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William Timberlake Allen

June 2, 1926 ~ December 29, 2016 (age 90)
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Houghton – Dr. William Timberlake Allen of 9816 Seymour Street, died Thursday, December 29, 2016 at Olean General Hospital. He was born on June 2, 1926 in Aberdeen, South Dakota, the son of the late Walter J. and Jeannette T. Allen. On July 28, 1962 he married Jane McMahon Allen, who survives.


At age 8 he started piano lessons and quickly began composing music. His classical training was influenced by contemporary sounds.  After graduating from Aberdeen Central High School (1944), he spent 2 years in the Army in Japan, later attended Northern State University, graduated from Northwestern University (BA 1951, MM 1952) and Eastman School of Music (PhD 1954).


Bill taught 38 years at Houghton College. He was Professor of Piano and Theory, and later Composer in Residence. He wrote for orchestral instruments, piano, organ, voice, and chorus. His piano recitals frequently ended with a few minutes of improvisation. He especially enjoyed creating musical comedies based on campus life and cultural issues. In 1983 he wrote an opera, Young John Wesley, which was commissioned for the 100th anniversary of the founding of Houghton College. His many settings of hymns revealed his genuine Christian commitment.


Bill loved to be creative with language, frequently making word-plays and puns. He also enjoyed writing letters and poems. He dearly loved his family and, most importantly, the Lord. He was a member of Houghton Wesleyan Church for more than 50 years. He sought to build relationships with everyone around him. He was a peacemaker who helped people feel loved and respected. While we celebrate his new life with Jesus, his presence will still be missed.


Surviving in addition to his wife are their children Elisabeth (Elieser) Algarin, William A. (Kristen) Allen, and Rebecca (Jose M.) Reyes, grandchildren Emily, Katherine, and William R. Allen, Antonio Reyes, and step grandchildren Jose, Kevin, and Manuel Reyes.


In addition to his parents he was predeceased by his three sisters Barbara Wegner, Harriet Andrews, and Joan Dunn.


Family and friends may gather from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and 7:00 to 9:00 pm on Friday, January 6, 2017 and from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at the Houghton Wesleyan Church, where a funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Wesley Oden will officiate. Burial will be in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Houghton.


Memorials if desired to: Houghton College, One Willard Avenue, Houghton, NY 14744, or Houghton Wesleyan Church, 9712 Route 19, Houghton, NY 14744.

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