Roger Allen, of Rockford, Michigan, died Saturday, January 5 after a long battle with heart disease. He was well known in the community as publisher of the Rockford Squire newspaper and a weekly columnist. Many people appreciated Roger’s wit and humor and he had a one-man campaign to maintain Rockford as the humor capital of the world.
Roger was the son of Elizabeth and Joseph Gilbert (Gib) Allen. He was a veteran of the United States Army and served in peacetime Korea. He was born in Washingon D. C. on June 20, 1928. Roger married Alice Vautier Fairweather September 7, 1950. The couple had four children, Kristan Elizabeth, Lois Jean, Mark Fairweather and Elizabeth Jean. Kristan preceded her father in death. Roger is also survived by his sister, Nancy of California.
Roger was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. He was a founding member of Homeland Security, and a long-time employee of the government, working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. At the end of his career he was the media spokesman who gave interviews to television and press reporters following natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.
Roger was a modern-day Renaissance man. For many years he raised his children on a farm in Cedar Springs, raising much of the family’s food and bartering for goods. Roger and Mark built the home and farm buildings themselves.
Many times he called being publisher of the Rockford Squire newspaper the best job he ever had. He bought the Squire when it was the Rockford Weekly Register and in bankruptcy in the 1980s. He felt that it was important that the town’s oldest business and only newspaper stay in publication.
Roger wrote his weekly columns without fail for over 30 years. When he traveled, he called the column Roger on the Road, and when he was in town he called the column Main Street. His column always featured jokes, anecdotes and his own wry commentary on world events. After a heart surgery several years ago he was no longer able to travel. He bought a lot in Rockford, built a house and was proud to call this town his home.
Family and friends will gather from 2:00 to 4:00 PM on Friday, January 11, 2013 at the funeral home.
The Pederson Funeral Home