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The Times
  • William Van Allen remembered as quiet, gentle man

  • William Van Allen, who died unexpectedly while vacationing with his family in Saranac Lake on July 30, is remembered as a quiet and gentle man loved by all his family and friends.

    Born and raised in Little Falls, Van Allen attended St. Mary’s Academy and was a graduate of the class of 1960. He furthered his education at Oklahoma University, Utica College and Ithaca College.

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  • William Van Allen, who died unexpectedly while vacationing with his family in Saranac Lake on July 30, is remembered as a quiet and gentle man loved by all his family and friends.
    Born and raised in Little Falls, Van Allen attended St. Mary’s Academy and was a graduate of the class of 1960. He furthered his education at Oklahoma University, Utica College and Ithaca College.
    In 1963, Van Allen assisted his mother, Catherine, at the original Van Allen Nursing Home on Jackson Street in Little Falls. As the business began to grow the family purchased St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in 1965. They later decided to sell St. Joseph’s and re-open Van Allen Nursing Home.
    Van Allen became the administrator, owner and operator of the home on East Monroe Street and was assisted by his mother and wife, Theresa, in the operation of the facility.
    Van Allen took an interest in several outdoor hobbies during his lifetime, including biking, fly fishing, skiing, camping, canoeing, hunting, sailing and golfing.
    “When my dad became interested in a hobby he did it all the way,” said Van Allen’s daughter, Lisa Corbett, on Wednesday night.
    “My husband became so involved in his hobbies and in 1971. We purchased and ran the Pine Ridge ski area in Salisbury for several years,” said Theresa Van Allen, adding her husband took in interest in making his own maple syrup and taped for syrup on the Pine Ridge property.
    While taking up an interest in biking, Van Allen rode across Iowa on two separate occasions.
    He also visited Ireland, the country of his roots, twice with his wife.
    “He became very involved in genealogy, and when he went to Ireland it helped him better understand his history by researching his family roots,” said Theresa Van Allen on Wednesday night.
    He belonged to the Otsego Sailing Club and competed in several races in Cooperstown. He was also a member of Holy Family Parish, past president and recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award of the Little Falls Rotary Club, a member of the Little Falls Elks Lodge and the Camp Outlet “Red Camp.”
    Theresa Van Allen described her husband as a man with dry humor, who loved his birthday, who did not enjoy the spotlight, who loved his Eatonville neighborhood, who was always there to help and as a man who was dedicated to his employers, family and friends.
    Van Allen had three daughters — Christine Bruins, Lisa Corbett and Catherine Willman.
    “My father was a very generous man not only to his family, but to everyone who surrounded him. He took care of several hundred elderly residents and employed several hundred people,” said Corbett. “I think that’s why so many of his family members, including me and my sisters, went into some form of health care. We saw how important it was because of him.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Visitation services for William Van Allen will take place on Aug. 3 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Enea Family Funeral Home, 24 W. Monroe St., Little Falls. Friends and relatives are invited to attend the funeral service on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 8:45 a.m. at the funeral home, and at 9:30 a.m. at Holy Family Parish on the corner of John and East Main streets, Little Falls. Procession will then follow to St. Mary’s Cemetery, town of Herkimer, where he will be laid to rest.

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