William T. Allen, who was two months shy of his 104th birthday, died on May 2, 2018. Bill was born in Totowa, New Jersey to Janet and James Allen as World War l began. He came to Port Washington in 1936 for his first teaching job, following his graduation from Montclair State Teacher’s College. He would remain a lifelong resident of the town and a lifelong educator.
Bill began by teaching English and Social Studies and was the advisor for the school newspaper, where he met Doreen Dendievel, who would later become his wife. He was also a guidance counselor and in 1958 he became the first principal of the newly built John Philip Sousa Junior High School. In 1966 he moved to Paul D. Schreiber High School as its principal. He retired from the school system in 1970 and began a nine-year second career at Nassau Knolls Cemetery.
When the U.S. entered World War ll, Bill went to enlist in the signal corps but found out, for the first time, that he was color blind. He was drafted into the army and given a rousing send-off by the Port Washington Junior High School Band. When the call came for his training unit to be sent overseas, Bill called Doreen and said, “Let’s get married.” He traveled two days from Colorado Springs and they were married in Port Washington in December of 1943. Bill then spent three years as a medical/surgical technician on the USS Hope and USS Mercy, hospital ships in the Pacific theater of operations, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in the Philippines and at Okinawa.
Bill attributed his longevity to a good life, a good wife, and his two daughters, their husbands and their children. In addition to his family and extended family, playing chess, walking the track, working in his garden and in his shop, and helping others were also his passions, along with sweets – chocolate and ice cream especially. His life was not without its challenges, among them the passing of his wife Doreen in 1986, but he had adopted the Montclair motto of Carpe Diem (Seize the Day), which shaped his positive attitude, along with Go with the Flow and Enjoy Life.
Bill was a beloved and well-respected educator who loved his chosen profession, greeting students and colleagues all the time when out and about in Port Washington, and meeting regularly for many years with friends in a group they dubbed RAPSA, Retired Association of Principals and School Administrators. He was an active parishioner at St. Peter of Alcantara Church, a member of the Kiwanis Club, and over the years had volunteered with his wife Doreen for Meals on Wheels and at the Helen Keller Center. Bill also taught chess to a new generation of players in after-school programs.
Bill was predeceased by his wife, Doreen, and by his sister, Elizabeth Hoffman. He is survived by his two daughters, Dorothy Feit (Kenneth) and Beverly Allen-Weitzner (Steven), and six grandchildren, Joshua and Adam (Nitasha Kawatra) Feit, and Joshua (Julie Condon), Adam (Yukari), Alexis and Sam Weitzner. He is also survived by several generations of a large extended family of nieces and nephews, by brother-in-law Jean Sparozic, and by his sister’s son, Everett Kliphouse and his family.