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, Shaw-Davis.com, 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: lakesideohio.com/giving/today 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.