Harvey Dean Allen Dies; Former Resident was 63

Harvey Dean Allen 

Harvey Dean Allen passed away in the early morning hours of November 17, 2023, in Fairbanks, surrounded by his family. He was 63.

Harvey was born June 30, 1960, in Fairbanks to James “Buck” and Marie Allen. Buck worked in road construction and his family spent their early years following the construction jobs. They lived in Fairbanks, Nenana, Manley, Skagway, Tok, to name a few. Buck was also a partner in Allen Marine in Sitka, which eventually landed the family there during Harvey’s junior high school years.

Harvey, alongside his brother, Jim, worked with their father and learned to retrieve logs that had broken away from rafts during storms. This trade got Harvey into working with logging crews and heavy equipment, becoming a well-known operator and a proud member of the IUOE 302.

In the mid-1980’s Harvey took his young family and lived in logging camps at Freshwater Bay and False Island, building roads, until moving back to Sitka. He worked throughout Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam. He worked for Earthmovers in Fairbanks; in Anchorage, he demolished the old Dimond High School. He worked for Neeson Performance Industries and built the wood conveyor out at Point Mackenzie, and worked in logging camps out of Talkeetna.

Harvey was very proud of all he had accomplished. He could run any piece of equipment you put him in and do it well. He would always say, “it’s just dirt!”

Eventually, Harvey worked with Brice LLC which took him back to Nenana, building the road across the Nenana River. 

In Harvey’s later years, you could find him in his backyard tinkering on projects, or in the woods gathering diamond willow, which he used to make amazing lamps and other handcrafted items.

Harvey loved gathering what he claimed were “treasures” and fixing them up. He also loved being outside, gathering wood for the winter before the first snowfall. 

Years ago, Harvey’s rheumatoid arthritis (RA) eventually caused one of his elbows to break. The doctors tried but could only put his arm in a sling and send him home.  Although Harvey struggled with his wood crafts, this did not slow him down. Instead, he “fixed” his sling in order to attach his chainsaw. Once the RA had taken 90% of the use of his arms that didn’t stop him either. Instead, he assembled a boom on his old truck. Without missing a beat Harvey was right back out there with a smile on his face. 

Harvey recently got himself a riding lawnmower so he could continue to help cut grass around the village of Nenana. You could find him mowing the Nenana ball field, playground, St. Marks Church, the café downtown and several community member’s yards. No one had to ask him, and often he would sneak around town to do it. 

Harvey was a very caring and giving man. Would give anyone the shirt off of his back, if needed, and often did. His can-do attitude, humor and generous nature will be missed greatly by his friends and family. 

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Chester “Red” and Betty Allen, and William and Rose Burk; his parents, James “Buck” and Marie “Mae Mae”Allen; sister Renee Allen; and son, Ryan Allen.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie (White) Allen, of Nenana; siblings Theresa (and Chuck) Olson of Sitka, Janet Allen of Nenana, James “Jim” Allen of Fairbanks and Karen (and Kevin) Johnson of Sitka; and children Jessica White, Kyle (and Anesha) Krause of Palmer, Brehanna (and Charlie) Johnson of Ketchikan, and Kevin Allen of Juneau.

He also is survived by grandchildren Antoine Alstrom, Chelsea Johnson, Owen Allen, Carley Allen, Devin Krause, Tanner Krause, Adryanna Morris, and Aburi Simmon; and a multitude of aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

A private family service is scheduled for the summer of 2024.

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20 YEARS AGO

July 2004
Photo caption: Junior League All Stars will compete in a tournament in Wrangell. From left are Bryn Calhoun, Chris Scott, Sean O’Neill, Ross Venneberg, Caleb McGraw, Richard Carlos, Jacob Houston, Coby McCarty, Bryan Lovett and Daniel Erickson.

50 YEARS AGO

July 1974

Photo caption: Volunteers leave the Yaw Building Library with loads of books being transferred to the new Orin and Betty Stratton Library on the Sheldon Jackson campus. SJC librarian Evelyn Bonner expressed appreciation to the community for the help.

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