Roger Donald Allen was the 6th of 11 children born to Dixie Jensen and Calvin R. Allen on the 31st of May, 1958 in Murray, UT.
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Roger grew up in Draper, UT and attended local schools. As a boy, he was the most patient and easy-going brother. His mother described him as the Peacemaker of their home. He learned the value of hard work at a very young age. “There was never any idleness in him, he was always doing something.”
During High School he rode Saddle Bronc in Rodeo Club. As part of the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America: He entered into building competitions where he advanced and was able to travel to Cincinnati, Florida, and even Holland. When it came time to pick the design for the house they would build, Roger’s plans were selected, built, and then the house was sold to finance the next year’s building projects.
He loved to tell the stories of riding horses all through the lower foothills of the Draper area of the Wasatch Front with his brothers and occasionally his sisters, of the cabin they built together, Hiking Harney Peak, and the time he spent working at his Uncle Sonnie’s Hog Farm. He loved his trucks and vehicles and was always working on them.
Roger was dedicated to the Boy Scouts Program. He recalled when he was a boy, they were getting ready to go on a scout camp and many of the leaders had last-minute change of plans. He remembered feeling devastated; he said his father dropped everything he was doing and took the troop on their campout that night. That gesture meant so much to him that he vowed he would never let his scouts or anyone down—he would be there for them no matter what. He continued on in the Scouting program and worked his way up to the Eagle Rank, the highest honor a scout can achieve. He went on to dedicate 40 years of his life as a scout master, helping hundreds of boys embark on their own journeys from boy to man and always promoting the scouting values: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. Sticking to the oath he made to do his best, to do his duty to God and Country, to be obedient, to help other people at all times, and to keep physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
Roger was actively involved in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout his life— He served a Mission in Tokyo Japan from 1976-78. While he was away from home, his Grandma Ruth’s health started failing and she vowed that she would hold on long enough to make sure Roger would be able to speak at her funeral, and he did.
He loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved to search and ponder and study the Holy Scriptures. He found strength, guidance, understanding and love in the stories and passages. He turned to them daily and we could constantly find him on his knees in prayer, often falling asleep that way. He knew. He loved his Savior, and he openly and confidently shared his Testimony with anyone he could.
Roger met his sweetheart and love of his life in the fall of 1982 at a singles square dance club called Leather and Lace. He proposed on Valentine’s Day and Michelle’s immediate response was, “You don’t want 10 kids, do you?!” He and Michelle were married on the 16th of July 1983 in the Salt Lake Temple. Shortly after starting their family they made the choice to move to South Dakota with 4 small children, leaving everything they knew behind. Very quickly they were welcomed with open arms and found their life-long home. The people, the culture, the community became their own. Roger had a special place in his heart for every person he interacted with and would always do everything in his power to help them feel their value and their worth and know without a doubt that they were loved, needed, and accepted as they are.
Roger and Michelle had 11 children: “Our 10 boys and our only girl.” The role and responsibility of a Father was one of his highest priorities. He looked up to and tried to emulate the character and qualities of his own father and grandfather. Together, Roger and Michelle instilled that same value of hard work he had learned at a young age into their children as each were expected to do chores, help with the gardening and canning, complete projects and service for others, and any other work that needed to be done. He would often tell his children, “I want to live so that you can do anything and everything you see me do.” He made the difficult decision to leave higher paying jobs in order to have his 10 boys (and only girl) work along-side him. No matter what, he was always slow to anger, quick to forgive, always willing to lend a hand to do whatever needed to be done, and would often go above and beyond.
Roger loved Music and Movies and Theatre. We find that we know the first line to so many songs because no matter what the situation was, he could always come up with a tune to fit the circumstances: When we’d wake up in the morning, we’d hear “Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day, I’ve got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going my way.” When he came home from work, he would walk in the door singing, “Hey good lookin’ what you got cookin’,” then walk directly to Michelle and give her a hug and a kiss. Whenever it started to rain, he would break out in, “Raindrops keep falling on my head.” Whenever he found himself or one of his kids doing something silly, we would hear, “Sometimes you feel like a nut.” When the work was done for the day and it was time to go home, he would happily sing out, “Country roads take me home to the place where I belong.” He loved watching Movies and Musicals and would constantly find parallels between ordinary things in everyday life and the teachings and lessons of the gospel.
Roger always found a way to dedicate his time and efforts to the community. He was a volunteer Firefighter, worked with Habitat for Humanity, and Volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club. Although he graduated from the University of Utah with a business degree and his training and education were in architecture, carpentry and construction,he chose to take on Education as well and made that an additional career path. He worked as a bus driver, custodian, and substitute teacher, he taught High School Shop, Middle School Industrial Tech, Drama, and Math, worked as the Director of Purchasing and Supply for the School District for a time, became a wrestling coach, and ultimately finished out his life back at the High School teaching Applied Math using architecture, design and woodworking to understand the complex concepts of Math.
Roger passed suddenly on the 9th of November 2019 just outside of Ridgeview, SD, Dewey County, carrying on the Allen legacy… He was a man that worked up to the day he died.
Roger is survived by his beloved wife Michelle Peterson Allen of Mission, SD, his 11 children: Jonathan Roger Allen (Ariana) of Mission, SD, Tiffany Lyn Allen Poor Bear (Daniel) of Sioux Falls, SD, Jarrett Curtis Allen (Vanessa) of Wingate, NC, Jaden Kristoffer Allen (Ashley) of West Jordan, UT, Tronsen Richard Coleman Allen (Hailey) of Garland, UT, Tyler Ray Allen (Rachel) of Shelley, ID, Thayne Samuel Allen of Provo, UT, Jesse David Calvin Allen, Thaddeus Joseph Rial Allen, Jayce William Henry Allen, and Jacob Nathaniel Ronald Allen of Mission, SD. His 15 Grand-Darlings and counting: Daequan, Saddie, Keaton, Axel, Kiaralysce, Kaitlyn, Evangeline, Jackson, Aria, Zoey, Jacquelyn, Mikenna, Cadence, Wiley, and Aubree. His 5 Brothers and 4 Sisters: Katherine (Melvin), Duane (Sharla), Ralph (Karen), Ronald (Denise), Judy, Lana (Clayton), Gordon (Denise), Verna, and Michael (Laurie), and numerous Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nieces and Nephews, relatives, and his very dear friends, his chosen family.
He was preceded in death by his Mother Dixie Jensen Allen, his Father Calvin R Allen, and a brother John J Allen.