Cover photo for Randy Allen's Obituary
1951 Randy 2021

Randy Allen

June 27, 1951 — December 6, 2021

ALLEN, A. "Randy", Gahanna, OH. Born 6/27/1951 at Beckley Hospital WV, but grew up in the small coal

mining town of Edwight at a time when the mines were closing. Randy died suddenly on 12/6/2021, age 70.

Survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Elaine (Coupland) Allen and the light of his life daughter,

Heather (Drew) Repasky and grandkids Owen & Anna who brought pure joy to his life in retirement; 98-

year old Mother, Olive Enola (Parsons) Allen; Sister, Linda (Jim) Miller; brothers-in-law Alan (Christy) and

Tom Coupland; Sisters-in-law Tammy Allen and Phyllis (Nick) Mendoza; Aunt Brenda (Ralph) Sharp; and

was "Uncle Randy" to many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Preceded in death by father, Alfred Carlos

Allen who passed before Randy was born; brother, Carlos Gary "Butch" Allen; grandparents William and

Melvina Parsons; aunts Helen Hawkins & Willa Kay and Uncle Doug Parsons; sister-in-law Lorri Coupland.

He was a 1969 grad of Whitehall Yearling H.S. and worked his way through college at Western Electric. He

graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education & Master of Arts degrees from The Ohio State

University, of which he is an AVID Fan. He was a true master educator with a vision way beyond the times

in 1978 when he got his first full-time teaching job at Circleville Jr. High as a science teacher. He won

several awards while there and took two groups of students to the Bahamas to study marine life on

Andros Island. He loved his students and they actually laughed at his quick, but corny, sense of humor

(unlike his grandchildren who moan at Grandpa jokes, but with love for him). He had a real gift of

storytelling influenced by his Granny Parsons and was a speaker who could spark the imagination. From

toddlers & students, to fellow teachers & senior citizens, his main goal was to instill the joy of learning

and sharing the process of how to become independent thinkers and solve problems on their own. He

loved working with people and seeing them succeed.

Randy was also a "Professional Fellow'' adjunct teacher at the Columbus campus of Ashland University.

So, with a baby on the way and an opportunity to join a team of geological surveyors in the summer of

1981 to study the effects of the Mt. St. Helen's eruption, it was just too far to drive to Circleville. He was

blessed to find a job at Elaine's alma mater with Gahanna-Jefferson public schools as they needed a

computer science teacher.

In 1988 came an opportunity that changed our family's life. Randy won the IBM/" Classroom Computer

Learning" magazine National Teacher of the Year award and Gahanna Schools received a networked

computer lab which was just what he needed to start the building of a first-class program and eventually

led to a whole tech center. He also got invited to be a speaker at the future conferences which turned

into some extended interesting trips we took as our vacation on the way home. This recognition also got

him an invitation to join a group of colleagues to visit Japan schools and compare with American schools.

It was a great lesson for our daughter, Heather, to always work hard, be humble, and help others .... you

have to give to receive.

Our whole family loves music, but Randy taught himself to play guitar when he was 15 (as he's lefthanded

& weren't too many books or guitars for lefties back then, so he just decided to figure out how to

play right-handed). I can't say I've ever seen him walk by a guitar and not want to pick it up and play it.

So, when Gahanna started a fiddle group, he was so excited to be able to be one of the staff to join them.

In 2003, one of the students had an uncle (Hoot Hester) that worked in the Nashville music industry and

offered to help set up a road trip of performances if they could earn the money to go. So with a lot of

hard work, practice, & coordination by the string teachers this AMAZING trip was planned for them to

perform over 4-5 days. They played at Dollywood; the Louise Mandrell Show with a standing ovation; The

Hermitage; the Ryman Auditorium at the Grand Ole Opry; The Wild Horse Saloon & line- danced after; &

got a recording session to cut a CD at Quad Studio. We brought a memory book for everyone to write

about their favorite experiences and although they loved the whole tour, the most mentioned item was

when the bus got a flat tire on the way home near a Cracker Barrel. It was Father's Day, so it was hard to

find someone to come fix it. Did the kids whine or complain-No- they got their instruments out of the bus

and spontaneously entertained the customers on the front porch. They had so much fun interacting and

getting requests and having people sing-along. Memories for a lifetime and a glance of what's open to

them in the world if they're willing to go that extra mile.

Randy was lucky to be one of those people who found his true calling in life and got up most every day

with a smile on his face to go to a job where he loved what he was doing. I think it broke his heart a little

to leave the classroom, but he hoped it would be an opportunity to pave a path to reach a larger group of

students that could spread that love of being a life-long learner. I've heard him say many times that "I

should pay them for giving me the opportunity to try and reach at least one person every day."

Then there seemed to come a wind of change different from his vision of education, ideals, and too much

politics instead of putting kids first, so he decided it was time for the next generation to take over and

soar, so he retired in 2008 after 30 years of service in education. Yet he still got calls from former

students, teachers, friends either needing help with their computer or just wanting to get advice on

curriculum or motivation and he always took the time to try and walk them through the problem and find

how they could solve it to make it work for them. He loved his career and his family, but has really

relished the time he's had to spend with his grandkids.

If you knew him, you know we've lost a kind, gentle giant who was taken far too soon. Cremation

arrangements will be handled by Shaw-Davis Short North Chapel. Per Randy's request, no services will be


A full tribute can be found on their website,, where I hope you'll share a memory of how he touched

your life as he did ours. Thank you Lord for bringing us together ... Forever and a Day.

Over the past 30+ years (pre-CoVid) we've tried to always take at least a week vacation to Lakeside and

our ashes will have our final resting place in the Memorial Garden at Chautauqua Park. If you would like

to make a donation in Randy's memory, you can send a check to The Memorial Garden at Lakeside

Chautauqua, ATTN Steve Koenig, 236 Walnut Ave, Lakeside, OH 43440 or if you prefer an online donation

site, go to: and you can choose where you want your donation to go

(Memorial Garden not an option online) and there's a box at the bottom where you can notate Randy

Allen memorial gift. Or we've always been big supporters of the Fair Choir Heather sang in which is:

The Cardinal Chorale, PO Box 27, Coshocton, OH 43812- please notate "Allen Memorial Gift"; or any

charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Randy Allen, please visit our flower store.


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