Reid Allen

Reid William Allen

Wednesday, June 13th, 1934 - Tuesday, February 16th, 2021
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Reid William Allen

Burlington - June 13, 1934 - February 16, 2021

Anyone who met Reid Allen of Burlington knew that alongside him, the Energizer Bunny looked lazy. It is no surprise that he bid farewell to this earth on the afternoon of February 16 in the driveway of his home at a vibrant 86 while shoveling snow. Reid went the way he would have wanted to, without doctors, drugs, hospitals, or pity. He died the same way he lived: on his terms.

Born June 13, 1934, Reid spent most of his life in Burlington. He graduated from Burlington High School around 1952, and proudly served in the US Air Force shortly after the Korean War, where he spent most of his service stationed in England. After his years in service, Reid graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in forestry.

In 1958, Reid married his bride of 53 years, Gladys "Betty" Anderson. They raised seven children and oversaw a clan of 22 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. Through all of their years together, they never lost their sparkle for each other.

Reid worked as a pharmaceutical rep for Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, first in the Albany, New York region, then Hanover, New Hampshire, and finally back in Burlington. Quite likely, at the time, he knew every medical practitioner in northern New England. He never lost his encyclopedic knowledge of medicine.

Reid needed little to no prompting to break into song or recitations of poetry. He sang lead in barbershop choruses for over 50 years, and the sweet quality of his voice and the remarkable acuity of his ear never waned. Even those who knew him best do not really know how many Robert Service poems or barbershop ballads he knew by heart.

Reid loved his social time with the Eagles Club, Elks Club, and any number of Veteran's organizations. He made friends in an instant and kept them for a lifetime. Nothing pleased him more than a game of cribbage or an occasional round of poker; fishing on Lake Champlain, especially along the shores of Grand Isle, where he and Betty maintained a camp for many years; camping and making new friends; or spending time with his children and grandchildren.

He always remained active with his church and his community. After his retirement, he stayed busy helping to install Lifeline emergency telephone systems and then delivering Meals on Wheels.

Reid is survived by six of his seven children and their spouses: Scott and Debbie Allen of Biddeford, Maine; Sandra and Maurice Holcomb of Gansevoort, New York; Suzanne and Carl Betz of North Lawrence, New York; Janice and Brad Jarvis of East Durham, New York; Glenn and Lynn Allen of Lake Luzerne, New York; and James and Jennifer Allen of Nazareth, Pennsylvania. His son David died in 1978. He is also survived by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as his friend and choir-mate Patricia Rouille who brightened his days following the death of his wife.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, February 22 at 11:00 AM at St Anthony Catholic Church. Due to Covid-19, masks and social distancing are required. Arrangements are under the care of LaVigne Funeral Home and Cremation Service.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Monday, February 22nd, 2021 | 11:00am
    Monday, February 22nd, 2021 11:00am
    St Anthony Catholic Church
    305 Flynn Ave
    Burlington, VT
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Lucie Hastings

Posted at 10:42am
My deepest sympathy. Reid was a goood friend to Charlie & I. He is now with his cribbage buddies from Champlain Adult Campground, all 5 of them. He certainly will be missed by many. God bless him
Lucie Hastings

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