Frederick Hills Allen

PORTLAND – Frederick Hills Allen died Jan. 12, 2021 in Portland at the Barron Center after contracting COVID-19. He was 73.

The son of Frederick Neal Allen and Anna Myers Allen, he was born on May 26, 1947, in Portland. After graduating from Deering High School in 1965, he attended the University of Denver.

Fred was a man of high intelligence and was afflicted throughout his adult life with delusions and schizophrenia. But he bore his condition with grace and dignity and never lost interest in history, politics, geography, and the coincidences of ancestry and family. His legendary memory never failed to astonish his family and others. As a young boy he could recite all the presidents from Washington to Eisenhower. Those early years sparked a lifelong love of reading and talking about the presidents. He kept track not only of the number of books he had read on each, but also minute details about their lives. Although Fred tilted toward Republicans, and particularly William McKinley, on more than one occasion he admitted that he liked them all.

Fred’s fascination with geography led him to dream of a life on the West Coast. To the chagrin of his cousins, who were die-hard Red Sox fans, he declared his allegiance to the Los Angeles Dodgers and any other sports team of that region. His dedication may have started when the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series, two years before they moved to Los Angeles.

Fred had many gifts. In addition to his prodigious memory, he made friends easily and within a few minutes of meeting someone he would add that person to his database of names he never forgot. For members of his extended family, a birthday and Christmas greeting card from Fred was as predictable as the tide. It spoke of his love for each of them. It also cemented his place in their hearts as the cousin who knew every branch and twig on the Allen family tree.

A gentle man, Fred is being remembered by those who knew him for his kindness, thoughtfulness and compassion, and the grace with which he lived the life given him. He respected and cared about the staff who helped him manage his mental challenges. He enjoyed visits and socializing. Every so often, he would surprise a visitor with his candid, mischievous wit, which included a smile and knowing sparkle in his eyes. While Fred was always happy to have visitors, they knew the visit was over when he abruptly declared, “Thank you for coming by.”

Fred was predeceased by his parents; his stepmother, Marie; his older sister, Margaret, his younger brother, Kenneth, and a stepbrother, Lawrence Glidden.

He is survived by a sister-in-law, Cynthia Gounaris Allen of Portland, two stepsisters, Laraine Glidden of Yarmouth and Patricia Clark of Palermo, and a half-brother, Donald Allen of Nevada.

Fred was one of 18 first cousins who spent their childhood summers together at the farmhouse of their grandparents, Neal W. Allen and Margaret Stevens Allen of Portland, on Douglas Hill in Sebago. Sundays in the summer were reserved for large family dinners, baseball and swimming. The cousins forged bonds then that have endured throughout the years. They miss their cousin for his caring, courage and vitality.

His cousins are grateful beyond words to those who helped to enrich Fred’s life, especially the staff and residents of the two group homes that were family for him over most of the last 30 years: the Helen Winslow Raye House in Portland and Gordon Green in South Portland. They are also profoundly grateful to the Barron Center staff for the loving care and comfort they extended to Fred over the last two years.

Fred has been buried next to his mother at Evergreen Cemetery in Portland. His cousins will host a memorial service in his honor this summer at the family farm in Sebago. Messages of condolence may be sent to: http://www.jonesrichandbarnes.com.

If desired, memorial contributions in Fred’s name may be made to The Opportunity Alliance to support activity programs for residents of the Helen Raye House and Gordon Green, either electronically at http://www.opportunityalliance.org/donate

or by mail to

The Opportunity Alliance,

50 Lydia Lane,

South Portland ME 04106.

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