982.
Dave enjoyed spending time with his family, watching sports, doing photography, traveling and listening to music. He will be remembered for his big smile and saying, ‘Be of good cheer.’
Preceding him in death were his parents; brother-in-law, Richard Haake, Sr.; aunts and uncles, and some cousins.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Jackie Allen of Lamoni, Iowa; son, John Allen of Davis City, Iowa; infant granddaughter, Shealynn of Leon, Iowa; brother, Justus (Alethea) Allen of Las Vegas, Nevada; sisters, Victory (Zeke) Smith of Lamoni, Iowa and Linda (Charles) Smith of Ankeny, Iowa; sister-in-law, Gladys Haake of Maui, Hawaii; brother-in-law, John Ching, Jr. of Maui, Hawaii; uncle, Willis (Bernetta) Smith of Bethany, Missouri; nephews, Richard (Fay) Haake, Jr. of Maui, Hawaii and Brian Jarvinen of Elkhorn, Nebraska; nieces, Deborah (Robert) Fisher of Montrose, Colorado, Diana Friend of Kansas City, Missouri, Susan (Christopher) Hymon of Las Vegas, Nevada, Yvette (Kevin) Wetherhal of Independence, Missouri, Tina Johnson of Des Moines, Iowa, Kimberly (Sean) Walton of United Kingdom, England, Catherine Smith of Saint Cloud, Minnesota and Sayuri Ching of Honolulu, Hawaii; many cousins; other relatives, and dear friends.
Memorial services will be held at the Lamoni Community of Christ Church at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 24, 2011, with Howard Booth, Les Gardner and Charles White officiating. Burial will be at later dates in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Lamoni, Iowa and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. Arrangements were through the Slade ‘ O’Donnell Funeral Home of Leon and Lamoni, Iowa. A memorial fund has been established by the family.