Wednesday, August 25, 2010

OUTSTANDING WV WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST PASSES

The following obituary appeared in the Elkins Inter-mountain:

Thomas J. Allen, 69, passed away Monday, Aug. 9, 2010, in Hope Hospice of Cape Coral, Florida.

Tom was born at Boston, Massachusetts, on Nov. 21, 1940, to John T. and Anita (Lampro) Allen, now deceased, and grew up in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

He joined the Air Force in 1960, and served his tour of duty in Labrador. Upon discharge in 1964, he enrolled at the University of Maine, earning a bachelor's degree in entomology and a master's degree in wildlife management. For 32 years, he served as a wildlife research biologist for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in Elkins and became an expert in radio telemetry. Tom's lifelong passion for Lepidoptera led him to research, write and publish two popular field guides on butterflies. In 2003, he retired and relocated to Cape Coral, Florida, but remained active with many endeavors, including working with Florida Fish and Wildlife on the burrowing owl study, teaching at Edison College and writing a regular column for Birds & Blooms magazine. Tom was a nationally recognized wildlife artist, a gifted photographer, an avid native plant gardener and beekeeper, and a fossil hunter and collector. He was a dedicated conservationist who loved to share his knowledge, speaking to diverse groups in many venues.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, Sandy; three daughters, Rebecca J. Allen of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Elizabeth J. (Glynn) Capell of Bluffton, South Carolina, and Jennifer L. (Kenneth) Collins of Pendleton, South Carolina.; a son, Thomas J. (Ellamae) Allen of Seattle, Washington; a stepdaughter, Erin E. Guyer of Atlanta, Georgia; 10 grandchildren; two brothers, twin James E. (Ann) of N. Attleboro, Massachusetts, and Steve of Carmel, Maine; a sister, Nancy L. of West Bend, Wisconsin; and a nephew and several nieces.

A memorial service was conducted earlier this month in the chapel of Coral Ridge Funeral Home, 1630 S.W. Pine Island Road, Cape Coral, Florida. Interment was scheduled to be held in Pinelawn Memorial Park, Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Contributions in Tom's memory may be made to Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, P.O. Box 152761, Cape Coral, Florida 33915 or to Hope Hospice of Cape Coral.

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